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The Importance of INSIGHTS

Recently, a client and friend of mine who is in the area of Learning & Development share me an article. I believe and agree that the workplace training is evolving, and as such, our methods and intentions of training is also evolving. We are having lesser and lesser standardised work, and as such, trainings should now be people focused – not process focused. And you can’t train that – but you can put in practices to encourage it. These are called insights – informal or social learning that helps one become more creative & innovative.

Here’s the article:

Organizational performance improvement is comprised of reducing errors and increasing insights, according to Gary Klein. For the past century, management practice has focused very much on error reduction, with practices such as Six Sigma, especially in manufacturing.

“Fifty-eight of the top Fortune 200 companies bought into Six Sigma, attesting to the appeal of eliminating errors. The results of this ‘experiment’ were striking: 91 per cent of the Six Sigma companies failed to keep up with the S&P 500 because Six Sigma got in the way of innovation. It interfered with insights.” —Gary Klein

Learning and development (L&D) practices reflect this priority on error reduction. Subject matter experts are interviewed or observed, good practices are noted, and then training programs are designed to develop the skills that make up some or all of a job. Anyone with the requisite abilities, as quantified in the job description, can then be trained.

But what if we don’t know what work needs to be done? This is the area of insight. We cannot know in advance what insights will develop emergent practices. Most organizations have some error reduction processes in place. Few have practices to increase insights. We cannot train for insights. But we can put in practices that might lead to an increase in insights. Klein identified five types of ‘triggers’ that produced insights, based on 120 case studies he reviewed.

  • Contradictions
  • Creative Desperation
  • Connections
  • Coincidences
  • Curiosity

These five triggers can be enhanced through informal and social learning. The last three are often outcomes of the practice of personal mastery. Insights usually come while working, resting, and playing, not while undergoing training.



As more aspects of jobs get automated there will be less demand for standardized, routine work to be done. This is the type of work for which training has traditionally been developed. But there will be an increased demand for unique, non-standardized work. While courses cannot be developed to directly improve these human traits — curiosity, creativity, empathy, passion, and humour — systems can be put in place to promote them at work. Often this involves reducing artificial barriers between people so they can learn from each other.

To improve insights on an organizational level, all work should be focused on learning. This is learning while working, not heading off on a course or attending a class. Social learning involves working out loud, sharing insights, questioning assumptions, and trying things out together. Time is needed for all of this, especially time for reflection, missing in all too many workplaces. Encouraging and supporting social learning can prepare the workforce for a creative, network economy.



This economy, and the society that emerges, will be much more complex than the previous market economy. We are already seeing signs of this as our established institutions struggle to deal with complex challenges for which they were never designed. Complex problems often require insight, beyond what training can prepare anyone for. There are no clear objectives with complex problems. Learning as we probe the problem, we gain insight and our practices are emergent (emerging from our interaction with the changing environment and the problem). This is social learning, which is much fuzzier than following a prescribed educational curriculum. Prescribing training to address complex performance situations does not work. There are too many variables to train for. Instead, systems and structures are needed to support social and informal learning in work teams, communities of practice, and social networks. This is 90% of the 70:20:10 principle.


The Lost Common Sense

by Wong Kar Wei

When the phrase ‘common sense’ is being mentioned, what goes through your mind? An understanding that we are supposed to follow? Something that we are supposed to do in certain situation?

But when common sense is not a common practice yet, what makes common sense a common sense after all?!

Let’s take a slightly deeper look into this.

Common sense comes from a ‘Perception’ in our mind that gives us an indication of what our action or thought should be. From this PERCEPTION in our mind,  it will lead to how are we going to ACCEPT the fact that encourages us to make a CHOICE of whether what the next course of action will be.

From a CHOICE that we’ve made, common sense is then established.

For some of us who don’t even have a ‘common sense’ on what we should achieve in life, or where we should head to in life, we will be categorised as ‘LOST’, which means (LIFE OF SOMEONE TERRIBLE). When someone reaches this condition, they will somehow feel that life is full of obstacles, full of uncertainties, full of hardship, full of difficulties, full of sadness, full of negative things, lack of confidence, feel that they can’t do this and that, unfit for any activities, and guess what is the result will be?………Yes, LOST!

Let me share a story with you, and this story starts with Mr. J who has been a friend for almost 15 years now, starting from our crazy days. He has been living with his career of spreading knowledge to individuals who would like to seek knowledge in his particular field, music.

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Now and then we would just catch up for a cup of tea and chill out. The stories that came from Mr. J since day 1 until today, has been the same repetitive thing , which sums up into one word – ‘COMPLAINTS’. Each and everything that Mr. J said and mentioned has the element of complaints in it. Complaints about work, market, crowd, students, economy, etc etc, well…..basically, everything.

Advise has been given to Mr. J for him to get something else to do, find some other things to explore, and what are the answer from Mr. J? “Yes, I shall do it tomorrow” and apparently, that tomorrow has not happened and tomorrow never came to him until this very day.

Now this Mr. J has already reached the condition of LOST….and I guess no one would like to end up like that, right?

Nothing else matters to Mr. J, and nothing much can be done to help him because everything comes from within – from attitude, discipline, determination, desire, perception, just basically everything; has to start from within. A good cultivation beginning internally is essential to help Mr. J.

Don’t let the example of Mr. J ruin our lives.

Come join us in the wonderful journey to WIN the WAR from WITHIN’, our signature programme, and also a revolutionary personal development and leadership programme – delivered through the Wing Chun martial art (The S.E.E.D principle) in order for all of us to find our path to a brighter and greater life ahead……

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