All posts by Stephen J Gill

Stephen J. Gill-- is a guest contributor. An Independent Consultant for Human Performance He publishes a blog at:

Pull, Don’t Push, Employee Learning

S. GillStephen J. Gill is a contributor to The Business Thinker magazine.
He is an organizational learning consultant, he facilitates a workshop for ATD titled, “Essentials of Developing an Organizational Learning Culture”, and he is co-founder of, a resource for creating and sustaining a learning culture in organizations. He publishes a blog at:
DavidDavid Grebow, Chief Executive Officer of KnowledgeStar, is a nationally recognized expert in creating organizational cultures that optimize learning. David is the co-founder and former director of the IBM Institute for Advanced Learning in Zurich and one of the co-authors of Creating a Learning Culture. For 25 years, Fortune 500 companies have employed him to assess the value of their current educational strategies, and create a forward-looking sustainable approach that positions them for success in the Idea-driven digital economy.

The major change in business today is the rate of change. For example, it used to be that the time between conception of an idea and market acceptance was five to seven years. Now a new car model goes from idea to market in 24 months. “Internet time” is just a few months for most things. My public offerings of JP Industries used to take months or years. Now, crowdfunding can raise millions of dollars for a new business in a few weeks. – John Psarouthakis

As the digital revolution continues to fuel the faster rate of change, transforming all aspects of business, from supply chain management to communication, the highest-performing corporations are abandoning traditional “push” training for the “pull” learning model.

Push training is a centralized, top-down model that occurs when management determines what it is people need to know or do and ‘pushes’ educational programs out from a central training group. It’s going to a class or taking an assigned online program.

“In a push training model, learning is test-based. It is all about what you know.”

The push training culture was developed to serve the old Industrial Economy that no longer exists. Long before “Internet time”, producing products and delivering services changed slowly. The shelf life of both, compared to today, was almost glacial, and most workers did not need to learn volumes of information to perform their jobs. Despite the change from the Industrial to the Knowledge Economy over 100 years ago, the vast majority of organizations are still pushing out training to employees the same way now as they did then.

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Learning Culture: A Workplace Environment for Success (Part Two)

S. GillDr. Stephen J. Gill– is a guest contributor. An Independent Consultant for Human Performance; He is co-founder of, a resource for creating and sustaining a learning culture in organizations. He publishes a blog at:

 What a learning culture looks like in action

A learning culture is a community of workers continuously and collectively seeking performance improvement through new knowledge, new skills, and new applications of knowledge and skills to achieve the goals of the organization. A learning culture is a culture of inquiry; an environment in which employees feel safe challenging the status quo and taking risks to enhance the quality of what they do for customers, themselves, and other stakeholders. A learning culture is an environment in which learning how to learn is valued and accepted. In a learning culture, the pursuit of learning is woven into the fabric of organizational life

You will know a learning culture is taking shape when you see:

  • Executives setting an example for risk-taking and learning from failure
  • Managers helping employees set learning goals, apply learning, and then support the learning through follow-up and feedback
  • Project leaders using action learning to help their teams learn and improve team performance
  • Everyone sharing information among departments and everyone learning from each other

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Learning Culture: A Workplace Environment for Success (Part One)

S. Gill
Dr. Stephen J. Gill— is a guest contributor. An Independent Consultant for Human

He publishes a blog at:

Why Your Organization Needs a Learning Culture

Do you want employees to care about their work and their customers and go the extra mile? Do you want employees to improve their ability to contribute to the organization? Do you want employees to be creative and innovative and think about new and better products and services? Do you want employees to be focused on achieving results? Do you want employees who openly discuss ways to improve performance?

If your answer is “yes” to these questions, then you need to develop an organizational culture that supports continuous learning by everyone from the CEO to the hourly employee. HR and training professionals, by themselves, cannot develop this kind of culture. If you’re like most businesses, you rely heavily on these professionals to deliver programs that provide employees with what they need to know to do their jobs, whether that is assembling products, running complex machines, managing teams, or running an entire organization. That model of learning was effective for most of the past century. However, that model does not work for the modern company. Today’s companies require a culture in which everyone is continuously learning as individuals, as teams, and as whole organizations.

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How to Develop a High Performing Workforce as the Economy Recovers from Recession

Stephen J. Gill– is a guest contributor.
An Independent Consultant for Human Performance

He publishes a blog at:

Evidence indicates that most of the U.S. and other developed countries are starting to emerge from the worst economy since the Great Depression of the 30s. The likelihood that we will return to those conditions again in the near future depends on the financial and operational viability of companies, but also, to a great extent, on how well companies manage their employees. If executives don’t attend to the factors that determine a high performance workforce, their companies will not thrive and survive.

Some researchers estimate that as many as a third of employees will “jump ship” as soon as hiring takes off again. These employees are not content with their current situations and are just waiting for new opportunities to become available. Those who remain, feeling survivor-syndrome stress, will not be fully engaged in their work and will not perform at their best. Having lost much of their talent, with institutional wisdom walking out the door, and with a remaining workforce that lacks motivation, these companies will not be able to compete in their marketplaces. Continue reading