Many companies have training and development programs for their employees. In some places, they are crisp and targeted to specific needs, while in other places they are extensive. Some of these extensive programs consist of exposing new hires to many different types of training classes in a short time, while the others require employees to go through some massive training blasts that somebody has determined to be essential for revitalizing the company (or whatever).
Whenever I am exposed to massive training blasts, I recall an incidence from several years ago when I volunteered to take care of five kids during my sabbatical.
Trying to keep track of five kids and their activities was a massive planning and scheduling nightmare. I would pick up kids from different schools between 2PM to 3PM.
Then the sequence was something like this;
Not to forget that Charlie went to Karate after swimming and Gitanjali went to Piano after Ballet, while Bobby had special math tutoring, and our children needed to go to music classes.
Well, the sequence did not end there but you get the idea. One day, as my luck would have it, I got some time to ask questions to the kids.
Being aware of the conflict of interest, I did not want to dare ask such specific questions to our own children. They would have taken the Fifth* anyway. However, my curiosity prevailed enough for me to ask a general question.
Reflection: "To a hungry man give a piece of bread and not thirty one flavors, else he will throw up." Anand P Shah
Further investigation and introspection revealed that these children were occupied in so many activities during the day that they had no time to practice and perfect any of them well enough. This is what happens with giving an overdose of training to the new hires and delivering massive training blasts to all employees. The office shelves get full with training binders, checklists for “training completed” are in compliance ... but in most cases what was taught is not ever put into practice.
The cases where training has been highly effective is when it was targeted for specific needs, people were given enough time to absorb what was taught, and there was a follow up as to how the training was put into practice.
* For overseas readers: "The Fifth" is the reference to The Fifth Amendment (Amendment V) of the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, is related to legal procedure. One of the key part is that no person shall be compelled in any case to be a witness against himself. (Source: Wikipedia)