Independence Through Education

In the USA this time of year is very exciting, most people who know of or have kids in school, celebrate some kind of graduation or promotion. It is actually quite fitting that not long after we celebrate Independence Day. I believe that a big reason for a country or a person becoming independent is directly related to their knowledge and experience. Of course, there are varying degrees of independence and no person or country could ever be so independent that they become an island of one.  As my daughter graduates from Elementary school her knowledge, experiences, and decisions to date have earned her a certain level of independence. My son, who is graduating high school, has earned a very different level of independence based on his knowledge and experiences. Neither of them are fully independent and never will be, as long as they continue to strive for knowledge and betterment to allow them to make wise or smart decisions. Every day I leave home, I leave them with three specific instructions:

  • Enjoy your day
  • Be safe
  • Make smart decisions

This brings me to ERP and I fully believe the three instructions above apply to your business on a day-to-day basis.

As organizations invest money in new systems, the one thing most overlooked is knowledge. It is the one thing that enables smart decisions, that drives happiness for yourself and your team and protects your investment as business owner or leader.

If you ask me, over my 20+ years in the ERP industry, the number one reason organizations lose trust in their systems can be attributed to a lack of knowledge. Organizations cannot upgrade to newer versions because they have lagged behind in knowledge.

Organizations extend GO LIVES of new implementations because users are not ready and so it goes on and on. Attrition of human resources in an organization is seldom refilled with new knowledgeable people. As we continue to have a greater generation gap in the work force, education and training is becoming more and more important. People learn differently and they experience things differently but they should all have the same goals as the organization. How do you close this gap and how do you allow people to learn without pulling them from their desks for weeks at a time?

As we move our organizations from one milestone to the next in their journey, we have to move our people and their knowledge. As soon as the organization moves ahead of its people and knowledge, the perceived need for replacement becomes more and more prevalent. Either replacing people or systems. Both of which can be very costly.

Having a 24/7 self-paced learning option that is not taken advantage of in my world is a cardinal sin. ERP Vendors that don’t have 24/7 learning options contribute to the problem and not the solution. Having a system that allows leaders in an organization to evaluate, encourage, and mentor people is of critical importance. Business is about people. In my humble opinion, one of the reasons machines are becoming more prevalent in our world is because they are easily taught and retaught, however they have no concept of experience. Knowledge combined with experience produces wisdom that drives smart decision-making.

Wisdom that drives decision-making helps increase your level of independence.

Why call a consultant to write a report when you already have someone with experience in the business and all that is needed is knowledge? Something that is available through a learning channel, a virtual classroom or even in person. I am a great advocate of ensuring that customers receive, retain and improve knowledge and skills, for their own personal satisfaction and the benefit of the organization.

That is why I teach my kids. Without knowledge and experience, you will not become wise enough make smart decisions to get the right job at the right time and increase your degree of independence from your parents. Besides, I do want to retire someday. The same goes for your organization. Use the tools available to gain knowledge, combine it with experience and create wisdom that helps you make smart decisions to allow you to be free and independent.

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