“it pisses me off that business schools virtually ignore sales, while fawning over marketing” – Tom Peters
Marketing is relatively easy to teach. Doing sales takes time, practice, and feedback. It’s fairly obvious why universities prefer to teach marketing. I don’t know of any programs where students do real sales calls. I guess that’s for after graduation.
Using the perspective of the 70:20:10 model (Experience, Exposure, Education) we should focus our efforts on maximizing our workplace experiences for learning. If we learn ~70% from experience, we should at least develop some practices to learn as we work. For the most part, our learning and development departments don’t help us learn as we work. They provide interventions that take us away from work (courses) or negate the need to learn (performance support). Educational institutions let graduates walk out the door and then get to work, with co-op programs being the exception. How we make sense of our work and continue to learn at the edge of our expertise is mostly left to individuals.
To learn as we work, first of all we have to do things. We learn from doing the new. If we are not doing anything new, we are not learning. In an age of increasing automation, doing new work is how we stay ahead of the machines and algorithms. Personal knowledge mastery is one framework for individuals to take control of their professional development. Combine this with groups of co-workers working out loud and it creates the foundation for experiential learning at work: the 70%. The 70:20:10 model is not based on formal education. It is a way to ensure that we do not overly focus on training and education. We learn from experience, but only if we have new experiences and pay attention to them. Experience is the execution of education and exposure.