Inspirational Infusion

#50 — May 1, 2013

Education is not preparation for life,
education is life itself.

— John Dewey

Greetings, Inspired Traveler!

Are you preparing to graduate? Do you have someone in your life who is graduating? Do you ever think about graduation in terms of your staff? Great leaders, it seems to me, always do. Talented employees who use their gifts fully are almost always moving on to their next level of promise and potential. Hopefully you are as well.

There are many ways to describe and debate corporate learning initiatives. In speaking with a friend recently, she shared that she thought there were three different levels of learning — surface learning, strategic learning and deep learning. While I had not thought of learning in these categories, they do make sense.

Surface learning, and by extension surface training, is basic and rudimentary. It usually involves memorizing and regurgitating material that, honestly, could be easily accessed when necessary. There is merit to it but it is very elementary. At its best, we can consider it foundational.

Strategic learning and training is results oriented and focuses on achieving strategic goals and outcomes. Again, it is necessary but is often limiting due to the laser like limitations often imposed.

Deep learning and deep training extend beyond the borders of the immediate need out into a future that provides challenges and opportunities. In my opinion, this is learning at its best, and trainers who teach this way have far reaching influence. In the deep learning model, learners learn how to think. One of the biggest and most often overlooked outcomes of our formal educational system is learning how to learn. Organizational leaders often have the opportunity to pick up where school systems leave off.

When your staff engages in deep learning, they are focused on expansion beyond the departmental and organizational limits. These are the leaders who innovate. These are the leaders that create Best Practices instead of simply following them. These are the leaders that inspire.

So: how do you invite your staff members to engage in deep learning? Do your training practices encourage the deeper side? With the speed of advancement in today’s businesses, we need to create a shift in learning so that we can succeed with the shift of the world. Learn big. Learn deep.

Be Magnificent! Have an Inspirational Day!


At InspirationInProgress, we engage in deep learning processes through training, coaching and facilitation. Give us a call at 215 260 1611 or email us at and let’s venture into that deeper level that helps to shift you into high gear.