The core issue with developing people is to identify the outcomes you’re trying to accomplish. The challenge in the formal education field is thinking in terms of curriculum– what the students need to know– instead of in terms of outcome– what the students need to be able to do. One time I asked an academic dean, “When people graduate from your program, what can they do?” He later told me that question kept him up nights. I was asking about competency, not about curriculum.
It’s not the knowledge is unimportant. It’s that application is so important.
When I was teaching on church planting in Korea, I had the participants engaging in a lot of group exercises. However, they expected the lecturer to provide more information. One student in particular complained about this lack of content. I explained that I wasn’t interested in just the information– I was interested in people applying it. But even more than either of those, I was interested in the transformation that could result from it. He was not happy with my answer, but I didn’t change what I was doing. But at the end of the week, the student came up to me and said: “I get it: transformation, not information. Thank you.”