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"A company's most valuable asset is its employees," states business magnate Richard Branson, a truth that rings alarmingly relevant in a world increasingly driven by human skills and innovative capabilities. In modern businesses, Training within Industry (TWI), an employee training program initially developed during World War II with a focus on improving productivity and work quality, is recognized as a tool of considerable significance—including by Fortune 500 C-level executives.

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Flevy Management Insights: Training within Industry


"A company's most valuable asset is its employees," states business magnate Richard Branson, a truth that rings alarmingly relevant in a world increasingly driven by human skills and innovative capabilities. In modern businesses, Training within Industry (TWI), an employee training program initially developed during World War II with a focus on improving productivity and work quality, is recognized as a tool of considerable significance—including by Fortune 500 C-level executives.

The Underpinning Philosophy of Training within Industry

Originating out of necessity in wartime, TWI was initially designed to quickly and efficiently transform inexperienced workers into capable industrial laborers. At its core, it is based on the principle of transferring knowledge effectively to achieve Operational Excellence. This presupposes that every employee, regardless of their position, has valuable expertise worth sharing and skills to be honed further.

Its underlying philosophy is threefold: Job Instruction (JI), to train employees in the best way to do their job; Job Methods (JM), to engage employees to continually improve their work; and Job Relations (JR), to build strong workforce relations. Together, these elements aim to create a strong, competent, and unified team in which every single member contributes to the overall success and Strategic Performance Management of the organization.

Revitalizing TWI for the Modern World

The simplicity and adaptability of TWI make it a method well-suited for today's fast-paced business environment. However, it requires strategic renewal to align with present-day business needs. Digitization and automation present opportunities for streamlining training programs, enhancing knowledge sharing, and ensuring a uniform understanding of work processes across an organization. Integrating TWI principles into digital platforms can, therefore, drive Digital Transformation, while helping to manage the challenges of virtual teams and remote working—both contemporary realities facing many C-level executives.

Best Practices for Implementing Training within Industry

The first step for successful TWI implementation is to secure alignment and commitment across all levels of the organization, starting from top leadership. The clear articulation of the philosophy, goals, and expected benefits of the TWI program is essential during the initial stages of the process.

The Contribution of TWI Towards Sustainable Success

In today's competitive business environment, the strengths of TWI extend beyond the confines of employee training. By instilling a culture of learning, improvement, and collaborative problem-solving, TWI makes a significant contribution to enhancing the Strategic Agility of an organization. It promotes an environment where every employee is a value creator, fostering a culture that encourages innovation, and actively supporting the strategic goals of the company.

To conclude, given the increasing pace of economic and technology-driven changes, the adoption and thoughtful implementation of TWI principles can play a transformative role in corporate training efforts and contribute tangibly to an organization's long-term success—creating a robust, resilient, and adaptive workforce capable of navigating the evolving landscapes of the industry.

For effective implementation, take a look at these Training within Industry best practices:


Explore related management topics: Digital Transformation Operational Excellence Employee Training Performance Management Risk Management Virtual Teams Remote Work Lean Management/Enterprise Business Framework PowerPoint Diagrams Problem Solving Workplace Safety




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