Area9 Lyceum Blog

How to Eliminate Unconscious Incompetence in Your Workplace

Posted by Area9 on Dec 20, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Unconscious incompetence is not knowing what you don’t know. And when you take action based on a misperception, it can be hazardous. It’s a problem that affects every industry and every business.

Luckily, it’s not as hard as you might think to eliminate unconscious incompetence from your organization. All it involves is making a choice: to use a system that can actually diagnose and fix the problem.

Here’s what we know: your corporate learning isn’t working. Your staff aren’t engaged in the learning process - and who can blame them? Slide decks, PDFs, and “smile sheets” get boring fast.

Because they’re not engaged, your staff don’t retain what they’ve learned, they make assumptions, and they don’t unlearn bad habits, leading to costly mistakes. These assumptions and bad habits are unconscious incompetence:

  • When staff do things a certain way because “that’s the way it’s always been done”.
  • When a misunderstanding of the facts, leads to the belief that something wrong is actually right. Area9’s research shows that it exists across industries with employees anywhere from 15-40% unconsciously incompetent in critical competencies they are required to master to do their jobs.

Unconscious incompetence has always been a problem but before Adaptive Learning there was no way to identify it, track it, let alone fix it.

When corporate learning negatively affects your business outcomes it becomes a waste of time.

How Does Adaptive Learning Eliminate Unconscious Incompetence?

Through formative assessment, or teaching by asking questions. Adaptive Learning uses a powerful set of algorithms that use questions tied to learning objectives, along with a learner’s self-assessment of their confidence to uncover hidden misconceptions.

Once unconscious incompetence is uncovered, the adaptive software presents the learner with learning resources that correct unconscious incompetence. Adaptive Learning creates an engaged learning experience so your staff learn better, increasing knowledge retention, and returning what they’ve learned back to your business. You stop seeing bad habits and costly mistakes.

The Choice Is Up to You

In the end, it’s not much of a choice. Uncovering and correcting the insidious problem of unconscious incompetence in the workplace is just one of the many things Adaptive Learning can do to fix your corporate learning. You can find out more about what Adaptive Learning can do for you when you download this ebook, including Adaptive Learning:

  • Optimizes learning
  • Generates valuable data, and
  • Personalizes to every learner.

Corporate E-learning Ebook


Topics: Unconscious Incompetence