training that leaves a silver bullet behind

Published on by Lisa Gates.

I was thirty days from my first major in-house corporate training when I decided to call a friend who manages an in-house health care team.  "What's the best in-house training you've ever had?" I asked.   

She said, we get great trainers who have terrific insight and we pay them extraordinarily high fees.  But they don't come prepared to talk about the problems facing health care.  They generally just give examples from their prior work that usually doesn't have anything to do with the challenges we're facing.  So they're great to listen to, but I can never go back to work and apply what they've said to my team.

Over at the Harvard Business Review, Ronald N. Ashkenas tells in-house managers how to solve this problem for their employees in his great short article, How to Translate Training into Results.

Many companies create leadership programs that are filled with good content and delivered with great skill, but without any kind of measurable business impact, they eventually die on the vine.

Luckily the "fix" for these kinds of programs is really quite simple: Require that participants come to the program with a specific business challenge (either individually or as a team); build time into the program to create a plan for addressing that challenge based on the content that is presented; and then insist that managers execute against these plans after the program. Firms such as GE, Honeywell, Siemens, and many others have used this approach for years with great success — and have documented many millions of dollars of benefits. In essence they have transformed their leadership development activities from a "cost center" to a "profit center" — which makes them much more difficult to dismiss when budgets get tight.

In response to my friend's complaint, I called the managers of each group attending the training and asked them this question:  if I were the Lone Ranger who could ride in on my horse and leave a silver bullet behind to improve your team's performance, what would it be?

This inquiry provoked a series of thoughtful responses from each management team.  I shouldn't have been surprised but I was curious when most managers identified the same problem as the biggest in-house challenge ~ one that concerned intra-company negotiations, a problem I re-focused my negotiation training to address. 

This is the same kind of results-oriented, problem specific, focus we have in our of our courses at She Negotiates University.  Please bring your specific challenges to the first session of our next coached and journaled month-long negotiation course.  We promise you'll make up the cost of the course before it's over or your money back!!  That's how confident we are of our product.  Let us help you be similarly confident of yours.

Join us on September 13 to find and deploy your own silver bullet solutions to your 21st Century business problems. 

Heigh ho Silver!

 Register for our next course...starting September 13. Get $75 off if you register by tomorrow!

Education and Learning

Published on by Lisa Gates.