Wednesday, February 01, 2012


Enterprise Training Worst Practices

If it's worth doing training, it's worth doing it in a way that is going to make a difference. Sadly, most training efforts within enterprises fail to meet this goal...

We live in a world of outsourcing where employees do little more than just manage processes and documentation. Training in most shops is no different. When you outsource training, you sometimes ignore the fact that the firm's own practitioners usually are the most effective (distinct from efficient) trainers since they provide context that is otherwise lacking.

Too often, many view training as an expensive use of executives and top talent's time when in reality, this is usually the most important duty of these respective roles. This escape from authentic leadership immediately sends a negative message to many of the attendees who will wonder why the insiders aren't participating.

Another mistake frequently spoken within enterprise roles is the notion of someone just listening in. If training is about knowledge transfer, then they need to attend training as a participant. In fact, this should be mandatory. It brings an action-orientation to the discussion and builds in credible commitment to the program. Exercising your right to remain silent is useful in other contexts but no so much when it comes to training.

I hold the belief that in order to ensure discipline, training programs should have mandatory pre-reading and pre-testing whereby attendees cannot participate if they don't pass. Yes, this stance will be viewed as harsh by many, especially when it comes to senior people, but don't you think this is an opportunity for leadership to set the example for others?

Haven't we all observed enterprises that invested in highly customized training programs, where one-half of the attendees were prepared and the other half not? Didn't it devolve into an annoying waste of everyone's time?

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