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The first part of our book is titled “Training: Adapt or Die” and we believe that the role of ‘Training Manager’ is an endangered one. Read on to find out why, and we will be giving away a FREE copy of the FT Guide to Business Training to a randomly chosen person who comments, emails or tweets in response to this post.
It is often only when you look back that you can easily discern the changes that have taken place over a period of time. Whilst ‘change’ is often talked about and, we believe, an ever present aspect of business and our role within it, we need to consider what we need to focus on in order to survive and succeed in a market that is already over supplied.
But what does ‘adapting’ mean in your context? What should your priorities be as you look at your role in the business?
Our strong sense is that your focus should be on building employee capability. Sound obvious? Well, in practice we think it can be a challenge to keep this focus and deliver on it. Why is this?
Business trainers – both in-house and those selling their training services to an organisation – are under pressure to say ‘yes’ to their clients. Clients often have a presenting need and they see training as the answer. But clients are often experts in their own functional role and not in how to create behaviour change. They can see training as the solution but not embrace their part and that of the wider ‘system’ in bringing about sustainable change. It is often these same clients who will be the first to criticise when change does not occur.
For the ‘Training Manager’ to survive and succeed, you need to be seen by the business as performance experts. This requires you bringing challenge to the business and raising the issues you know will stand in the way of learning transfer. To what extent:
- Are you bringing challenge to the business to ensure you are training the right knowledge, skills and behaviours?
- Do you discuss the wider issues and factors that will contribute to learning transfer?
- Do you surface and discuss the existing habits and motivations that affect participants’ application of the learning?
If you look at your role as developing capability rather than delivering training there are some clear differences:
We believe that C Suite executives will engage in conversations around capability and performance in a way that they will not engage in conversations around training. To have a seat at the top table, we need to be seen as capability and performance experts and that means bringing challenge to ensure that what is learnt in any training is transferred to the work environment.
You can find out more by buying the FT Guide to Business Training from Amazon, The Book Depository and all good book stores. Please share this now with any colleagues using the buttons below, and don’t forget to join us again at 11am for some video content about learning styles!