Keeping It Simple


I received an unsolicited book review on The Training Physical this past week from a Director of Training who had purchased, and bless her heart actually read my book!  She was upset that the book seemed too basic and that I should have raised the bar.

To understand her comment, you must first understand that she is a dynamic training leader.  She runs a tight ship and frankly, the book was not written with her brand of training in mind.  If you think of the 80/20 rule where 80% of training departments are struggling and 20% are running on all cylinders, she is actually in the top 10%.   Once she understood my audience, she went off in another direction.

“How can so many training departments be running at this level of productivity and efficiency?”

I wish I had an answer for her.  I wish I understood why so many training departments:

  • Have trainers who can’t facilitate
  • Have instructional designers that forget adult learning principles
  • Have outdated or missing technology assistance
  • Only train minimum skill levels
  • Skip Management and Leadership Development
  • Overpay for training services they obtain
  • Lack any kind of strategy and/or training plan

If there is a single reason for so many companies allowing a low-level of productivity and efficiency, it is a lack of accountability.  Neither the training manager or the senior management team holds the training function accountable for these areas, let alone a return on the investment.

So I told her I wrote a book that would be easy and quick to read.  If I could get more training managers to read it, and maybe some non-training executives, maybe we can increase the awareness factor of the basic functions and purpose for training. 

By keeping it simple, my plan is to create focus.  Let’s keep all the attention on getting the training department into a healthy state.  Once the vitals are in order, than you can tax the department to raise the bar.

Once my book reviewer realized that she lives above the bar in her operation only because she has a solid foundation (the basics) in place did she finally concede that although a sorry state of affairs, my mission of addressing the 80% group is actually a nobel goal.

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