A Tale of Two Training Departments

Whenever we hear of a big company buying out a small company, we usually see the employees on the smaller team as the losers and never the winners.  Well just like David and Goliath, I am watching this scenario play out between two training departments, and the smaller guy is winning.

To paint the picture here, we are talking about a company with about 2000 employees being bought out by a company with about 35,000 employees.  Each have training departments and yet you can imagine the size difference between the two are significant.

Yet as this blog has talked about quite often, it is not the size of the training function that matters as much as the health of that department.  In our example, the health of the smaller company is pretty good, but most importantly the training leader himself is the consummate learner.  He is one of very few training leaders that self-evaluates and seeks regular feedback on improvement.

The larger company is bogged down in titles, authority, and individuals seeking the spotlight all the time.  They are appalled that anyone would dare evaluate their kingdoms to evaluate their department’s health, and make a lot of costly mistakes because no one is monitoring their return on the investment.  They have gotten so big that they seem indispensible and are not accountable to anyone.

Enter David through a merger, and Goliath now must demonstrate which path is better for the company to follow going forward.  While David has always had to demonstrate value and return on investment, and that their programs, systems and methods produce results.  Goliath is unable to demonstrate any tangible value or return on the vast amounts of money that they have in a training budget.

Senior Management has been hit in the forehead with a rock.  While it did not knock them down, it has caused them to look at David as a valued partner.  The smaller training department is now leading many initiatives, and my guess is that in a few months, David will be tasked with fixing much of the combined training efforts.

All I can say is three cheers for the healthy training leader!


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