If you have read many of the posts in this blog, you know I often speak of the issues that are causing distress in many training departments. A friend asked me once if I ever find good examples to write about, and although they are rare, I am pleased to be able to share a perfect one today!
In my book The Training Physical, I talk about how important it is for training managers to know what they need to purchase before they go shopping. Much like going to the grocery store, if you have a menu in place you will actually buy the food required to cook the meal. Shopping and figuring out what you need at the same time is a bad combination.
So last week I get a call from a training manager looking at a particular training program. Before I could open my mouth, she wanted to tell me where in her process she was at that moment. My ears perked up because I was intrigued to hear what she had done so far.
I’m about to paraphrase what she said, as she laid out the business objective that was driving this conversation, and the culture that supported these skills. She had done a thorough needs analysis and had determined which competencies needed to be developed in training, and in the coaching and mentoring process. With her training list in hand, she began to research solution providers to determine if she could buy off the shelf, or would need to create something custom.
She had already reviewed the website information, and asked if I could compare the program with her as she went through her list of competencies. Once I got the stunned look off my face (thankfully we were on the phone) I asked her to begin, and I read back what each module would cover. This program was a match like I’d never witnessed before from an off the shelf solution.
Four days later after reviewing all of the materials I provided for the program, and running the costs up the verbal flag pole, she was ready to create signing documents and get invoices sent to her. She had no problems selling her solution because she had connected the dots before she began positioning this training program.
She had understood the performance issue. She then broke down the performance piece into what training could solve, and what would need to be addressed by some other performance tool. She shopped after she knew what she was looking for, and when she found a match she was quickly able to secure funding because the picture was complete.
So, yes I love to share stories like this one. This is one awesome training manager and a credit to our ranks. This company whether they know it or not, has one cracker-jack return on investment in this single employee.