The Training Pill

I just finished reading again Ken Blanchard’s book, “The Leadership Pill” which takes readers on a journey of discovering that one does not become a leader by simply taking a pill.  I started to think about how often training is used as a performance solution when there is no correlation to a need for training.  It is as if training is a pill we prescribe for every performance issue as some kind of cure all.

Any performance or organizational development consultant will tell you that training is only the solution to a performance issue about 50% of the time, and yet it is prescribed way more often than that.  The client is usually just fine with a training solution, until later down the road when little has changed.  Those of us out there prescribing training as a cure-all solution need to be open to alternative cures, as in the ones that will actually make a difference.

Training is a tool when building a skill, and notice I used the word “a” not “the” tool.  Training is great to refresh a skill that has gone unused for a while, or when you are trying to focus a large group of people to use certain behaviors.

Training is not to be used when an employee could perform a task, but chooses not to for some reason.  Or when a manager provides different instructions than what training taught the employee.  Training people in the same skills over an over again is usually not helpful, and different methods should be employed.

The kicker is to remember when to use training, and avoid passing out a bottle of training pills for every ailment.


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