In helping a company recruit a training manager, I was asked to list the skills vital to performing this job. After creating the standard list we all know and love, I added “Drum Beater” to the list, and of course it got the attention I was attempting to get.
I’m sure most of us have heard the term “beating the drum” for when someone is out making a statement, or trying to influence people toward a particular path of action. Much like the drum beaters that would lead armies into battle, the steady drum beat helped focus and direct the footsteps of the soldiers, and the role of a training manager is very similar.
Take a few minutes and read the discussions of training groups in LinkedIn, or other online sources. It takes only a few minutes to see that we are always beating the drum to support employee development, leadership training, or proactive training solutions. We beat that drum over and over again, why? Because nothing is changing! People in masses avoid employee development, so on we beat the drum hoping things will change.
Actually we at times do change the status quo, it is why we stay connected to this profession, and yet we need to get better at making our case. Changing up the drum beat once in a while and motivating action quicker.
I wrote in my book The Training Physical, that a training manager should think of themselves as a marketing department for learning. Marketing is out in front before the product launch, not after it has rolled out. Actually after is when Sales is the process, but I will save that topic for another blog. Marketing is developing the need into a desire to act, and a good training manager is well skilled in marketing.
I scared someone the other day when they asked me what kind of training I was selling, and I said, “why do you think you need training?” As a Performance Consultant I am very aware that training is only one solution to a performance challenge, and at best needed only 50% of the time. If I didn’t beat the drum differently, then I would sound like every other training vendor out there. In my case I don’t sell training, I provide solutions.