The recession is technically over, but that doesn’t mean organizations are keen to spend one penny more than they have to. Just look at training — back in 2009 when the financial crisis was still raging, research firm Bersin & Associates asked firms how their training budgets were faring. The answer was predictably gloomy with the training market seeing its greatest contraction in a decade.
In a recent issue of the Harvard Business Review, Rosabeth Moss Kanter discussed the importance of leaders knowing when to focus in on details and when to pull back to see the big picture. While good leaders are able to zoom in and out to help them make decisions, training designers should know how to do the same.
The best way for learning professionals to demonstrate their influence and get a seat at the table is to think like a CEO — or at the very least, understand the business leaders' goals and put learning programs in place to help achieve those goals. And one way to learn about what CEOs care about is to read books by CEOs.
Let me tell you about a very wise company I work with:
As I recently watched this classic Seinfeld episode featuring George Costanza's “morbidly obese” wallet, I immediately made a real-world training connection. Watch and see if you're reminded of anyone you work with...
The prevailing stereotype to many employers is that Gen Y are a bunch of job hoppers, and therefore training them in any significant way is likely a waste of time and money. In a few months, they’ll just take those skills you worked so hard to teach them down the road to your competitors.
We learning leaders often spend too much time trying to educate stakeholders on the language of training and development — and merely hoping that if our CEOs better understood what we do and how we do it, they would be more willing to allow us to do what we do. However, if we are going to properly service our stakeholders, it would be wise to learn their language. If we learn what is important to our constiuents, we can design and deliver training programs that will directly help them achieve their goals.
A friend of mine recently discovered a suspicious mass and, given her family history of cancer, immediately assumed she was about to die. Convinced of the seriousness of her illness, she spent the first 10 minutes of her consultation asking the doctor about different cancer treatments - before she'd even been given a cancer diagnosis (thankfully, it was NOT cancer and she's fine). Fortunately for my friend, her doctor graciously invited her concerns and countered them with descriptions of the tests he would order before jumping to conclusions about her diagnosis and treatment.
My family and I go to the zoo often. We have two small children and it's a great family trip every couple of weeks.
While the economy still hasn't fully recovered from recession, smart employers are investing in one thing that keeps customers coming back — excellent service — even if it means re-training employees on basic skills you'd expect them to have in the first place.