Carter was in the White House, I was 16 and Thatcher had just become the UK's 1st Lady PM. I started my career in Banking, securing a role at Midland Bank PLC (now HSBC). Following my attainment of most of the Chartered Inst of Banking qualifications, there were few vacant branch manager roles for a young and enthusiastic whipper snapper like me (a manager of the time actually told me to 'stop being so enthusiastic!') It wasn't too long before I moved Banks and commenced a very successful period in selling, resulting in a 4 year successful sojourn into Wealth Advice. I experienced a variety of managers including one exceptional guy who invested time in my development and taught me how to do the job effectively. As a result, I realised I'd be more effective to the organisation as a 'coach' as opposed to a 'striker', to use a footballing analogy. Hence the start of a long career in L&D, to this date. I've worked in large and small organisations in the UK and Australia and hope that I have mainly made a positive difference to the lives of those around me, inside and out of work.
I lend to KIVA.org to help people start up businesses in less developed countries and host tea parties with my wife for 'Contact The Elderly'
Specialties: ]Training; all aspects of the Training cycle; Coaching; Assessing; Client Relationship Management.
My discussion replies
The definition of insanity ' To continue doing the same thing expecting a different result!'
Agree with Blake Henegan. Wise words. Focus on a handful of key areas where the business needs to improve performance and try not to get drawn into attempting to solve every problem (including HRs!)
Take a head count on what resources you have available directly in your team and what subject matter expertise you might be able to develop in the line and ensure they all have the best 'skills' to do their job effectively and impact business learning transfer. you won't be effective without a highly skilled team with you. Also, you might put some focus on quality assurance of your team i.e. live observation of delivery; assessment of quality design etc.
I'd go back to the drawing board and ask what metrics the business is really concerned with. Do they really want to know how many people you trained and how 'busy' the trainers were. or are they more likely interested in what measurable improvements there were in business performance i.e. achievement of business goals. Senior managers don't really care how many people were trained and how busy a trainer was, they want to know what impact L&D has on the business. Sorry to be frank.
The single most significant problem in my view is (irrespective of the learning media/medium) failure of L&D to galvanise the collaborative support of line managers, who have a major impact on learning transfer and; failure to design with business performance outcomes in mind, as opposed to learning outcomes.
I must admit, I've felt the same way and it's only today, since launch, that I have tried to access it properly as I've been putting off for this reason. Might be just a case of getting used to it, but I liked the simple the list of discussions that used to be available. Perhaps it will grow on us...
I agree with everything Rus has discussed and would add:
.....a factor to consider is your ability to manage the quality and consistency of delivery. With an employed group, you would ordinarily have a KPI to monitor, coach and assess for the quality and consistency of delivery, especially if you are delivering to 'customers' of your organisation. This is more challenging when working with external consultants as they will naturally rely on the fact that they are 'experienced' facilitators, but sometimes with no actual benchmark to measure that experience. It is difficult to ensure a consistent delivery across consultants (as it can be internally with employed people too, unless you have adopted a credible benchmark and have built this into your KPIs).
If you want to discuss this further, please get in touch.
Love your sense of humour. Sadly, you're absolutely right!
I agree that many companies don't appear to see the value in investing any time or money in developing SMEs. I guess it does depend on perceived value in the output of the delivery (aka Steve's point). I suppose I would argue to a degree that all delivery is important, otherwise, why do it at all? We tend to view the question as to whether to develop SMEs training delivery skills around the degree to which the delivery is really important to the business (although I've just suggested that all delivery is important one way or another, but I guess critical technical/compliance/H&S training carries more weight) and the frequency in which an SME is required to deliver, so a matrix of importance versus frequency.
In Steve's situation, where there is an end-client involved, I would suggest the training is important enough for the company to invest in a full 3 day programme - as it appears they do.
The reason for asking is that we have developed a matrix approach to training SMEs ranging from 1-5 day programmes dependent upon the above importance versus frequency, but over the years, frankly it has been nigh on impossible for us to encourage businesses to take matters seriously, so I am seeking intelligence as to understanding what's driving the lack of commitment, given that SMEs often provide critical training support.
I do appreciate Clive's approach, which I have heard sometimes happens, makes sense and negates the need for professional development of SMEs as training deliverers.
Rus - I think that's why many SMEs don't engage in TT programmes!
Interestingly, we did some research into delivery standards for HE and Uni lecturers and it transpires the only qualification they need to deliver information is a PHD. As PHDs are clearly highly intelligent and knowledgeable people, they tend to lean towards the PP and pin back your ears and listen approach - although that isn't the case for all!
All interesting stuff- thanks for your thoughts.
It's good to hear that those who deliver client-facing training do get professional development Steve. I'm surprised to hear that the audience doesn't value the quality, just the input of the specialist, but I wonder if the output of the delivery was measured in terms of how it impacted the client and met their business outcomes, that perception might change?
Assuming this about pure presenting and not as a way of engaging an audience in a learning/training environment, because trying to create an electronic means of replacing human interaction and engagement with PP is a contradiction in my book.
However, in order to make a presentation/pp more engaging, I agree with Clive in that it must involve mainly visuals (not text and bullet points) that support or help to tell the story; makes, or helps to make complex issues crystal clear and evoke emotions and inspiration/eureka moments.
The days of fancy presentations with impressive and over-animation are gone, as they are just a distraction from key messages that should ultimately be delivered by the presenter i.e. a human being - unless you are trying to go where no man has gone before and create presentations that replace humans?
Designers of presentations need to understand a little about human psychology; what is likely to grab and retain attention; what strikes emotional chords and at the emotional brain; looking at the detail in the visual and design from a graphic design perspective, not just knocking up a pp and hoping for the best.
Having said all that, a great presenter or trainer can do a great job with poor materials, but a born' lecturer' will never bring poor materials to life....