ROADMAPPING VICTORY - Salvation or Sinkhole?

A few years ago I wouldn’t have posed the question. I’m on record as being an advocate of training. I wrote a sales book, Selling At Mach 1, that said knowledge was one of the critical components needed for selling excellence. I wrote a leadership book, Leading At Mach 2 that stated, developing your people was not an option. It was your responsibility, as a leader, to make them bigger, stronger, faster and smarter. They had an “inalienable right” if they were going to meet your performance goals to have skill and capability.

I myself have been the recipient of  enumerable training experiences. Between college, the military and my corporate tenure, I estimate in excess of a three quarters of a million dollars was spent to get me up to speed. I’m thankful for that, but then it wasn’t my money. Had I been the one responsible for putting up the cash, my path to enlightenment would have been more direct. Looking back on it I now realize much of the education I got was, at best, untimely and in many instances unnecesary. Have you thought about how much money you’ve spent on getting your people trained? Have you ever wonderd how much has been wasted? If you are a responsible custodian of resources of course you have. Lots of people have and yet in too many instances an archaic training paradigm remains intact. Surprising in that the world has changed so much. Access to information has taken a quantum leap and yet the programs that could make people more proficient, at a fraction of the price, are not used. That might not matter if there was a bottomless pit of green to nurture the masses. Unfortunately there isn’t and so you’ll have to make some tough choices.

Be Selective- Training should not be viewed as an philanthropic exercise Allocate your training dollars to those individuals who deserve to be trained. The object is to give people something that will make them better. That will insure a return on your investment. Some people are already good enough. Others are not worthy of the consideration. Look for people with initiative. Giving a pearl to a pig is a waste of a pearl.

Optimize the Internet-One hundred per cent of what you need to run your enterprise is there in some shape or form. Most of it is free. A lot of it is cheap. Come up with a program that directs people to search out the relevant stuff that will make them better.

Demand a Quid Pro Quo From Your Training Partners-Every relationship should be a two way street. If you are paying someone to enlighten you, also ask them what they can do for free. If you are about to cough up $10,000 for a keynote speech and the speaker won’t throw in something gratis, find someone else.

Demand Participation: Enhancing skill and capabilty is not an option. If your are going to invest in someone’s development they must come out of the experience better than they went in. That happens when people fully participate in the process. Many progams have a form to evaluate the instuctor. Equally important is a procedure that allows the instructor to evaluate the student.

Make Every Educational Experience Interactive-A canned speech is just that. If you are going to bring a smart guy in, make them to come off script. When you turn a monologue into a unilateral discussion you’ll identify issues you didn’t know existed.

Use Your Network- In every community someone knows someone who knows something. These individuals come in every shape and from. They are experts in their field. They may not have a bestselling book, big time education or high powered publicity agent but they know as much about what needs to be done as anyone. I can tell you they would be honored to share some insight with you and they won’t charge you a dime.