Wednesday, June 28, 2006

CEOs know that click2death learning sucks!

The cat's finally out of the bag.  The dirty little secret of the training department is out!  From CLO magazine we get this article.  Many executives dissatisfied with training efforts.  Well, wouldn't you be if you discovered that all that budget went to activities supporting <10% of employee behavior change?
Clark Aldrich nailed it with this tongue-in-cheek fantasy story about a conversation between the CEO and a knowledgable training pro.
From eLearnspace we get to the heart of the matter which is Relationship-based engagement.  Training departments don't build relationships.  We don't even supply the tools to improve and support relationships.  No, IT does that.  And if software developers actually began creating tools that were intuitive to use we wouldn't need Software Training either.  So, what DOES the training department do that adds value?  I guess a better question would be, "what IS the training department of the future GOING to be doing"?   Sure, sales training is absolutely important.  But aren't sales folks internally motivated to be as knowledgable as possible about the products they are selling?  So, if they were able to get a quick podcast, vidcast, blog entry, about a new product wouldn't that suffice?  Having a direct connection to the guy that created the new product is better than having it filtered through the training department isn't it? 
If you were a salesman wouldn't you want a close relationship with that guy/gal?
We've got to stop kidding ourselves and pretending that all day "classes", and 4 hour WBTs are successful...gag!  They are successful if they help build a connection that fosters a relationship, but now there are better, faster, cheaper ways to do that.


Anonymous said...

That is a classic conversation that you link to between the TP and CEO... A little scary for TPs but still amusing.

Harold Jarche said...

We've known for a long time that in many cases training is a solution looking for a problem, and that information presentation is not training. So how come the business world is just starting to realise this? Is it because the "eyeballs" and the "bums in seats" are finally able to talk to each other?

bschlenker said...

From my experience, it has always been the classic frazzled business unit manager that is confronted with a "people problem". The easiest solution is always, "well, its a training issue" because the classic response to screwing up is, "I didn't know". In the time that it takes to create training, most "problems" work themselves out naturally. The training never has anything to do with solving the problem. It just makes managers feel like they deligated something to solve the problem.