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« Is training a waste of time? | Main | Evocative »

January 25, 2006

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Hi Lisa,

Agree entirely!

Let me take another bite at those hands that feed us.

Yes, most trainers are viewed by the managers they try to teach as "weenies." They simply lack credibility and do not have either the depth of experience or wisdom to stand in a position of authority when purporting to teach tenured managers.

A few other points about the huge waste of time and money that constitutes most training...

As they say in the Gallup Organization: Most training is a futile attempt to compensate for poor hiring.

Amen.

Also, most training, by its macro nature, as you've noted, is so broad in its aim that it hits almost no one either where -- or when -- they need help.

That's like having the fire department hose down your house on a schedule convenient to it, and not coming when your home filling with smoke.

Adult learning is largely a function of need and want on the part of the learner. Not the convenience of the employer.

More striking factors arguing against most management training in my opinion:

1. Exposure to information does not change behavior. Habits are not overcome by having taken notes or even having actively participated in even the most engaging and credible seminar.

2. The mind is perfectly capable of ignoring what it knows. Real behavior change takes personal will, significant reinforcement, and encouragement (and even challenge) for most people.

3. Many organizational systems not only do not support the training given to managers but thwart the managers actually applying their new knowledge. (Omitted book-length rant here.)

My conclusion is that most management "training" is a waste of time. And I say that as someone who personally has billed more than a million dollars for his management training services. (And continue to schedule sessions for clients.)

What works? Increasingly, I am convinced, it is this: earnest, high caliber, individualized personal coaching AFTER broad-based training sessions.

It takes more time, yes. But not necessarily more money.

Training as we know it, I increasingly believe, is an outdated anachronism whose days are numbered.

And I for one am perfectly happy about that.

Here, here, Don! Well said and thanks for the great points.

I wish we could pick up the journals/mags aimed at the training field and read more about the shift that needs to occur.

I couldn't agree more. My view is that training is designed to satisfy project managers and training staff, "yes, we've done what we've promised." Without any regard to whether learners have learned the principles they need to learn.

dls

Forgot to leave the URL of my blog that shares themes with this one. Though I'm focused on health care, my tag line is: Saving the world from a Dilbert-like hell, one manager at a time.

http://www.managerialquality.org

dls

Forgot to leave the URL of my blog that shares themes with this one. Though I'm focused on health care, my tag line is: Saving the world from a Dilbert-like hell, one manager at a time.

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