29 Jan 2015

“More than three quarters of Kiwi business owners want easier access to expert training help but value for money and time away from the business remain issues, according to new research” – the strapline to an article written in the New Zealand Herald on Monday.

It’s all good then – the researchers (a business growth centre and a bank) face up to a problem that only they can apparently solve – businesses want ‘easier access’ to training, the business growth centre runs ‘easy access’ workshops all over the country, and the bank benefits all ways. What could possibly go wrong?

As I’ve written on here before regarding training, what business owners think they need and what they actually need are sometimes at complete variance - i.e.‘training’ is viewed as a cure for problems which often have rather more to do with managerial incompetence.

In my recent experience, business owners in Wellington have woken up to the fact that even the most expensive training can go awry and often does. And this ineptness comes at a time when emotional intelligence in individuals and organisations is emerging as a missing ingredient in the recipe for Kiwi competitiveness.

In my experience:

  • The days of throwing training at people and hoping it sticks are gone.
  • The days of thinking it’s okay for a person to get one good idea out of a training course are gone.
  • The days of sending people to training as a reward are gone.

It is for these reasons that I do very little ‘training’ as part of consultancy work, especially in the ‘workshop’. And worse, I do not train unless I have a very clear idea of what the expected outcome is. If my clients can’t clearly and quickly elucidate all those potential benefits then I won’t offer them training – simple as that.