Will Kenny

BTP Home

Independent Training Consultants:

Visit my blog at Best Consulting Practices for tips on marketing your services and building your business.

"Think Pieces"
(free articles)

The Training Tipsheet
(biweekly e-zine)

Case Studies
(specific client projects)

Will in 100 Words

7 Reasons NOT
to hire me

What I've Done -

- for Whom

- and How

 

 

Drop me a line . . .

 

Best Training Practices
Will Kenny
3927 York Ave N
Robbinsdale, MN 55422
612-978-3050

What Resolutions Do Other Departments Make ... About You?

do other departments look forward to another year of working with you?

(reprinted from The Training Tipsheet)

'Tis that time of year when resolutions are in the air. Naturally, your training department, like all of the other functions in your company, has already identified strategies and worked out plans for your activities in the coming year.

All the same, since most of us are either thinking about, making, or at least hearing a lot about resolutions right now, let's do a little thought experiment. What if you could ask the head of every other department in your organization what resolution they would make in regard to your training department?

Assuming you got honest answers, I think you would find departments that resolved to:

  • Maintain the status quo. They're fine with the way things are right now, they don't see any need to change.
  • Make greater use of training staff. They can see where your group could help them achieve their own goals, and they would like to have more help from you.
  • Avoid working with the training department. They would rather do it themselves, or they find working with the training department unsatisfactory for any of a host of possible reasons.
  • Work to eliminate the training department. They see you as an expense that provides very little return, and they would like to move all of the resources devoted to the training department to serve other functions.

For now, let's assume you have enough experience with other functions to be able to identify other department heads who would fall into each of these categories. The main things these categories reflect are your success at communicating what you contribute to the company, and at building relationships with other parts of the organization.

The hardest part of this exercise is recognizing that some departments fall into those more negative categories above and coming up with real, active responses. For example, there are bound to be departments or managers who don't like to get involved with the training function. Do you write them off as misguided cranks? Investigate to see if you really have screwed up in the past? Identify ways to build a better relationship, even if they take a lot of patience and persistence to achieve results?

And there may be departments that have legitimate reasons for not working with the training function -- they have their own specialized units, the nature of their work doesn't mesh with your services, and so on. Do you just ignore them, then? Or do you find ways to communicate your value to the organization to them, to win their tolerance, if not their outright support?

Of course, I encourage you to go beyond the thought experiment and actually ask a question along these lines. You could do it as an anonymous survey, to encourage honest responses. Or, if you are pretty tough-skinned, you could go out and have this conversation in person with other department heads. Whichever you do, be thorough -- do not just invite responses from departments you know, get to every function in the organization, because any departments that don't know or care about you are effectively a vote to divert your resources to somewhere else.

Whether you do it for real, or inside your own head, making a hard-nosed assessment of your communication and teamwork skills in dealings with other functions and departments is a crucial step to enhancing your overall contribution to your company's success.

© 2011 Best Training Practices -- Will Kenny

More Reprints | "Think Pieces" | Case Studies | About the Tipsheet

Enter your e-mail to sign up for The Training Tipsheet
I never share your e-mail
with anyone!

Who Has a Seat at YOUR Table?

Damage Reports

Becoming Invisible

In the Spirit of Compromise