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Best Training Practices
Will Kenny
3927 York Ave N
Robbinsdale, MN 55422

Restoration, or Renovation?

why be satisfied with "business as usual"?

(reprinted from The Training Tipsheet)

We've had little bits of positive news from the financial world of late: some up days in the stockmarket, some positive reports from a few companies, some hints from the government that an indicator here or there seems a teeny bit more promising than anything we've seen for some months, now. And that kind of thing has a lot of people thinking about "getting back to normal," about "business as usual."

But is "business as usual" the best you can do?

Believe me, there are a lot of chief learning officers and training directors who have been obsessing, over recent quarters, about what they have lost. Attend gatherings of training staff, or frequent forums and blogs where they share their comments, and there is no end to the complaints about cutbacks, complaints about the unfairness and poor business sense of cutting training in tough times, and, as they say in the late night infomercials, "But wait! There's more!"

More complaining and wishing for the good old days, that is.

Now, even though a real turnaround is a good ways off yet, many will start thinking about restoring their previous situation: their previous budgets, staffing, catalog of courses, and all the rest.

Is that the most you can offer your organization?

Rather than a restoration, consider doing some renovation. Maybe some of the old furnishings are best left in storage, replaced by new items that complement the "house" you live in, that is, the company you work in. Maybe some things could be modified and rebuilt, so they are partly or largely new.

Maybe more renovation and less restoration of your training activities will do more to enhance your organization's success.

After all, when your company starts to believe that conditions are improving, when you are ready to re-invest in some additional activities and resources, everyone will expect that training will expand its operations once again.

But don't just expand like a balloon, swelling to your original size.

This is a great opportunity to put new, more effective events and services in place, to take action that will produce better results than what you had before. Right now, while some of your usual activities are still "off line," you have a chance to look at those activities and see if they can be improved.

After all, when times are good, how many of us complain that it is hard to revise a course or update a curriculum that is in demand? How many of us find it hard to keep up with delivery and still find time for further development and refinement?

Some of those courses and curricula are on hold during this downturn. This is the time to give them a look, to come up with some new and better ideas.

And when conditions improve, this is your chance to provide services of even more value to the company than you did before the economy soured. This is your opportunity to shine.

So, don't just claw your way back to where you were. Plan, now, to advance beyond where you were, by offering something truly "new and improved."

© 2009 Best Training Practices -- Will Kenny

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