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

Snapshot, Or Panoramic View?

get beyond the training "event"

(reprinted from The Training Tipsheet)

One of the challenges of providing truly effective training services, services that help your company succeed and grow, is that your internal clients tend to see training as tightly-contained events. They easily see the "snapshots" of your training activity, like classroom seminars and on-line courses.

As a training professional, you need to take a more panoramic view, not just in planning services, designing training, and allocating resources, but around those "snapshot" events. You know that your clients have oversimplified things when they think, or at least hope, that a morning in the classroom will produce change in employee behavior.

Better results can be achieved by bringing that whole panoramic view into focus, by printing the entire image. That might mean:

  • Extending contact with trainees before training events. Several e-mail or phone contacts before the event can produce a much better prepared audience. Have them bring case studies, issues, questions to the training. Give them homework, or assess their knowledge. Whatever you do, get them to think about the issues the training will address before they log on or show up.
  • Extending contact with trainees after training events. Follow up e-mails, assignments, phone calls can do wonders to help them retain and apply what they have learned.
  • Nurturing supervisor engagement and support. Too many trainees are "out of sight, out of mind" when they are off at training events. Involving their supervisors in the extended contact before and after training events can add learning and enhance impact.

Any effective training project is a broad effort, with several components, delivered and supported over a much longer period of time than a morning or day or week. You know this. Why don't your internal clients get it?

Because you haven't trained them to understand and embrace the panoramic view.

You're in the business of growing awareness, changing perspectives, altering behavior. Put your skills and knowledge into doing all of those things with the supervisors and managers of the people who attend your training events. They have a lot of other things that demand their attention, and they won't come to an enlightened view by themselves.

It's up to you, and you should be willing to allocate resources to get this client education done. I firmly believe that less (quantity) training of higher quality will benefit your company more than just maximizing the number of events you can deliver, or the number of participants you can change.

This isn't a 'nice to have," it's a fundamental element of getting the job done for your organization. Changing how training is viewed in your company can produce a significant boost in the results you achieve.

Are you willing to remove one or two courses from your catalog to free up the time and resources to build a more panoramic view, to enhance the impact of the courses that remain, to generate sustained supervisor support for learning efforts?

That is not a proposition for timid, don't-rock-the-boat folks. But it's a good option for the training professionals who are determined to find the best strategies to help their companies succeed.

© 2011 Best Training Practices -- Will Kenny

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