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

Is an "Incremental" New Year Enough?

just because the economy inches along doesn't mean you have to

(reprinted from The Training Tipsheet)

As 2010 is winding down, you are probably turning your thoughts more and more to what you expect from the coming year. And if the opinions of economists are any guide (which is, of course, a good question in itself), business conditions will continue to improve rather slowly, the recovery will be gradual.

We will see incremental improvements in the economy, in other words. Does that mean you can only offer incremental enhancements in the contribution your training department makes to the company's success?

Measured by budget, it may well be the case that you will have to do with the same resources, or even less, than you have deployed recently. And let's admit it, it is pretty common practice to formulate your plans for next year by starting with this year and nudging things a little higher: a little more money, a few more participants trained, a few more burgers sold, basically.

But those things are all inputs, really, even though we sometimes pretend some of them are outcomes. The question is, when you look back a year from now, will your contribution to your company's success be greater than it was this year?

And is that really just a matter of dollars spent?

What if you envisioned next year as your best year ever, in terms of contribution to the organization? What if you didn't automatically react to that question with, "well, that's not realistic, budgets are still tight" ?

What if you challenged your staff less in terms of "efficiency" and more in terms of "creativity" ? What if you stopped thinking about squeezing the most out of every dollar in your budget, and more about ways to increase your impact on the company's success, ways that produced a much greater impact on results than their impact on (consumption of) resources?

What if you truly believed there were new approaches to be discovered to serve your internal clients? What would next year be like if you could come up with just one or two innovative enhancements to the way you deliver services to your organization, enhancements that produced huge returns, that offered high-impact incomes on relatively low investment?

A couple of years of belt-tightening, of cancelling courses and laying off training staff, can get you in the rut of thinking that you just have to ride things out, and that your contribution to your company has to grow as slowly as your budget does, over the next couple of years. And if you accept that kind of thinking, that's exactly how things will work out.

But why not embrace a different challenge? Instead of seeing how you can continue to do what you have done with fewer resources, believe that with sufficient imagination and effort, you can do more than you have been doing, with fewer resources.

Sure that's tough to pull off. And wonderful, when it happens.

Consider going for "wonderful."

© 2011 Best Training Practices -- Will Kenny

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