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

The Uncompetitive Advantage

opponents and strangers can help you be more effective

(reprinted from The Training Tipsheet)

Promoting best practices in your business takes time, energy, money, and ideas. A little consultation with other companies can save you resources while it boosts results if you:

  • Share costs with your competition, and
  • Get ideas from your "uncompetition".

Working With The Enemy . . .

Let's start with your competition. Naturally, there are lots of proprietary topics that you don't want to tell them about. But in any industry, there are shared standards, the "rules of the game", that you really must train employees on, and those common topics give you opportunities to make training more affordable for your own organization.

Think about topics like business ethics, compliance with regulations, or basic accounting principles. Large companies can create courses or bring experts in to talk to their employees a classroom at a time. But when a smaller company, or a single department inside a larger organization, needs training on these topics, it often isn't cost-effective to develop or purchase training for just a few people every now and then.

But you can get those numbers up by pooling your need with your competitors' needs. Maybe you can buy reference materials or self-study modules at a discount, with more trainees. Maybe you can schedule a seminar with an expert, instead of just having employees read a book. The basics are the basics, there's no competitive leg up to be gained by anyone, but working together can stretch your training dollar.

Learn from the Uncompetition

Every industry gets into ruts. Any organization that has been around a while does certain things certain ways mainly because "that's how we've always done it", and best practices training and employee communication are no exceptions.

One way to climb out of those ruts and boost your results is to find out what your "uncompetition" is doing. Your uncompetition comprises the businesses in other industries who don't compete with you in any way.

Make a habit of asking neighbors, relatives, friends, and the people who ride your bus or train to work with you how their organizations promote best practices. They will be in their own ruts, but what is a longstanding habit for one industry or business is a fresh perspective in another.

Keep an open mind in these conversations. Keep asking yourself, "Would something like that help us?" Talking to your uncompetition may just make you more competitive in your own industry.

© 2007 Best Training Practices -- Will Kenny

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