Training can help us grow ourselves and our organizations. It is great for creating a common understanding across people, introducing tools and approaches, and opening minds.
But when we get back to our desks after training, we will quite likely to revert to old ways. And it will have been an expensive miss. We need more than training to effect change in ourselves and our organizations.
To keep our minds open, apply those tools, and turn that understanding into new, better ways of doing things, let’s go beyond the event of training. We can
- Tune the training to reflect our culture, support our strategy, and honor our individuals. Lack of integration with our culture and strategy damages the credibility and usefulness of the training. The context must make sense. Lack of flexibility and room for individuality fosters resentment and resistance.
- Set standards. Over-communicate why we are making this change, how the training helps, what standards of behavior we want to see, what results we expect, and how each person contributes to those results.
- Spread out the learning and break things into chunks. Many training events are jam-packed with great information and insights. This makes sense when we think of training as a rare and expensive event. But when we pack too much into a training event, we can’t absorb it all. Instead of holding training events, let’s build the habit of regular learning.
- Coach. Enlist managers to remind people of the context, the reasons, and to help people apply the training to their work in real time. This is, by far, the most powerful growth tool. Train the managers first. Coach them to coach others. Then train the others and have their managers coach them.
In your corner,