Training is Dead, Culture is In!
by Joe Dager
Training is dead! That caught my attention. It's what I am doing. I offer training packages and services, well not quite, what I do is offer planning methodologies. Not exactly training, but the heading did get me to think. Training is dead!
How many times do you go to a seminar or a conference and take any of advice to heart let alone implement them! And after a month 99% of us have completed less than 1% of anything! What does that figure out to? In my math, it is "0". Than what's the sense of it all and what should we do! The process that works in today's world is interactive study. If you are not doing the process while you are building it what is the point.
Can you build a business plan and not live it! Look at it sitting there eon the shelf! Put a cost to building it and than knock the dust off it. Are you using it? What about your marketing plan? Does your salesperson follow it? What about the marketing guy that wrote it? Someone walks in the door with a new crazy idea! WOW! Let's do it! Planning for companies and individuals are either too specific that they change as you are before the ink dried or to vague to provide any guidance at all. What is the point in planning? Planning should give you a living document. One that you use and adjust from the bottom up! Huh!
Using the One Page Business Plan as an example, you start from the top with Vision, Mission, Objectives, Strategies and Actions. But as we live our lives, we our concerned about the actions which develop through the strategies in place. Oh yeah, the strategies developed to meet the objectives and the objectives developed to meet the vision. But back to the bottom. We create our actions in the short term by following the outlined strategies. The work that takes place is always on the bottom of the document. If something goes awry than you will need to change a strategy, and the action for that strategy will follow. Objectives are constant unless the business climate changes.
What does this got to do about training and Dead Training at that! Well, I put on a seminar and teach business planning. I even spend 4 hours to 8 hours with many and develop a One-Page Plan. But what happens? Is the One page plan still being use after a week, a month, a quarter, I doubt it! Was my training bad? I don't think! I think there are 2 basic reasons. One, we have become conditioned about receiving training and putting budgets and plans together that after doing we go back to everyday life. It is like it never happened! Typically, not everyone received the same training and not everyone is on the same page.
But more than that, the biggest reason is that we never get to develop the skill. Unless you master a skill set it never becomes a part of daily life. Look at Diets? Exercise programs . . . How about that body? Well it is the same with planning! Seldom will it ever become a reality without a coach! You need to accountability and you need someone else to provide it! Your wife or husband does on certain things right? We hope, you provide that to your children. Is that not what school or athletics do for them? Let's face it how many of us be Tiger? Can we be that self-motivated? Aristotle said it best: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit."
Planning is tough! For it to work you must develop excellence and if we follow Aristotle advice it must become a habit! Successful programs become a habit. How do you accomplish this? The best habit-forming ritual is to: 1) Start slowly on things that are doable, 2) Create some early wins, 3) Have a friend or a coach there to provide motivation and accountability and 4) Write it down. Goal setting and accomplishments are beyond the scope of this article but these four items go a long way in creating habits.
What about training? We call it training or learning but what we need to teach is culture. One of the great culture changers of all time is Jack Welch. He changed the culture of GE several times. He started with himself and championed these changes and accomplished them. If he can do it with GE, we should be able to do it our companies. But why does it not work? We have to be committed to the plan. Can you commit to a diet or an exercise program? Seldom does that work but many times lifestyles change will occur after a heart attack. Why? We have raised the stakes high enough!
Our the stakes high enough for you yet? That culture thing takes a lot of commitment and will not work unless a leader is willing to lead.
Joe Dager is the founder and owner of Business901. He has been working in the small business field for over 30 years. Business901 develops and implements marketing, planning and performance systems. Business901 sells a variety of products for Small Businesses to include The One Page Business Plan and Ten Step Project Management. Result-based systems that links strategy, execution and accountability.
Joe Dager may be contacted at http://www.business901.com or firstname.lastname@example.org