Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The 7 Biggest People Mistakes - #7: Wasting Training Dollars

How much of a fan of training are you? How about your people? Why is this? Isn't it kind of fun to learn cool new ideas or techniques and be the best you can possibly be in your job? I've spent gillion's (the amount after losing track, I believe) of dollars on training for myself, my companies and my teams. Everything from 7 different sales training systems, CRM systems, expert consultants, motivational speakers (fun stories there for sure!), internal HR driven training & courses, online courses, webinar's...they all disappointed in more ways than they helped.

Now, I'm not down on training...don't get me wrong. I do believe its fundamental to achieving success. Major league baseball players wouldn't jump into playing 162 games without working through spring training. Our beloved armed forces have 'boot camp' for a specific reason. I totally get this. I train to run too, and you can't cram for a marathon, as they say, very true. My focus is to stop WASTING training dollars, not stop SPENDING training dollars!

How. Yes, that is the question. I propose you start by knowing exactly where your people are strong and weak in their professional lives. Why aren't they all 'A-Players'? Where are the gaps? You see this coming don't you? Train to the gaps. Really obvious? Maybe, but here's a cool way to save some $$$ next time you're inclined to hire that consultant or spend on that training program. I'm working with a great client where we are actually starting with looking at their people's DNA for a particular task. Who has what types of traits, behaviors and competencies? Once we know where the people are really strong and really weak, we'll simply decide which training vendor can customize the best plan for them. My part is quick, simple and cheap compared to what the training company will come back with, but the cool part is the training company can customize a plan to fit where the client's people need the most help! Saving a ton of $$$.

...and remember the fun of sitting in a training class? Well, these people will actually be challenged because they won't be bored with learning things they're already great at. A very nice way to win all the way around.....!! Try this next time and see if it will help.


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