Monday, June 20, 2005

Training - Money Out the Window?

In June's issue of the Harvard Business Review there's an ironically sad yet funny cartoon - the kind your might see in The New Yorker Magazine. As several men and women leave a company meeting, a nicely dressed midlevel manager reports to his colleague, "Some of the ideas in the staff development meeting on innovation seemed interesting but they've never been tried, so I think I'll hold off for now." Ouch! Money out the window!

When I develop proposals for trainings to be delivered to corporations of all shapes and sizes, I typically recommend a follow-up session at the very least or, ideally, periodic coaching to help managers reinforce their learning. This is not shameless self-promotion. This is reality! Individuals are reluctant to make changes on their own. Why? Fear. Comfortability with the status quo. Not buying into it. Or - too much to do to personally carve out the time to learn and implement something new. Then, why is management reluctant to support valuable training dollars with coaching? Budgets, scheduling, indecisiveness. Comfortability with the status quo? Fearful of trying something new?

I'm sorry to say this but training without coaching is entertainment.


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