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June 06, 2007


Great questions, Lisa.

On the first, What ought to be the goal of management training?, let me suggest . . . conversion:


I agree that companies could make smarter choices when it comes to selecting trainers. I think a bigger issue is that there is typically little to no follow up after leadership training. Within a few hours, the trainees return to their old ways and are not held accountable to any new goals, standards, etc. Next year, if there is money in the budget, they get to do it all over again.

Thanks Terry for the link! The term "disorienting dilemmas" is interesting and provocative for sure.

Nick, yes follow-up and application is often on short supply. And if the training conversation is not a focused discussion that makes a difference, learners will not be clear about how to apply the suggestions to improve results.

The goal of management training should be to give managers the ability to return to work and do a better job of caring for their people and accomplishing the mission than they would have done without the training.

Conversations, exercises, job aids, mentors, and support structures are all means to that end.

I think that the goal of management training is to change the way people view management. Having a clear view at management will certainly give enough understanding of the right things to do.

I think management training is more on changing people's behavior in a way that they will be able to understand it's concept easily and completely.

As a trainer myself I have specific ideas about what's required to be able to get results. Being an 'effective manager' (whatever that actually means) is one set of skills. Being able to teach these skills is another skill set entirely. I've met many very effective leaders who are incapable of teaching what they do.

What choosing a good instructor comes down to is what's the goal of the training. Is it to increase the skills of the manager, give them a bonus for good work, allow them to converse and network with other managers, fulfill budget or legal requirements, or any other goal. What's going to drive part of this answer is the goals of the company.

What I see a lot of however is a company deciding training is 'a good idea' and then picking a training without setting a set outcome or intention for that training. That means they have no way to evaluate the trainer, the course material, the results of the course or anything else. The way I see it, the first goal of any training is to discover the goal of the training...


Great post and super questions. In my opinion the "to provide a lesson" type training solution is more often an easier sell for the trainer who at the end of day has to earn a living etc in that it sits with the clients expectations and comfort zone. Companies who are seeking any type of business training solution are familiar with this type of delivery because they default to their own school/collage experience. To offer an alternate training approach requires a level of courage from the trainer/training supplier. Effectively you are trying to get them to change their expectation of " the training experience". As a trainer, I can sometimes struggle to get my foot in the door but once there cant be dislodged by other training providers because of the quality of the training experience. Lack of behaviour change as a result or in this case non-result of business training is directly linked to both the quality of coursework and the methods of delivery. In other words, if it didn't really make any positive difference to how say a manager managed his or her team, can any value then be attached to the management training programme? As the training expert, the trainer needs to manage the clients expectation and sometimes it is necessary to tell them that the training solution they are seeking will not solve their problem.

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