Timing of Skills Development LO13776

Thu, 29 May 1997 16:50:00 -0400

Replying to LO13748 --


This is actually a reply to a reply, adding a bit of info to
Stever's experience with the Harvard curriculum.

TRAINING magazine's May issue contains a very interesting
article that explores the relationship between timing and
the provision of skills training which supports Stever's
experience. It also offers a plausible explanation as to
why many training and development departments and
professionals are viewed as having little effect on business
results and the bottom line.

The basic premise is that people should be tasked with a
personal accountability for improving a specific area of
their performance and results (SMART goals, etc.), then they
will learn what they have to, when they have to. Seems a
simple principle, but after wading through reams of work on
vision, mission, competencies and other trendy concepts that
attempt to define and describe human performance, I too am
persuaded to make like the Nike ad.

If nothing else the article gave me clearer terminology with
which to better inform and educate my senior managers. They
were burned by yet another wave of expensive investment in
Quality and Customer Service training and naturally were
perplexed at the lack of positive change (and positive
impact on business results). The postmortem discussion we
had was emotion-free and constructive, without the need to
assign blame either to these managers or my predecessor.

It must come as something of a relief along with the
curiosity to learn that the management development approach
I recommend will not include tie-ins with educational
institutions or training providers or the purchase of stocks
of training materials.

On another (unrelated) tack, it is interesting to note that
if this sum of money had been spent on a poor quality or ill
advised asset purchase, or lost due to fraud, the hue and
cry would have been considerable!





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