Monday, June 22, 2009

Efficient and Effective Ed Training

Let’s be brutally honest – how many of you have gone to training and really felt like the training was worth the price AND created a lasting change in your performance or the performance of your organization. I have been to some pretty good training and I have taken bits and pieces of that training and applied it in my organization. But I don’t think it ever created lasting change in our performance?

But when you are paying so much for the training shouldn't it work? If you set the bar high on training, most training courses don’t cut it. In fact, after we starting budgeting training dollars here at ABCTE, we really couldn’t find anything that was worth the price that we felt was going to truly transform us into a better performing organization.

So I fell back on using the company book club. I started this at Kaplan after our President had us read some of the better management texts out there such as Good to Great and Straight from the Gut. The information was immediately applicable to our organization and the discussions with our management group really helped push us to change. If it could help upper management, it could help our team. So at our team meetings, we took time to have a book club - discussing relevant topics that could help us do our jobs better.

So when I got here and we needed training it just made sense to do the same. Every six months or so we pick a book for all staff to read. Then we have mixed groups get together at lunch and discuss in a book club like format. We always steer the discussion towards how it can help our organization perform better. We have had very meaningful discussions with all levels of the organization really hearing what our problems are and how our teams think we can solve them.

So far we have read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The Tipping Point. Both were relevant to our own situation and the discussions have created some incredible outcomes for our management team and the staff.

The total cost for this training consists of the book for each staff member and lunch for each person for each of the three discussions. Total training cost so far for 31 staff for two sets of training - $2,700. Training for 31 that is much more effective and efficient for the price of sending 2-3 people to one training class.