Welcome to the August edition of our Business Performance eNews. For our new subscribers, we thank you for joining us. In this issue, we feature two articles with essential strategies for moving your business forward. The first deals with the massive waste we see in funding employee training programs that don't count towards any business value. We look at a leading cause of this waste and what you can do about it.
Our second article builds on last month's theme on innovation and creativity. Our innovation expert, Andy Beaulieu, shows how you can move beyond the latest disruptive management fad by tapping into your organization's rich innovation legacy.
Do you need help with your current or future project? Are you looking for a professional trainer, facilitator or coach? Check out our dedicated team of experts ready to assist you in a variety of specialized fields. In this issue, we introduce you to one of our experts, Jennifer McCoy. Find out what Jennifer is up to in Meet Our Expert of the Month.
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Training Needs or Training Wants Analysis?
by Leslie Allan
So, you have been asked to conduct a Training Needs Analysis (TNA) in your organisation. What I see all too often is people undertaking a TWA instead; a Training Wants Analysis. The training practitioner usually starts by walking around asking people in their organisation what training they would like. If there are a lot of people to ask, the savvy practitioner sends out a paper-based or on-line survey. I call this the "smorgasbord" approach, because employees and their managers end up being offered a selection of courses -much like visiting McDonalds and choosing from their menu. Some practitioners even include tick boxes in their training wants survey to make selection so easy. What you end up with in all of these cases is little more than a wish list.
What's wrong with asking employees and managers what training they want? Nothing, if it is informed by the right mind set. With this tick the box approach, the training department may look as if it is satisfying real needs. But when push comes to shove and managers are badgering their staffs to meet deadlines and serve customers, that course that looked interesting on paper is just no longer a priority. Even with a lovingly prepared training calendar and a slickly presented course handbook, the end result is, more often than not, practitioners complaining bitterly that hardly anyone turned up.
Read the rest of how to conduct a training needs analysis.
Need to conduct a Training Needs Analysis? Check out our popular Training Projects Template Pack. It features a Training Needs Analysis guide, template and worksheet, plus much, much more. Don't waste time developing project documents and spreadsheets from scratch. Visit our Training Projects Template Pack web page for a full description of each template and to download the pack today.
Moving Forward with Innovation by Looking Back
by Andy Beaulieu
Most organizations have their unfortunate history of major initiatives thrust on them by well-meaning executives: total quality, six sigma, employee engagement, knowledge management and other management fads. While all can have their value, the reality of a sudden change in direction - "something completely different" - is a huge leap that often fails to pan out. To succeed with innovation, an organization must build on what has gone on in the past, including:
- original innovation legacy
- past innovation history
- recent innovation results
By gaining an understanding of these elements, organizations can develop an innovation program that builds on the past - and thus doesn't feel completely different at all.
Read the rest of the article on tapping into your innovation history.
More on Innovation
If you would like to find out more about innovation capability, read the other articles in Andy's series on building sustainable innovation.
We have been delighted with the very positive response to the Beta version of Andy's new innovation tracking tool. There are still a couple of vacancies on the Beta testing program. Apply today to join the Innovation Portfolio Tracking Tool testing program and be eligible for free upgrades.
Meet Our Expert of the Month - Jennifer McCoy
Have you met our team of expert consultants, coaches and trainers? This month we proudly feature Jennifer McCoy. Jennifer specializes in leadership coaching and offers helpful strategies to enhance the overall productivity of relationships and results for managers and team leaders. She can help you with improving communication, giving feedback, holding difficult conversations, challenging staff to higher performance and motivating teams.
Jennifer explains her approach, "Poor communication is often at the heart of problems at work, especially in these times of rapid change, from interpersonal misunderstandings to serious teamwork challenges. The solutions are surprisingly simple. It starts with showing respect for others. Sometimes it's simply a matter of using the right words or following a clear strategy."
Jennifer's program, Coaching Skills for Workplace Leaders, lays the foundations for effective communication for team leaders and managers. Jennifer is also currently teaching Conflict Management for the Australian College of Applied Psychology. Contact us today to find out more about Jennifer McCoy's coaching skills program or how she can help you with your business.
Visit our web site at www.businessperform.com for lots of expert guidance and practical tools designed to help you get ahead of your competition. Also, be sure to pass this newsletter on to friends and colleagues who want to stay up with what's on. From all of us here on the Business Performance team, we wish you a productive month and look forward to communicating with you again soon.