Unless you have a clear business case for your proposed management training, I am sorry to say that you are probably wasting a lot of valuable time, money and resources.
In these circumstances, doing nothing is often better than doing something without knowing why you are doing it.
Start with the End in Mind
I cannot claim ownership of this great quote (it was said by the late Stephen Covey), but it makes so much sense to me. Before starting on any journey, it is a good idea to have some idea of where you want to end up.
Exponential Training is often asked two questions by HR managers and directors:
- How we would design a management training programme?
- How much it will cost?
These are the wrong questions to ask at this stage and therefore I reply a little like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, “Well that depends on where you want to get to” (or something similar).
Defining the intended outcomes should be the start of the design process and NOT an ‘add-on’ as is the case with much of the management training that is delivered today – hence starting with the end in mind!
What has Changed?
Management training is usually triggered by one or more changes. That is where Exponential Training starts – by asking what has changed?
It might be one change or it might be a number of changes. The change could be in response to shifts within the market place or the economy, the adoption of a new technology, the appointment of a new director or management team, the implementation of a new strategic plan and so on.
For me, the key is understanding why the change has happened or is happening and what it means in terms of management behaviours and performance. It is only then that it is possible to construct the business case for the management training. The business case can then be couched in terms of the changes in management behaviour required to achieve the changes in the required performance.
The Business Case & Evaluation
The extent to which a management training programme is successful can then be measured in two ways. Firstly, it can be measured by evidencing the use of new management behaviours required to achieve the planned levels of performance. Secondly, it can be measured in terms of the performance levels attained by managers.
Time invested at the diagnostic stage, benchmarking behaviours and performance and planning the desired improvements, is the key to building a strong business case for management training. It is as Stephen Covey says, about ‘starting with the end in mind’.
A robust process that encapsulates the before and after transformation is therefore the cornerstone of how to plan an effective management development programme.