One of the benefits of being in the learning and development field is the opportunity to have the pulse of the key challenges facing organizations. As I speak to the very top, I have the privilege of getting the views right from the CEOs themselves.
Often in a heart-to-heart talk to CEOs and after all the niceties and pretences, they are all willing to be open in their views with regards to training. Here are some of the common misgivings they have about training:
- Most training at best is just knowledge enhancement and skill-building.
- Many participants who are trained do not put into practice what they have learned.
- Whatever they call them be it training or learning and development, many of these programs do not bring about the desired organizational change.
- Most learning and development programs do not provide a structure and a process to bring about change
- Many trainers do not understand the issues facing the clients and the industries they are in.
However, the good news is that training service providers who provide Change-Driven Programs (CDP) are more effective in bringing about positive and productive change in organizations. What is a CDP?
It is a fully customized change-driven program for the company in the specific industry it operates. Unlike the limited role of a training program, a CDP includes an industry analysis, organization diagnosis, change action plan development, and the measurement and monitoring of the progress of change implementation after the session.
Our company, KL Strategic Change Consulting (KLSCC) Change-Driven Approach in training comprise 4 components.
Prior to the conduct of the training, the consultant or subject matter expert will meet up with the company to understand the challenges it faces. He or she will request an organization diagnostic survey to a representative group of the company to ascertain the root causes of the issues and the barriers to change.
The survey is conducted in an anonymous manner to allow frank input with regard to the real issues facing the organization and its specific needs. While the conduct of the organization diagnosis may take time, it is certainly worth the effort, as this will enable the CDP to be conducted in a more effective manner.
An analysis is also done on the industry the client operates in. This involves studying the trends, challenges, and growth potential of the industry. Likewise, an analysis is also conducted on the client’s competitors.
This includes understanding the degree of intensifying competition in the markets, the regulations, technology, and globalization’s impact on the client’s company. There is an agreement with the client to choose which competitor it wants to benchmark against.
This is very useful is it provides a clear focus on the changes the company needs to drive towards and the standard it needs to raise to be at par with.
Change Action Plans
The problem with most training programs is that everything ends at the conclusion of the training. The missing link is action plans to address the issues and challenges facing the organization.
In a CDP, during the session, the consultant will facilitate a discussion, and assessment and come to a joint agreement with the participants on the specific action plans. Often in a session say of 25 participants, they will be divided into 5 groups. Each group will come up with an action plan to address specific issues.
For example, one group may address communication issues, another may address staff morale issues and yet another may address the processes in the organization. Each group will discuss and come up with solutions to address these issues and convert them into action plans with specific activities, deadlines, and assigned responsibilities to individuals or teams.
Measure and Monitor Progress
The management guru, Peter Drucker said it well, “You cannot manage what you do not measure”. To go beyond training, a CDP does not just stop at the end of the session.
The consultant ensures that all the action plans are forwarded to the head of human resources and the former will also monitor and follow up with the respective teams regarding the progress of these action plans. It has been proven that people are more committed to putting to practice what they have learned if they know that someone shows an interest and is measuring and monitoring the progress of what they are doing.
Hence it is no surprise that in many of our CDPs conducted, our clients have given testimonies sharing their experiences of positive and productive change in their workplace. Our work has been recognized by The Brand Laureate International with an award for our company, KL Strategic Change Consulting Group as the consulting and training company that provided the greatest impact on positive and profitable change for organizations in Malaysia.
Receiving the award on behalf of KL Strategic Change Consulting Group. The Company that made the most positive and profitable impact for corporations.
For learning and development to be effective, it must go beyond training. It must address the actual business needs of the organization in the specific industry in which it operates.
It must identify the real issues and the root causes that are preventing the organization and its people from changing. It must engage the participants in coming up with joint solutions and action plans to resolve these issues and bring about change.
Their action plans must have expected outcomes with specific measures of success with persistent follow-up actions until these goals are achieved.
About the Author
Ms. Jane CM Bee is the Executive Director of KL Strategic Change Consulting Group. She has extensive experience in marketing consulting and training services to clients in Brunei, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, and Hong Kong. She is currently managing a CDP called, “Implementing Successful Change in Organizations”. For feedback on this article email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact her at 012-2685212.