Why (Most) Training is Useless
by David Maister 2006
Quoting from the article:
- training and other kinds of meetings and conferences are too often organized as stand-alone events, with a life of their own, disconnected from the firm’s progress.
- Companies train people in new areas but then send them back to their operating groups, subject to the same measures and management approaches as before. People can detect immediately a lack of alignment between what they are being trained in and how they are being managed. When they do detect it, little, if any, of what has been discussed or ‘trained’ ever gets implemented.
- Companies want a speech that is entertaining, informative, stimulating, or motivating. What they don’t seem to want is anything that specifically addresses the way they run their firms or the real-world changes they are really trying to make.
- No amount of understanding, knowledge or intelligence will help if you are not able to interact with people and get the response you desire.
- To help people develop as managers doesn’t mean discussing management (or, even worse, leadership) but rather requires putting people through a set of processes where they have to experience it, try it out, and develop their emotional self-control and interactive styles.
- There is no point putting on skills training if there is no incentive for the behavior; the people don’t believe in it and they don’t yet know exactly what it is they are supposed to be good at!
- The best training is usually done by the firm’s own practitioners. Although often seen as an expensive use of high-priced practitioners’ time, the greater credibility obtained when the firm’s own people do the training results in much higher acceptance and subsequent application of the training. Outsiders should be used only to help develop programs and “train-the-trainers.”