Organizational Change and the Effects of New Training Platforms
By Arthur F Carmazzi
It used to be easy! Training Needs Analysis combined with company goals and surly succession planning would give you most of what you need to create a people development strategy.
But now, the way organizations function and interact have changed. As the world gets smaller through technology our competitive organizations become Cross Cultural, multinational and virtual. Speed and competency are no longer luxuries, they are essential! The competition is fast and new products and services are becoming more creative , and we must go beyond Keeping Up, we must excel .
We are Greatly Affectedby the Competence or Incompetence of our peers and employees. Our ability to cope with modern business weighs heavily on our individual mind because when others do not perform, cooperate, or support us, WE are filled with stress as it is OUR jobs and OUR success that is in jeopardy .
The traditional way of dealing with this has been Training without connection to Organizational Development. We would send those people out to be “fixed” so our jobs could be made easier by making them more competent. We determined what needed to be fixed with Training Needs Analysis and Organizational Goals.
When we developed their soft skills, we wanted them to be Team Players, More Cooperative, Better Service Providers, Better Sales People or Marketers, to instil better leadership or management . We wanted them to be more Effective and Productive in their work, to affect people in an empowering way to attain even higher loyalty and productivity goals .
So what did we do?
We sent them for training, 2 days here, 2 days there; learn one set of skills and then another set – some learned to give good service and then to manage that service, others learned to be more effective and then to lead others to do the same, most workshops disconnected from the one before and providing knowledge without consideration of the elemental objective…
…To develop a cohesive, cooperative, passionate organization that dealt with issues in an progressive and powerful way and moves onwards at ultracompetitive speeds. In other words, positive and sustainable organizational change
So how do you arrive at this?
First, there are 7 questions you must ask about your current organizational development strategies.
- How much of the soft skills learned in training is applied?
- Of those applied, how long does it last?
- Is the key knowledge reinforced through the employee’s job?
- Is there a common denominator in all your soft skills training where all employees can relate to each other regardless of their department or function?
- Is your current training closely tied to your organizational vision?
- For each person who gets training, how many others are positively affected when they return?
- Is the time employees spend in training recovered in productivity, innovation or less wastage of resources?
If you are like most organizations in reference to people development , the answers to these questions would be unappealing . Here is how most people have answered:
- Only retain about 20% of material
- Usually lasts for a short time leaving a yield of less than 6% of soft skills applied
- Difficult to get senior management to participate, so reinforcement is minimal
- Multiple methodologies and ideas create a scattered and divided organizational perspective
- Don’t know how
- No specific structure in place to share learning
- Training ROI difficult to calculate
But there is a solution!
First: Start with a foundational vision. This is not a management vision or even an organizational vision. It is a vision how your organization and people can flourish by working together and being more competent – it is a vision of an ideal working environment, a vision for the people.
- What is your ideal working environment?
- What are the key barriers preventing this ideal working environment?
- What must people “Become” in order to overcome these barriers?
- What structures or policies are in place that are fortifying these barriers?
- What are the most common complaints about the workplace (other than money)?
By having a clear Big Picture of your company’s ideal working environment, it becomes easier to develop a strategy to achieve it. And Training is only one component , the key lies in the Organizational Dynamics.
So, the next question should be: “How do you get everybody to have that same vision?”
The fact is, everyone already has a VERY similar vision, its just not what you wrote on that impressive frame on your wall. They are related to a Better Working Environment Ask around, you will find that the answers are directly related to the emotional gratifications of what you and they are NOT GETTING at your work!
So if everyone has the same vision, why can’t they achieve it?
…Because the process gets in the way of the objective .
Everybody has a different “appropriate way” to do things which creates frustration, and minimizes the motivation for cooperation.
Second: Get your people using a Common methodology that will help them to be aware of psychology behind the group dynamics. The consciousness of what is preventing the organization from creating that ideal work environment can be discovered by the Directive Communication™ methodology.
Why a common methodology? If the individual can see their affect on the group dynamics , the group can collectively address those effects . And, if there is a common language to encouragingly communicate the various “unmentionables” that usually get unfavourable reactions, then you are setting a basis for an ideal environment and that common vision.
What are the benefits a psychology founded common training methodology and language?
- Common foundations across soft skill disciplines develop greater communication, cooperation and effective interaction.
- People know more about each other’s work processes
- quicker, easier communication
- People can relate to other departments work better
- Use of common language provides consistent reinforcement of core learning which leads to superior implementation of multiple applications
- The DC psychology foundations (or other) affect group dynamics – team building is a byproduct of learning
- Affects corporate culture to yield a more fulfilling and less stressful work environment
But how do you get a common methodology into multi-cultural groups, multiple objectives , and soft skill competence throughout your organization? And more importantly, how do you get the staff to WANT IT?
Third: Before any training starts, there are 5 integrations that should be set and integrated into the training system to maximize the full effect of training and creating this ideal work environment that will yield a more passionate organizational culture. These are:
- Know your employees , set the system to identify how your people Interpret the world around them, their current aptitudes and motivations, and what gaps exist in their perceptions of their coworkers. See: www.ColoredBrain.com and www.humandrive.net
- Set the system for measuring progress of the employees as well as the organization
- Tools that use and reinforce training and learning’s must be incorporated into SOPs for meetings, management coaching, or brainstorming sessions. See Management Coaching Tools
- The training information ether recorded or in a multimedia format accessible to all
- The selection and placement process set up to incorporate elements of the methodology and the organizational development objectives including cultural and motivational fit
Fourth: You must have multiple training platforms ready to indoctrinate an entire group. The different people and jobs will have different time issues, location constraints and budget allocations, yet are but be involved to maximize total effectiveness.
Based on industry best practices, here is what works and why need multiple platforms:
- Short ½ day programs that build on existing knowledge
- Intense “infusion” boot camps that extract a person from their usual world for 3 or more days
- Regular, short online workshops provide consistent reinforcement and application of new skills and competencies
- The core knowledge incorporated into leadership approaches set the foundation for common knowledge and multiple application of knowledge amongst workmates – Emersion
- Facilitators with foundational knowledge using a pre-existing training platform – Blended Learning
Fifth: You must establish your major players , the people who by popularity or charisma, have the most influence in your groups. These “Key Influencers” will be the people you train first and they will also know they are the base of the program. Why? Because they will create a bigger buy-in and they will help with the people development . These people need to know the foundational methodology completely. They should attend an emersion course, and they will become your internal consultants. After they know the methodology, they will be instrumental to apply the strategies for using the multiple platforms and 5 integrations to disperse it to the rest of the organization . By cultivating these internal consultants who are already liked and respected in your people, you will be able to leverage on their popularity and gain an organization wide learning environment through direct implementation and blended learning.
Questions to ask to create the Organization Wide Learning Environment Strategy with your Key Influencers:
- Which departments have the widest exposure to the rest of the organization (these should be your priority)
- How much time do they have? (Can a few of them go for intense training, or at least a 2 day program?)
- Are they located in the same city? (Do you need an E-learning platform?)
- Can one or more of your Key Influencers facilitate training with a Blended Learning approach (are they available, can they spend the time?)
- What is your budget?
- What immediate projects or work can the learning and tools be applied to?
- What is the best way to communicate progress through the incorporated measurement system?
- Which departments will have the fastest implementation (these are next priority)
- How will you encourage access to the media library if there are questions?
- What measures will you incorporate for succession planning and recruitment?
orderly implementation will eventually immerse the organization in this base methodology with ongoing learning reinforcement and provide a excited , cooperative and diligent work environment. But what about specific applications like: Management, Customer Service, Sales and Marketing, fiscal applications, Leadership, Innovation and Creativity, Communication and Branding…
The rest still remains to be discovered in part 2 of this article
This article is based on the Directive Communication psychology based DC360, 5 platforms – 1 Solution Integrated People Development System. For more information on this program and how it can be applied to your organization’s Unique Needs and get Measurable Results, contact: Marcie@directivecommunication.com
By Arthur Carmazzi