Top 5 Training Strategy Mistakes to Avoid

Top 5 Training Strategy Mistakes to Avoid
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Training Strategy Mistakes to Avoid
Experienced learning leaders know there are some important training strategy mistakes to avoid.  Good learning leaders start by creating a clear strategy that outlines clear and compelling choices about where to play and what actions to take.

Winning Training Strategies Make an Impact
Done right, a successful training strategy sets a learning and development function up to perform beyond just the sum of its parts.  Without a clear direction, your training function may tactically achieve some short-term wins, but it will fail to garner the ongoing trust, support, and results required to make a meaningful impact on the business, your career, and your key stakeholders.

Many Different Paths to Training Strategy Success
We have seen many different paths to creating a successful training function. In our experience, however, there are five main strategic approaches that differentiate one training function from another.  One direction is not necessarily better than another.  It depends upon your overall business and talent management strategies.

Top 5 Training Strategies and the Related Training Strategy Mistakes to Avoid
The key to avoiding the top five training strategy mistakes is to identify and stick to a core focus that works in your specific environment and addresses your most pressing business and people needs. A successful training function, however, always aligns with the company’s business strategy, organizational culture, and talent management scheme.

1. Skill and Development Focus

  • Strategic Purpose
    To develop and maintain skills of target employees to improve career development, employee engagement and productivity
  • Training Strategy Mistakes to Avoid
    Assuming that a lack of skills, competency or knowledge is always the root cause of the problem
  • Examples
    GE’s Management Development Institute or Accenture’s Corporate University in St. Charles, Illinois

2. External Customer Focus

  • Strategic Purpose
    To deliver technical skills and knowledge to customers, vendors, suppliers, or partners to increase loyalty, mind-share, and adoption
  • Training Strategy Mistakes to Avoid
    Assuming that it will be easy to keep product and service information accurate and up to date and that programs created without instructional design expertise will be effective
  • Examples
    Cisco’s Certification or Microsoft’s Customer Education Programs

3. Change Management Focus

  • Strategic Purpose
    To enable organization-wide change and transformation
  • Training Strategy Mistakes to Avoid
    Lack of top management support and direct involvement.  Thinking that transforming corporate cultures, structures, and processes will be easy

4.  Strategic Business Focus

  • Strategic Purpose
    To support the design and implementation of key strategic initiatives
  • Training Strategy Mistake to Avoid
    Thinking that anything other than a high fidelity action-learning approach will suffice or that it is too difficult, too expensive or too time consuming to measure skill adoption and business impact
  • Example
    Motorola’s roll-out of their quality initiative and expansion into Asia

5. Research Academic Focus

  • Strategic Purpose
    To be at the forefront of future needs and approaches
  • Training Strategy Mistakes to Avoid
    Assuming that you can replicate research labs and universities dedicated to research and experiment

The Bottom Line
Before you make your first training move (i.e. training systems, resources, processes, programs, people, content, budgets, etc.) to meet the ever-increasing demands of your stakeholders, make sure that you and your executive team agree on the fundamental purpose of the training function and how it directly aligns with the corporate strategy.  If you and your key stakeholders do not agree on the motivations and long-term reasons for your learning and development function, your chances of success are slim.

To learn more about training strategy mistakes to avoid, please download the full article: The 5 Most Common Training Function Strategies and Key Mistakes to Avoid

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