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After years of being a training professional, advocating for training professionals, and working with them as a consultant, there were two recent situations that caused me to finally snap (for those who know me, this is no easy feat). Let me give you some background first…

I often peruse the message boards on training-related websites, and I’ve noticed an obvious theme that we’re all probably familiar with: Trainers and educators want to be acknowledged as valuable to an organization. This isn’t a profound revelation; after all, who doesn’t want to be considered valuable? In general, trainers and educators are passionate about their work and the difference they make to employees’ and students’ lives.

While caring is essential, it is not what makes trainers and educators valuable…what makes us valuable are the results we create for our company or educational institution. Again, this isn’t a profound statement, but how often do trainers’ actions run counter to their organization’s value proposition? The answer is…all the time! Too often, we create training we KNOW won’t add business value, that WON’T be used by our audience, and serves only to FULFILL a request made of us. We shoot ourselves in the foot every time we don’t challenge the BUSINESS value of a training program or when we ignore desired outcomes in favor of learning objectives, and then we turn to the message boards and complain that we don’t have a seat at the strategy table.

I have more, but I should probably calm down first…check back next week for what caused me to snap. But in the meantime, feel free to tell me if you agree or disagree!

October 12, 2011


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