Today businesses of all sizes are faced with a stark choice: adapt or go out of business. Businesses that are unable to accommodate the competitive pressures placed on them by all stakeholders, especially customers and employees, will shut down. Businesses that can create winning cultures by providing business training that is performance-linked and what we call total stakeholder satisfaction will survive and thrive.
Successful managers, supervisors, and workers are those who possess qualities of common sense, objectivity, analytical judgment, decision-making ability, and technical competence. They are capable of sustained hard work, teamwork, and tolerance,
in a working environment that is complex, confusing and continually changing. Because these qualities cannot be learned at school, technical college or university, organizations themselves must conduct business training that is directed to developing these valuable attributes in their workforce.
No one can doubt that organizational learning delivers the ultimate competitive advantage,
according to business strategist Gary Hamel; and the ability to learn faster than competitors may be the only sustainable advantage, according to Shell’s Arie de Geus. Business training needs to ensure that an organization’s capacity to learn expands at an ever-increasing rate, even just to keep up with changes in technology, information, and global competition. Teams within organizations must continuously learn together if they are to compete successfully in today’s market. Business training should be focused on achieving the performance goals of the organization.
Managers need effective systems and processes to continuously create an environment that lends itself to optimum performance. Such systems and processes assist them to identify the root causes of the issues and problems they examine. For example, problem behavior by some employees may provide a window through which deep and complex organizational problems are made visible.
Some organizations see business training as single events, aimed at changing people so that they perform better. Typically these employees are taken outside the complex environment in which they operate, to hear ‘experts’ deliver opinions and present PowerPoint slides. Unfortunately, such events are often successful only in creating a few isolated missionaries who then return to a complex work environment that whips them with its displeasure until they are back in line.
A successful business training plan must be systematic and aligned with other functions within the organization. Any business training plan must be used in tandem with budgetary and planning systems and aligned with the overall targets and goals of the organization.
The performance-linked learning system encapsulates the Sacher Associates approach to business training and is based on an analysis of organizational goals and the development of integrated and prioritized learning solutions to provide the competencies required to achieve those goals.
The following are some of the benefits of a performance-linked learning system:
- It ensures business training is directed to increasing the overall performance of the organization, as well as satisfying individual training needs.
- It ensures that business training is a direct response to: ‘who in the team needs which competencies, and in what order, for the team to achieve its targets?’
- It ensures that business training provides a planned, integrated and prioritized solution to a performance problem that has already been systematically analyzed within the context of overall organizational goals.
- It ensures that business training is focused on contributing to profits, savings and financial benefits.
- It contributes to the organization’s continuous improvement system.
- It contributes to a sustainable competitive advantage by ensuring the right competencies are in the right place at the right time.
To assist you further with business training this month, I refer you to the chapter for the month of August on performance-linked learning in my book What Do I Do on Monday Morning?, as well as my publication Performance-linked Learning.
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Online Access, on our Learning Management System, or yours, to all five Sacher Associates courses:
- A Commonsense Approach to Business Planning
- Performance Measures Applied
- Performance Linked Communication
- Success Through Team Performance
- Performance Linked Learning
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