Monday, July 28, 2008

Experienced Facilitation – the Success Factor in Training

I really believe that facilitation skills are as important as the content or curriculum of any course, workshop or online activity. The facilitator is the most important component of a successful training program. Lisa Haneberg points out in her new book titled, “Developing Great Managers” (ASTD-2008) that there are four characteristics or skills that make up an effective management trainer:

- Previous success as a manager
- Business acumen
- A passion and talent for being a catalyst, and
- The ability to create and facilitate great dialogue

I think it is important for the facilitator to have those skills but my opinion this has often fallen on deaf ears and I am glad Haneberg has taken such a position. I think that the ultimate training program offers great content, an excellent pre-course work assignment, application and action exercises, practical tools for immediate use in the workplace, case studies, and goal-orientation. That is my prescription for a good training outcome.

Innovative Leadership has been a member of the American Society of Training and Development for almost ten years. We actively participate in their functions and subscribe to the majority of their publications including books, manuals, programs, and other materials.

We consist of a team of professional facilitators (meet us) that have extensive management experience and business acumen. We are committed to providing the vehicles that focus on both people development and organizational effectiveness. We integrate a variety of learning instruments to provide the desired outcome for the training and development engagement with the ROI defined upfront.

Don't forget that our "Making of an Effective Manager" course starts September 17th. Read more about it on our website Click Here

Monday, July 21, 2008

Are we Crazy or is it a Craze?

I have to admit that the terminology being used with the organizational development challenges is starting to get sensational in nature. When I read the highlights of an article that appeared in the 2nd Quarter of 2008 issue of the Organizational Development Journal, the title of article was: “The Human Craze: Human Performance Improvement and Employee Engagement”. “Craze” to me is certainly an unusual word to use in relationship of OD and productivity and/or engagement.

The “craze” refers to the need for Human Resources Professionals and Departments to focus on human productivity improvement and engagement as a way to create a competitive advantage for their companies or organizations. What have the Human Resources professionals or departments been doing before this? If they were interested in performance, productivity or engagement, where have they been hiding?

I do not find that most HR Professionals have been given the opportunity to demonstrate their business acumen to the rest of the executive team in terms of metrically contributing to the success of the organization. I am frustrated with the fact that unless the challenge becomes a problem, there is no focus toward the people. It is focused externally toward the market conditions and internally toward the reduction in operating expenses. This may of course include layoffs to reduce payroll and benefit expenses. Today we find ourselves in a very reactive marketplace and most HR professionals need to step up and be more proactive. They are sitting back awaiting the direction to move forward in a reactive position with things like hiring freezes, elimination of training programs and incentive programs, and eliminating unnecessary benefits or lowering healthcare costs.

I would like to see the title of the article read, “The New Craze: Corporate Leadership Turns to HR” to provide the process for developing the strengths of their people to better react to the current economic climate and market conditions. I really feel that the strengths of the people within an organization can make the difference and to maximize people’s strengths we have to focus on their talent and contribution to the overall success of the organization. Personal productivity and individual performance adds up to corporate success and has done so for centuries. So, why isn’t the HR community focused on human development and performance improvement? Maybe they just don’t know how. If the HR professional doesn’t get more involved, the talented people will find a company that provides the engagement and development and move on.

If you’re in HR and are reading this, tell me how you have been proactive in this reactive business world! I’d like to hear success stories.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Blueprint for Challenging Times

I find it interesting that many companies react to this turbulent market much like a child reacts to a thunderstorm. The company hides it head under the pillows, waits the storm out hoping that it ends quickly and that there is no real damage. I have spoken to many Human Resource Professionals and asked them if their challenges for 2008-2009 have changed because of the poor economic conditions or other external conditions. The majority feel that their challenges have not changed and there is no need to do anything differently. It sure is dark under that pillow!

In SuccessFactor’s whitepaper titled “Winning Through Talent”, they report that the four strategies that successful companies use when faced with decreasing revenues, shrinking budgets, and disengaged employees amid these uncertain times are:

  1. Rapidly align your workforce with changing economic conditions
  2. Optimize your workforce
  3. Identify and invest in your best employees and
  4. Dramatically improve communication across the company

In my terms, those four recommendations translate to:

  1. Implement a Strategic Development Process in which all employees feel they play a part and understand the direction the company is moving in.
  2. Improve Productivity and Performance Through Training and Development using proven methods with defined outcomes
  3. Identify the Strengths of Your Employees and Maximize Their Development in relation to the direction of the organization and its future needs.
  4. Learn to Understand How We can Communicate Better with our managers, our peers, and our subordinates to gain clarity in direction and desired outcome.

We all agree that we must maximize employee performance and be more productive in this highly competitive global market. We also agree that we must continue to be results-oriented so that we provide our customer with superior services or products. Isn’t it time that our people development professionals step forward and change the environment by being proactive and not just reactive? We need to develop the strengths of all of our people focusing on the most talented and while integrating your people development plan with the strategic planning process of the company. People development plus process-oriented effectiveness equals productivity.

So, isn’t the blueprint for success the synergistic effect produced by focusing on people development and process orientation, and then monitoring how the implementation process affects the result?

Have you started your people development process? If so, any recommendations, and if not, what is holding you back?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

New Training Facility for Innovative Leadership

Innovative Leadership partners up with Cumberland Insurance Group to unveil their newest training facility to accommodate the growing demand for management training, business consulting and coaching in the Cumberland County area. This conference space will enable more clients to take advantage of Innovative Leadership’s unique adult training courses and workshops, as well as their complimentary “Lunch N Learns”. Innovative Leadership is continually looking for ways to improve their services to clients, and this is just one more way they have done so.

Innovative Leadership offers similar programs at their other two conference facilities located in Marmora, and Cherry Hill. This new conference facility is located at The Cumberland Insurance Group complex located at 633 Shiloh Pike, Bridgeton NJ.

Innovative Leadership’s team has over thirty years of experience with Fortune 500 companies, mid-size companies and small businesses. By working with Innovative Leadership, you can increase productivity, enhance employee performance, focus on your strategic initiatives and achieve your desired goals. We have the Tools, You have the People. Visit us on the web for more information
Or call 609-390-2830.