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Archive for November, 2008

Flexible, Scalable, Reliable and Accountable

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On November 23, 2008 No Comments

I recently finished meeting with the President of a large training company [specialists in the manufacturing training business]. Our conversation was related to the development of an eLearning system for his training company. After a lengthy discussion, I realized that he was either unable or unwilling to expand the training systems that they utilize with their customers. Surprisingly, it was very troubling.He explained to me that their current training system was primarily class-room based, but also included some 1-to-1 training for his clients. When questioned about why not including web-based solutions to his training mix, he responded that he:

“… do not see any value to web based training.”

I was floored, no value? I stammered for a moment. I then attempted to explain to him that some of the values of web-based training are: (more…)

Why is Training Important?

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On November 15, 2008 No Comments

Is success really about who you know?
Or is what you know more important in today’s marketplace?

“It is more about who you know than what you know.” If you have been in any type of business for any length of time you have probably heard this old gem a thousands times. “It’s not what you know, but who you know that counts.” Well, while at one time this aged-old sentiment may have made some sense, it is certainly not true today.

Yes, some time ago, it was simple: the perfect average couple with a median income, 2.4 kids, B+ credit and a 20% cash down payment, came wide-eyed and bushy tailed to the real estate and mortgage professional looking for guidance. Sure enough, in that old-boys-club, good buddy era if you could name-drop a few important or familiar people; you got the business. (more…)

Failure is an event. Not a person.

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On November 8, 2008 No Comments

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”  Secretary of State Colin Powell

I had a client call me, he was panicked.  He just heard from his accountant that his business was about to fail.  He was searching, no reaching for ideas on what to do.  He outlined for me a number of problems he was facing.  I asked him about the steps he had been taking in the past to address these issues and inquired about the results from those steps.

As he recounted the problems and his actions, it became clear to him and to me that his actions were not having any impact.  He was dumbfounded by the conversation and his prior actions.   He realized that the failure was  in how he interpreted the situation.

At that point, he asked me if I had ever failed.

I shared with him a bit of my own story of failure. (more…)

Competency-Based Training

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On November 1, 2008 No Comments

Competency-based training attempts to utilize knowledge, skills, and abilities from actual job functions in the delivery of training. By following a few broad-based steps, you can implement competency-based training effectively.A competency is a set of knowledge, skills, or abilities (KSA’s) that a worker must use to function on the job.

In recent years, there has been a gradual movement to utilize competencies from job descriptions in training. This competency based training ensures that workers receive only the “need to know” information, versus “nice to know” information. To implement a competency-based approach, it is first necessary to ensure that job descriptions accurately reflect the broad competencies that are expected on the job. Once this foundation is complete, it is much easier to build a competency based training program.

The first step should be to assemble a group of working subject matter experts (SME’s) in the area to be trained. This group should be a mix of high performers, managers, and supervisors. The SME group should then be facilitated into identifying competencies for the group to be trained. Simply put, the SME group can take the business unit as a whole and decide what knowledge, skills, and abilities are needed to function in a particular set of jobs. For example, bank tellers may need competency in basic financial acumen, regulatory knowledge, systems, and customer service. (more…)



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