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Archive for February, 2012

6 Reasons Why Corporate Training Programs Fail

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On February 29, 2012 NO COMMENTS

pitfallsWe all instinctively know that learning and development within the corporate space is ‘supposed to’ make a difference. Yet, far too often the programs (not necessary the people) fail due to the following reasons. Some of these reasons are structural, but too many times it is just poor project management.
A primary reason many programs and courses fail is because there is no “Accountability”. Learning and Development departments think that they provide accountability by counting the number of seats in the program, or talking about how and why this program is valuable. But they fail in the correlation of the program to the participant job or position.

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Dare to be Different

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On February 24, 2012 NO COMMENTS

Why be just one of the crowd? Why suffer in silence because your voice is unable to be heard? Following the herd is the most sure fire way to be lost. Why is it then, that most of us are trapped in the herd of mediocrity. Why do we continue to conform to being average. Is there something that causes us to cluster toward the average, instead of stepping out into greatness?

I believe that many of us, individually and corporate, just don’t know how to break out and distinguish ourselves. Most of us are also fearful that if we do ‘dare to be different’ that we will appear to be foolish or weird.

What steps, both small and large, can you take to breakout and start out on the path less traveled. Here are a few steps that you can take that can point you in a new direction:

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The 7 Predictable Challenges of Evolutionary Changes

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On February 17, 2012 NO COMMENTS

If you’re serious about using your changing yourself, for personal and professional growth, then, at one time or another, you’ll need to address these 7 normal, predictable challenges.

In all the years we’ve been coaching and counseling, doing seminars and developing self-help tools for people, we’ve found that almost everyone has to face at least one of the following:

1. Resistance to Change. Let’s face it: The familiar is comforting, even if it’s not good for you.

2. Lack of Familiarity. It can be as if a voice in your head says, Hey, my mom and dad didn’t do it this way, so it must not be right for me.

3. Fear of Making Mistakes. You can be paralyzed by this fear, which is in itself the biggest mistake you can make.

4. Not Enough Time. Sometimes this is simply a matter of emotional or intellectual laziness, coupled with a lack of real desire.

5. Wanting to Be Right at All Costs. Needing to be right neutralizes your willingness to work things out.

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Count Results, Not Hours

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On February 14, 2012 NO COMMENTS

To often we all fall into the trap of attributing success or failure based on the number of hours we have devoted to a project.  We view it as our ‘investment’ in the project.  This is just wrong.  The hours put into a project are irrelevant.  All that matters is ‘if you got it done’.

When you start your next project/program and feel mired in the morass of managing it, focus on what it takes to achieve the desired results.. NOTHING ELSE.


Training Alchemy: How the Military Takes Ordinary to Extraordinary

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On February 10, 2012 NO COMMENTS

The U.S. Military uses typical training techniques and modifies their delivery in order to turn an ordinary person into an extraordinary leader.

When we think of military training, sometimes we think of a drill sergeant screaming in the face of a new recruit. Although this does happen, the branches of the U.S. Military utilize some of the same techniques we use in corporate training – except the delivery is different. This delivery creates the extraordinary members of the U.S. military.

Many corporate organizations refer to their new hire programs as “boot camps” – it’s an appropriate nickname, but in theory only. A military boot camp, as well as a corporate one, uses accelerated learning techniques. A great deal of knowledge is crunched into a short period of time, but that’s where the similarities end. Military boot camps use shock value and “break down” techniques as a way to mold a recruit into someone else, while leaving the best characteristics of the person intact. According to one former member of the U.S. Navy, the boot camp formula is break down, instruction, and reinforcement – both negative and positive. The other element of training is adaptation – the military consistently adapts the training recruits receive in step with changes in the world. Perhaps that’s a page corporate training can take to heart.

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Possibility

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On February 5, 2012 NO COMMENTS

I believe it is possible for ordinary people to achieve extraordinary things. For me, the difference between an “ordinary” and an “extraordinary” person is not the title that person might have, but what they do to make the world a better place for us all.


Tsunami of Choices

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On February 3, 2012 NO COMMENTS

I recently was in the grocery store.  Looking for my favorite coffee.  When I found the isle I was presented with a wall of choices.  38 different varieties of coffee were on the racks with another set of choices as to the volume of coffee.  In a simple walk through the rest of the store, I began to realize that consumers are presented with a Tsunami of choices in all categories.

We all become overwhelmed with these choices and often then gravitate to the best known brand or make some other criteria that will provide the consumer with a method to make their purchase.  The lack of true analysis based on the choices translates into consumers sometimes buying the product that is not the highest quality or the best product, but the product that they know best.

This lesson of choice is important to each of us individually or as a corporation.  When given a choice, why would a consumer seek to choose you?  What makes you remarkable?  Are you packaged differently so that you and your product stand out?  What features of your product is extraordinary?  In service industries, it is close to impossible to change our products.  But our presentation of our products can provide the differentiation that will allow for us to stand out.  Design or experience or features, they all are ways to different products.   Apple computers uses a design and simplicity as the hallmark of their product.  They have the most elegant designs and the simplicity of their user interface is years ahead of the competition’s.   Bank of New York has long emphasized the ‘history’ and ‘experience’ of the bank and its bankers as their distinguishing marks.  They don’t sell checking or saving accounts, they sell the value of their advise in the financial arena.  It is what sets them apart.  Trader Joe’s, a grocery store, long ago determined that they could provide high quality private label products to their consumers.  They choose to eliminate the big national brands in lieu of their own labeled products.  Many grocery stores do this also, but Trader Joe’s did it with panache, a unique sales experience, and the quality of their products made them highly successful.

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