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The 9 steps to Training a clear IT vision!

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King!

Being ‘the expert’ is quite a burden to carry and one that is rarely beneficial to the carrier or those it is being carried for. In fact, it always leads to misinformation. I’m not talking here about the professional ‘expert’ whose job it is to understand everything to the nth degree and teach others, but the office ‘expert’ whose real job is something else. This is the person who just happens to be the most knowledgeable in the office and, by default, gets elevated to the status of one-eyed King amongst a blind congregation.

I feel deeply for this poor soul…

The effect of being the font of all IT knowledge in the office is that they are regularly called into action (away from their actual job) to answer, unravel, fix and teach everyone else. The danger is that ‘being the expert’ it becomes difficult to admit not knowing everything, and often incorrect, outdated, or simply made up information is shared. This is where the one-eyed King should refer to some 20:20 vision from a neighbouring kingdom – and they would probably appreciate the support.

Poor training leads to exponentially poor performance

Every time a piece of (however well intended) poor advice is passed on the inefficiency and errors spread a little further. Each time some incorrect (however firmly believed) instruction on ‘the best way to’ is shared with a colleague they will start a bad practice that will cost them and the company that pays their wages. Employees should stick to what they are paid to do. They should be trained (by professional experts) to do their own job as well as possible – not to train others. Untrained, internal ‘experts’ can cause serious misdirection. Professional training leads to peak performance!

Nine steps to ensure your staff receive 20:20 training!

  1. Organise a TNA – This is the first step and is ignored at your peril. In truth, proceeding with any training (even the very best available) without first conducting a TNA (Training Needs Analysis) is like the one-eyed man being ousted from his unwanted throne by a blind man. A comprehensive TNA will identify any areas of weakness and determine exactly what training will make your staff more effective, efficient and beneficial for the company.
  2. Look at the larger strategy of the business; from the boardroom to line managers to identify a ‘bigger picture’ view of what the company is looking to achieve.
  3. From the conclusions of your TNA and higher level management discussions, you can pinpoint a strategic training schedule that will move the business forward. You will have a crystal clear plan of the specific staff who need training, in which subjects, and to what level.
  4. Next, you should consult training experts to help decide the right training medium to meet your business needs: classroom (in-house or at a training centre), online, live online, or e-learning.
  5. You will now have a well formulated, clearly defined programme (in-line with your company’s goals) that you can send out to professional training companies to obtain like-for-like quotes.
  6. When you have chosen a great training company (one which can demonstrate that it fully understands and is capable of delivering your requirements), work out the best time for the training. This needs to fit carefully in with other business requirements, schedules, holidays, peak periods or important dates.
  7. Book the training and inform everyone of the dates and (very importantly) why it will benefit them personally and in their role. When candidates believe in the value of training, they engage with it, enjoy it more, and approach it with a positive attitude. (A good training company should be able to help you sell the value of their training to your staff.)
  8. Get good quality evaluation results and feedback on the training. This should be more than just a few simply tick boxes, but should be designed to get a thorough and value-enhancing understanding of a candidates thoughts. Useful feedback can then be shared with the company’s management to help further development of their staff.
  9. Follow up should be arranged to evaluate the implementation of any new skills that have been learned. Far too much money is wasted by training companies who don’t follow up and demonstrate the beneficial evidence of what they have taught their clients.

Going back to the one-eyed King for a moment: his interests are simply to keep everyone happy and off his back. You see, he knows (and only he knows) that there are people out there with far superior insight than him. And he also knows that the professional 20:20 vision expert would take his kingdom on to another level of clarity.

Why not look into some professional training today: give the blind some vision and give the one-eyed King in your office a break.