Corporate Training Departments: Predator or Prey?

corporate training Jurassic parkHumor me for a minute and think about this. Would you consider yourself, and/or your corporate training department, as Predator or Prey?

Are you comfortable just hangin’ out, chewin’ on the vegetation with your herd, waiting to be chased…and eaten?

Or do you need to work a little harder…and hunt?

How high up the food chain of your corporate ecosystem do you think you are? Big fish? little fish? medium-sized fish?

Who Cares About ISD… Besides You!

Now put yourself aside for a moment and think about where all of your ISD methods, models, and processes fall in that ecosystem. To simplify my point, who else in the organization really cares about ISD besides you? And if you and all of your expertise went away, what impact would be felt by the business?

In hard times, tough business decision get made. Does the leadership reduce any of its departments or employees that are producing revenue? Dumb question, right? Of course not. Do you produce revenue? I mean direct revenue, not the funny money transferred between departments to “pay” for your courses and your departments services. No, I’m talking about a revenue stream of new money from partners and customers.

Let’s say a large company has an HR department with an embedded training team responsible for all internal training. And outside of the HR training team, you also have one, or more, rogue training professionals (or teams) supporting product divisions in the company. The training teams within the product divisions are there because there is a direct connection to their efforts, and the bottom line. They become part of the other operational areas of the business like customer support. And in the best cases their training solutions become products themselves. HR Training team? Not so much.

Training Professionals in This Day & Age

Being a training professional is a lot different today than it has been. Whether you believe it or not, the perception within the business world is that anyone can “do training”. And in most cases they’re right. It’s treated as a necessary evil, run by administrators until the company is big enough to afford the hiring of “training professionals”.

Today’s technologies give you the ability to get training work done, fast. It’s no longer okay to wait weeks, months, or even years, to implement enterprise systems like an LMS.  Acting like training prey means functioning in a committee, and waiting for others to make decisions.  Training predators…um, professionals… fire up an instance of Litmos LMS in the morning, load content over lunch, and launch an ecommerce page selling training before the end of the day.

If you want to survive in the business world as a training professional today you need to hustle.  And I’m not talking about “fighting the good fight” convincing the world how important proper instructional design methods are. Shut up about that! I’m talking about being the training professional that can blend into the BUSINESS of your organization. Speak the language your business speaks. Solve the problems that are important to them…not you.

Being obsessed about the academics of your chosen career makes you prey. Change your mindset, deliver business value, and elevate yourself to a predator species…before its too late.

If you want to be entertained for an hour on Friday at DevLearn, and learn more about this crazy analogy, then check out the session Mark Oehlert and I will be giving.