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Several years ago we realized that corporate training worked poorly, if at all.  We set about creating a model that would gain 100% buy-in from participants in a session.

What do you think when you’re headed for training or to an off-site? You’re open to the idea of training, but you’ve experienced so much that has very limited value and you are drowning in work, and so you’re dreading it.

There is no doubt that training is a critical component of success. The military doesn’t deploy troops and sports teams don’t take the field without proper training.

This training makes the difference between winning or losing, living or dying. But that’s often not the case in corporate training. So when you’re headed to training you’re hoping it won’t be lost time but you fear it will be, with someone talking for hours about absract theory that has scarce application to you.

Training Time with “Live Bullets”

Several years ago we realized that corporate training worked poorly, if at all. We set about creating a model that would gain 100% buy-in from participants in a session.

Scott Adams’ Dilbert cartoons had satirized training, portraying it as the place where you sent your least capable employees where at least for the time they were in training, they could do no damage in the “real world” of the critical work of the team. Unlike military training, corporate training didn’t use “live bullets” and “real guns.” Unlike sports training, you never threw “real balls” or learned how to “move down the field.”

We developed the following to make training sessions a truly valuable experience with everyone engaged and glad they were present.

No Generalities/Real Numbers. Instead of working with general principles like “moving someone’s cheese,” which can have general value, we began to work with assessments like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Everyone knows we’re different from each other and that this affects our ability to work together, but MBTI defines those differences and how they play out in the workplace—with numbers that make sense to the scientific mind. These assessments have translated into tools that people we work with use every day.

Ending Confusion and Misdirection—Team Alignment When We Walk Out the Door. One agreement we had early on with CEO’s and C-Suite executives is that they have often pulled together an incredibly talented and expensive group of leaders who are pulling in different directions without the ability to execute. This lack of ability to execute as a team threatened the life of the organization. These c-suite teams had regular meetings that really didn’t address the issues and the fixes. We created a model that systematically allows teams to identify key issues and align behind solutions—no generalities, a specific set of milestones that let them move forward. For the first time they could walk out the door aligned and moving forward.

Creating the Metrics of Success—the 360 Degree Assessment. The 360 is all about the metrics of success—the numbers that create success. The 360-degree assessment is a genius approach—it involves everyone in evaluating the style and substance of its leaders. We found, however, that although the 360-degree assessment had great potential, it was used ineffectively with questions that didn’t apply to behaviors that can be changed and reports that were difficult to interpret and impossible to follow up on. We created our own proprietary 360-degree assessment that produces concrete, actionable, specific and behavioral feedback. No BS. No generalities.

Creating Direction and Accountability—The GamePlan. What do you do once you’re done with the session? One of the most frustrating and demotivating parts of training is the lack of any kind of meaningful transition between the session you find yourself in and the issues you’ll face tomorrow.

To build a bridge between the information we’ve received and what you’ll do next we created the Delta GamePlan. We assign everyone in the session the task of analyzing what their data is telling them and what they’ll do about it. Within 30 days we reconvene the group and everyone presents their “GamePlan” for how they’ll apply their data to create their own personal strategy to move forward.

The GamePlan does two things:

  1. It creates accountability to ourselves. With a GamePlan to move forward, you can know where you are on progress week by week. You are ready to execute and to show yourself and others what you’ve done and how you did it.
  2. It creates accountability with others. Presenting your GamePlan drives a stake in the ground, telling people in plain metrics where you are and where your going—and they will be able to see your progress. It creates a commitment you’re not likely to break.

The model we’re created through working with hundreds of organizations presents a new way to turn training into organizational turning points. Organizations typically decide to hold sessions like these several times throughout the year. They turn GamePlans into amazingly unlocked potential, along with greater profits and market share.

Austin, Texas

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Carol Kallendorf, PhD. | (512) 417-9756 

Jack Speer | (512) 417-9428


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