“If you don’t know where you’re goin’, any old road will take you there.”
— Balsam Range: Jackson, Pruett, Salley
Words can lose their vitality through overuse. “Strategy” and “Strategic” are two formerly precise phrases that have been pushed beyond their limits with the result that no one is quite sure what you mean when you use them.
We recently fielded a question for our #AskAmmie series about this from a training manager. He was tasked with creating a “strategic training plan,” and needed a bit of help on how to get started. Here’s some of the advice we gave him.
What it’s not…
A training plan is not strategic when it has little or no connection to the requirements of the organization as they align with an overall plan for growth. Without that connection, it’s just teaching people how to do stuff. Training scheduled in response to an employee’s request or in reaction to issues that arise internally is occasionally appropriate, but it’s not actually strategic.
What it is…
A truly strategic training plan emerges from the long-term needs of the organization. Not just today’s need to operate the new software, but also the critical know-how employees must own as they align with the master growth strategy of the company. Every training session should hold up easily when challenged with the question, “Why do we have to do this?”
A Simple Test- Is your training strategic?
One simple question can tell us if your training is synchronized with the company mission:
“How many people were involved in drafting the training program?”
If your answer is less than 2, That song lyric up there is for you. There should be as much interconnection as possible with senior leadership to craft training that actually advances the company through each employee’s improving skills.
For examples of what we mean by “strategic,” and more insightful tidbits of business wisdom tune in to #AskAmmie’s YouTube Channel