Instructional Design: Not Just for Full Time Trainers Anymore

When I left the manufacturing shop floor and moved into training, full-time trainers presented in the classroom using a host of techniques, tools and relied on their platform skills to present content. Subject matter experts (or the most senior person) conducted technical training on the shop floor in front of a piece of equipment, at a laboratory station or a workbench.

This blog post has been merged with “Batteries Not Included: Not All Trainers are Instructional Designer or Classroom Facilitators.

(c) HPIS Consulting, Inc.

Are you worthy of your line partner’s trust?

In this current series of gaining management support we’ve been exploring how credibility, trust and access impact or influence relationships with our business partners. In Stephen Covey’s, The 8th Habit: From effectiveness to greatness, he informs us that you cannot have trust without being trustworthy.  As Performance Consultants (PCs) continue to demonstrate their character and competence, their line leaders begin to trust them more and more.

From those initial getting-to-you-know-you chats (see previous blog)  to requests for help discussions, the give trust and return trust has been reciprocated and continues to strengthen the relationship. With each request / opportunity, PCs are demonstrating their character traits and further developing their Human Performance Improvement (HPI) technical competence and experience.

Following the HPI/HPT model gives the PC the ability to articulate the big picture of how this request, this performance gap, this project, relates to organizational goals thus illustrating a strategic mindset. And by following the related methodology, PCs demonstrate strong project management skills while implementing changes systematically; not just a quick course to fix a perceived knowledge gap or motivation problem.

So PCs become worthy of receiving their partners’ trust.  Line partners in exchange merit their trust by giving it. Are you trustworthy as a Performance Consultant? Do you have the necessary competencies to tackle the additional performance solutions? Stay tuned for more blogs on what those competencies are and why they are so helpful for PCs. In the meantime, check out the sidebar “Ten Steps for Building Trust” from Alan Weiss in Organizational Consulting.  -VB

How to Build More Trust

References:
Covey,SR. The 8th Habit: From effectiveness to greatness, USA, Free Press, 2004.

Weiss, A. Organizational Consulting: How to be an effective internal change agent, USA, Wiley, 2003.

Wanted: Seeking a business partner who has performance needs

This new series – Gaining Management Support – focuses on credibility, trust, access and how these 3 concepts impact relationship management.  In the first blog of this series; First make friends with line management, I blogged about establishing a working relationship with line management.

 

While the relationship is forming, both parties can begin to share information about each other’s area of responsibilities.  The Performance Consultant (PC) learns more about the manager’s department: work processes that are not robust; performance needs that are both urgent and on-going and tied to “important” performance requirements.  During the dialogue, listen for internal challenges such as supplier snafus, resource constrained hick-ups, conflicting policies and procedures and other projects that are resulting in more to-do’s.  Find out if they are also managing regulatory commitments and working on closing out CAPAs and deviations related to training, performance issues or “Operator Error” mistakes.  These are all sources of entry points to move the relationship to potential partner status.

 

Partnering implies a two way exchange.  The PC also shares information about HPI/ HPT (Human Performance Improvement/Technology) at a level of depth that matches the individual’s interest and need at the time.  Remember, while your goal is to educate them about HPI, you don’t want to lecture to them or overwhelm them with even more for their work load.  According to Mary Board, author of Beyond Transfer of Training: Engaging systems to improve performance; the PC is striving to build a close working relationship that over time can lead to more strategic performance improvement work.  It is not only about getting projects.

 

However, requests for help/support are bound to surface. To demonstrate support and strengthen the desire to partner, a PC can follow up on discussions by sending additional literary sources such as articles, white papers and blogs from industry thought leaders.  Another popular activity is to pitch in to help meet a deadline or rebalance their workload.  Mini-projects are certain to follow next.  It is an excellent way to move the relationship to partner status.  Early conversations around partnering should include:

  • purpose of working together
  • benefits of shared task; shared outcomes
  • role clarification
  • partnering process explanation and agreement

Keep in mind; however, that it is a JOINT undertaking and not a delegation of task to a direct report or a hired temporary employee.  This is where the consulting side of the partnership can begin; leading him/her through decisions and actions using the HPI methodology says Broad.

 

Technical Trainer or Performance Consultant wanna-be?

As the traditional role of technical trainer evolves into Performance Consultant, the skills needed are evolving as well to keep up with management expectations for alignment with business needs.  To that end, Beverly Scott, author of Consulting on the Inside: An internal consultant’s guide to living and working inside organizations, suggests that internal consultants re-tool with some new skill sets:

  • Know the business.  Tie solutions and align results to real business issues that add value. Get to know finances.
  • Identify performance gaps before management does or becomes the focus of a CAPA corrective action.
  • Become a systems thinker.  HPI is all about systemic performance improvement.
  • Build skills for the multiple roles a PC performs.  Become known as a change agent, systems thinker, learning strategist.
  • Pay attention to trends; talk about them.  Watch for relevance for the organization.

 

“The ability to give advice as a consultant comes from trust  and respect, which are rooted in the relationship”. (Beverly Scott, p.61, 2000). – VB