Big Picture Professional Education Necessary for Company Success

Training should be conducted within a formal, planned program that addresses the majority of organizational aspects.

By Hank Moore, Corporate Strategist

There is a difference between how one is basically educated and the ingredients needed to succeed in the long term. Many people never amass those ingredients because they stop learning or don’t see the need to go any further. Many people think they are “going further” but otherwise spin their wheels.

There is a large disconnect between indoctrinating people to tools of the trade and the myriad elements they will need to assimilate for their own futures. Neither teachers nor students have all the necessary ingredients. It is up to both to obtain skills, inspiration, mentoring, processes, accountability, creativity, and other components from niche experts.

Therein lies the problem. Training vendors sell what they have to provide…not what the constituencies or workforces need. Emphasis must be placed upon properly diagnosing the organization as a whole and then prescribing treatments for the whole, as well as the parts.

Training should be conducted within a formal, planned program that addresses the majority of organizational aspects.

7 Biggest Misconceptions About Training

1. One size fits all. If it’s not customized, it’s not going to be effective.

2. Trainers are business experts. Generally, they are vendors who sell “off-the-shelf” products that target small niches within the organization. Few are schooled in full-scope business culture and have not been previously engaged to advise organizations at the top.

3. Human Resources oversees training.By their nature, HR departments are designed to uphold processes and systems. Training is about change, which contradicts the basic construction of HR. Not all HR people are versed in the subtle nuances of people skills and, thus, are not the best to supervise training. It should not be under the thumb of HR.

4. Trainers write the training plans. All major departmental plans should be written objectively and in concert with the strategic plan…by qualified advisors. Training companies often give free assessments in order to sell their programs. Free surveys do not constitute a cohesive plan. Let trainers do what they do best: training. Let experienced planners design the training plan, with input from trainers included. Don’t let the plan evolve from a training company’s sales pitch.

5. Only industry experts can train in our company. What companies need most is objective business savvy and sophisticated overviews. Core industry “experts” only know core industry issues from their own experiences. Quality training must focus on dynamics outside the core business, yet should have relativity to the organization.

6. One course will fix the problem. Training is not a punishment for having done something “wrong.” It’s a privilege…a major benefit of employment. It unlocks doors to greater success, growth and profitability…for those trained and for the sponsoring organization. To be competitive in the future, today’s workers will need three times the training that they are now getting.

7. That it’s supposed to be popular. The biggest mistake meeting planners make is determining the effectiveness of training and training professionals via audience survey. Most conference evaluation forms are lightweight and ask for surface rankings…rather than for nuggets of knowledge learned. Speakers and training budgets, therefore, are judged upon whimsical comments of individual audience participants…which get harsher when the training is for topics they need, rather than things they would “prefer” to hear. Voices of reality are always criticized by people who really are not qualified to assess them.

7 Levels of Training

  1. Mandated
  2. Basic education
  3. Informational
  4. Technical, niche skills
  5. Procedural
  6. Optional
  7. Insightful-deep-rich-meaningful

Levels of Mandated Training

  1. Fix those people.
  2. Stay where you are.
  3. This is the way it is.
  4. Accept our pet project.
  5. Things “they” are making us do.
  6. What we want to teach you.
  7. You’ll do it, and you’ll Like It.

Levels of Optional Training

  1. Micro-niche
  2. Things to perform tasks
  3. Process administration
  4. Procedural adherence
  5. Hobby-fun-entertainment
  6. Skills enrichment
  7. Personal development

Levels of Training Needed for the Big Picture of Business

  1. Pride in workmanship
  2. Learning, growing, mentoring
  3. Fully actualized professionalism
  4. Amassing people skills
  5. Pursuing excellence
  6. Adding value to the organization
  7. Developing a body of work-knowledge

A regular contributor to,Hank Moore has advised 5,000-plus client organizations, including 100 of the Fortune 500, public sector agencies, small businesses and nonprofit organizations. He has advised two U.S. Presidents and spoke at five Economic Summits. Moore advises companies about growth strategies, visioning, strategic planning, executive leadership development, Futurism, and Big Picture issues that profoundly affect the business climate. He conducts company evaluations and performance reviews. He creates the big ideas, mentors the board members, reorganizes the corporate culture and anchors the enterprise to its next tier. The Business Tree is Moore’s trademarked approach (and the title of his current book published by Career Press) to growing, strengthening, and evolving business, while mastering change. For more information, visit

Lorri Freifeld is the editor/publisher of Training magazine. She writes on a number of topics, including talent management, training technology, and leadership development. She spearheads two awards programs: the Training Top 100 and Emerging Training Leaders.