• Personal Resonance© is a research forum engaged in transforming findings from proven research studies on learning, training, performance and expertise into practical training solutions and practices to 'accelerate time-to-expertise' of organizations and professionals. Aggressive time-to-market drives organizations to develop complex cognitive skills of their employees at faster pace to beat their competitors. Goal of forum is to find and share the answer to that ‘speed’. The forum is trying to develop a core knowledge-base in four areas by systematically assimilating, analyzing and synthesizing the proven research studies in wide range of disciplines like cognitive sciences, neuroscience, psychology, education, learning and brain science, etc.: 1) Accelerated Workplace Expertise: Proven research-based strategies and methodologies to accelerate expertise of organization as a whole through training and learning. 2) Accelerated Professional Expertise: Science-based resonance techniques to accelerate expertise, peak performance and effectiveness of individuals. 3) Strategic Training Management: Experience-based competitive philosophies and processes to manage large-scale complex learning and knowledge operations to produce proficient workforce. 4) Competitive Instructional Design: Advanced instructional and learning design techniques to deliver higher order complex skills like problem solving, critical thinking, decision making, technical troubleshooting.

10 Strategic Approaches Exhibited by Training Management Leaders that set them apart (Part 1 of 2)

leadership in training

Are you a business-as-usual training or learning manager? Do you aspire to be a training management leader? I am sure some day you do. Then you need to read this.Have you ever wondered what set the leading and well known training management leaders apart from business-as-usual training management? I wondered several time and several questions like following continue intriguing me.

  • What differentiates them from common training managers or learning management professionals?
  • How they show leadership in managing large scale complex training operations?
  • How they drive and thrive projects?
  • How they view learning design?
  • How they lead teams and organizations?
  • How they plan, strategize and execute missions?
  • How they transform from simple training professionals to thought leaders?
  • What makes them the thought leaders?

Finally here are some of the mysteries. Through extended research by conducting surveys and systematic analysis of profiles, CVs and career paths of several hundreds of leading training management leaders, several common patterns emerged.

Strategic Approaches 1 to 5

I am sharing with you very brief qualitative results in form of this blog. More results yet to come. First 5 strategic approaches taken by training management leaders is presented here in Part-I. Stay tuned for the Part-II.

1. Training leaders stays current on next-gen research and practices in learning vs. using time-tested proven methods:

Studies show that highly successful training leaders tend to use ‘hot-from-oven’ methodologies and techniques without having to wait for it to get adopted by others. Successful training leaders usually advocate such early-research models which becomes industry adoption sooner or later.

Looking at training leaders’ bios, we find that they possess years’ long active participation in leading professional forums and engaged in research and practice in the area of training. Some of them have also shown extended association with academic world like universities or even journals too. It would not be uncommon for you to see training leaders possessing higher research degree or even doctorate.

How can this observation benefit you?

You may want to adopt this absolutely must-have trait of the successful training leaders. As a training management leader you would not just depend in time-tested techniques. Rather you will challenge the equations. If you are keen on developing yourself as a training management leader, why not associate yourself to some form of research?

The bottom line is that research in any form is a key success contributor to shape you as a training management leader. This enables training management leaders to bring new practices, BKMs and techniques to their work to gain competitive edge in the marketplace.

You may read some details in section 4 and 5 of my blog on expanding your portfolio here at: 5 Strategies to Build Powerful Portfolio of Training and Learning Achievements

I will elaborate some practical tips on developing research associations in my subsequent blogs

2. Training leaders thinks about of total learning design vs. instructional design

Yes, this key mindset differentiates the training management leaders from business-as-usual training management professionals. Studies show that training leaders tend to look at overall learning design as opposed to instructional design. Let me clarify how these two differs.

Total learning design looks not just at what needs to be done to design a course (which is field of instructional design) but it looks at whole spectrum of activities spanning over designing the learning environment, learning media, training infrastructure, learning enablement processes, learning transfer, monitoring of performance at the job as function of learning, post-training learning and performance support tools and linkage of learning with business result. This learning design also includes informal learning which does not come under instructional design.

While instructional design is absolutely necessary for training organizations, the learning leaders are seen focusing on end-to-end learning ‘experience’ design.

How does this observation benefit you?

If you are keen on developing yourself as a training management leader, why not start expanding your horizon of activities beyond instructional design?

3. Training leaders are always in sync with the business needs vs. training needs

Studies show that training management leaders focus on customer or business needs as opposed to training needs. Although training may be viewed as an important mechanism to solve several organizational performance problems, however, training may not be the only solution for a given business situation.

How does this observation benefit you?

To become a training management leader, you need to expand focus away from thinking that training is the only solution in a given business situation. If you are an instructional designer, you may need to understand that designing a course may not always be the first solution. Larger percentage of your analysis, planning for a solution and recommendations may be concentrated on the business needs and may not even convert into a real training session.

You may want to read my earlier post regarding importance of aligning well with business needs in this blog: 3 Important changes in thought process you need to move up in training and learning management role

I will elaborate practical tips in synchronizing yourself with business needs in my subsequent posts.

4. Training leaders use process skills more often than project management skills

Studies show that training management leaders are more focused on processes rather than just projects. Training management leaders do not just focus on short-term gains and immediate results, rather they stay focused on long-term gains and continuous results. This continuous focus on quality and effectiveness is crucial success to success in leading training and learning projects.

How does this observation benefit you?

If you want to be a training management leader, you will need to take different approach to the projects. Your KPIs will be set of tiered success criteria which lay out in form of bands quality levels. Officially your project’s KPIs may just be achieving band 1 tier of success criteria. However, as a learning management leader, your focus is all the time on Band 1, band 2……band N quality levels which goes beyond the boundaries of your project KPIs.

You can read more about focus on process skill in my previous post at: 2 Different Styles to Manage Learning and Training Projects: What is your style?

I will elaborate practical tips in using process skills for training leadership in my subsequent posts.

5. Trainining leaders plan for extended horizon vs. short-term open-close action status

Training and learning environment is unique in the sense that actions performed in this environment are usually not simple one-off “open/close” status of several actions. Rather it requires permanent fixes. To ensure results are reproducible, training management leaders are seen to build a culture of ‘permanent fix’ into their training operations.

The leading training management leaders have understood a basic philosophy very well that learning is a continuous process and it does not stop anywhere. Thus, learning transformation and learning improvements are not achieved instantly. It takes sometimes years to really notice the impact of certain project implementations.

How does this observation benefit you?

If you want to be a training management leader, you need to look at extended horizon of operations. For you targets will not be stationary and not just one. Rather it is a form of tiered targets or tiered success criteria.

For you even if a task status is closed for now, still you will continuously keep monitoring it and very occasionally you will keep raising the bars of improvement targets to next quality level.

I will elaborate some practical tips in strategic focus for training leadership in my subsequent posts.

Stay tuned for Part-II of this blog where I will provide some insight into 5 more strategic approaches observed from research which is seen to be adopted by training management leaders.

 Click Here for Part-II of this Post

About Raman K. Attri

Raman K. Attri is a complex learning strategist, a transformational training consultant and a researcher with over 20 years of experience in engineering, management and technical training. His primary area of focus is to provide strategic directions to organizations in implementing next-generation competitive training strategies. His research interests include complex learning, accelerated expertise and advanced instructional design. He is also the founder of Personal Resonance©, a research forum with a charter to transform proven research studies on accelerated expertise into organizational training practices. His training and learning solutions are strongly founded in system engineering techniques applied to large-scale training programs. Equipped with scientific training methods, he innovated two research-backed complex learning frameworks namely SEAT© (Systems Engineering Approach to Training) and ProBT© (Proficiency Based Training) methodology primarily meant for organizations to accelerate development of complex cognitive skills of their employees systematically at faster rate. He is highly passionate about learning. He holds Professional Doctorate in Corporate Training, MBA in Operations Management and Executive MBA in Customer Relationship Management. Currently he is pursuing another Doctorate degree from Southern Cross University. His personal interests involve writing and painting.
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