I spent the other week with our trainer, Mike, in one of the largest training sessions we have conducted to date. This session was dedicated to one customer who flew employees in from around the country. The training was based on our standard offering with no customization, nor any customer-specific modifications. The only difference, as compared to normally scheduled training sessions, was that we condensed seven days of training into an intense five day session (just like we’re now offering across the board). Oh, and by the way, the training was conducted on the customer’s premises.
So, what is the point of my telling you about what we did for one customer?
There are four take-aways that I believe any of our customers can benefit from:
1. We are prepared to conduct on-site training, providing the number of trainees warrants it. There are, of course, logistical and financial issues to consider, but where there is a will there is a way.
2. The customer had done excellent homework in prepping all of the trainees for both the intensity and importance of the sessions. There were few distractions and training continued until 5:00PM every day (even Friday) with no complaints. Bottom-line is that they all realized the strategic impact of their role in introducing a new technology into the organization.
3. Our training can be condensed into fewer days, but trainees start reaching burn-out towards the end of the week. So, although something can be done, that doesn’t mean it should be done. I would not advocate, under normal circumstances, to compress something into a week that is as important as training and that has been tried and tested in a seven day course.
4. Most important though was the attitude that these trainees brought to the training. I sat in the back of the room with a colleague and was able to monitor everyone’s attentiveness and capture any comments or concerns. Happily, I can say that not once did anyone get fixated on what their current system does and what they might lose or need to change when using Four51. Rather, there was a constant chatter about how they could use the new system to improve some or other existing business process.
Interestingly enough, even my colleague and I sitting in the back of the room and undergoing the same training kept an open mind and both of us learned new aspects of a system we believed to know so well already. It is amazing what an open mind will allow you to do, if only you let it.