Friday, September 3, 2010

Canned Training

An executive coaching client asked my opinion on a certain brand of management training seminars. I replied:

I'm not familiar with these particular seminars. My attitude about canned training is that, in general, most of it doesn't apply to specific needs, but if you take an idea or two away from a seminar that you can plug into your work back at the ranch, that's probably pretty good. There can be a problem with being told to work in ways that actually won't work in your particular organizational milieu, market niche, or for your personality. So there's a sorting out responsibility that one has to do for oneself. Looking at the seminar descriptions, I found myself put off by what seem to me to be hyperbole in the titles and short descriptions, but then I became more interested when I looked into the details. I'm generally wary of hyperbole, and wonder how much of that will get into the presentations themselves, as a kind of hypnotic suggestion or propaganda wavelength. It's possible to leave training seminars feeling like one has been handed a jewel, but then find, afterward, that one's hand is really empty after all!

So, the bottom line is, yes, do go, bringing both your notebook and your skepticism with you, and be prepared to have to work, after the seminar is over, at sorting out what was potentially valuable from what wasn't. I'll look forward to hearing about it, and maybe that's where I'll be able to provide some value for you, in the sorting out process.

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