One Day At The Office…
Ali looked around the office at her team and sighed in dismay.
It was 4:30 on a Thursday afternoon, and the chaos she saw confirmed her fear that they would be working late. Again.
The project was supposed to be done by 5pm so that it could be sent to the client first thing Friday morning, but despite her meeting with them on Monday, it was clear they didn’t know what they were doing and didn’t know how to work together well.
First thing Monday she would research some team-building training.
Wilson saw Ali looking out at the team, shaking her head and frowning. Obviously she had figured out they were going to miss their deadline, which was helpful, he thought, because no one wanted to tell her that.
Ali was a good boss most of the time, but that meeting on Monday did nothing to clarify who was doing what on the team, and everyone kept stepping on each other’s toes. They lost an entire day because three people were working on the same thing, and no one was organizing what needed to be done.
His sister’s company brought in an efficiency consultant, and that seemed to help. Maybe Ali should do that.
He’d suggest it on Monday.
Training or Consulting?
If you have ever been in a situation like Ali or Wilson, then you know how frustrating it can be to put in all the effort you have, only to have a project miss the mark or be ineffective.
You probably also have heard people argue about which is better: bringing in an efficiency consultant or bringing in training.
The obvious solution is to do both, right?
I mean training is about providing specific knowledge and skill in how to do something, and consulting is about taking a high-level view of how an organization gets its work done, and providing thoughts on how they could do better.
So yeah, bring in both.
What? There’s a problem with that?
There sure is.
Never mind the fact that budgets are getting tighter and tighter and most organizations don’t have the money to spend on two different types of improvement projects.
Never mind the fact that many teams simply don’t have the time to do both — in the “old days” it was common to send people for a week of training, or to bring in trainers to provide entire teams with a few consecutive days of training. That just doesn’t happen anymore. And they certainly don’t want to have to spend time working with a consultant AND sitting in classrooms.
There’s also the fact that it’s really hard to find consultants and trainers who will work together and support each other’s ideas. Even if they are from the same organization (which is possible, but rare), people have different approaches, and training may not line up with exactly what the efficiency opportunity is.
Finally, most teams don’t have the time to take what they’ve learned, add what the consultant has recommended, and turn it into an action plan.
And then implement it.
I can hear some of you groaning. You’ve been there haven’t you — a great idea put forth by a consultant or someone on the team, and no one has the time to get it done, so it just sits there, in the “great idea” file.
The reality is that hiring both training and consulting services that support each other, that fit into your organization’s schedule, and that help people actually make changes is challenging and may result in a big waste of money.
Trainsulting©: The Revolution
The next big solution for business improvement is a hybrid of Training and Consulting.
It’s not just doing both, it’s an actual melding of the two approaches.
Trainsulting© merges the activities of training and efficiency consulting to create a completely new and distinct service offering.
In Trainsulting©, the service provider chats with you about what’s going on, the pain points, the things that are awesome, and the goals you’re trying to achieve. They then provide a mix of training — using a bunch of different approaches like small group, larger discussion groups, and online modules — and consulting that are woven together in a seamless way.
Let’s go back to Ali and Wilson’s issue at the beginning of this article.
A trainer might come in and provide amazing team-building training that helps people be more communicative so they don’t step on each other’s toes. An efficiency consultant might come in a few weeks later and change up how they assign people to projects, which may support or even conflict the concepts they learned in their team building training.
On the other hand, someone skilled in Trainsulting© would chat with Ali about what’s going on, maybe interview a few team members or others who are involved in the project, and find an entirely different solution.
In this case, Ali’s team is a fabulous team, but they aren’t skilled in the basics of Project Management. Trainsulting© would clarify all the roles involved in the project (including appointing and training a project manager), assess the best and most relevant project management tools and processes that would help the team (and train the team on them), spend some time helping the team work the new tools and processes into their routines, and stick around to modify and answer questions until things are running smoothly.
Trainsulting© experts would also spend some time with Ali to help her understand how to best help the team stick with the changes after they’re gone, creating a lasting, positive change.
As with any business change, Trainsulting© requires that the team and especially the leader are committed and willing to do the work. That’s not new, and is no different than any training or consulting activities.
What IS different is how Trainsulting© weaves the training and the consulting together to be more relevant, impactful, and, most-of-all, efficient in the use of time and money.
These days business leaders can’t continue to do things the same way and expect great results. Innovation isn’t just about what work is done, it’s also about HOW the work is done.
Trainsulting© is the new way to take a fresh look at your team and to help them be the best they can be.