“Eat your own dog food”

It has been an interesting six months to say the least. In late April we decided to move all our courses online. We didn’t expect this to go on so long but it has and to be honest this is going to be the mode well into 2021.

Face to face teaching in training rooms to groups isn’t’ popular, even if allowed, this is both in terms of our trainers and the HR departments of client companies. Many “blue chip” service organisations, a sector that forms most of our customer base, have their staff working from home and have curtailed physical interaction. Traditional classroom training courses are “on ice”.

With continued restrictions  with major urban zones moving back into tier two and three lockdowns( Uk)  it is very difficult to plan ahead and arrange public courses.

So, how does that leave continual professional development in the realm of business architecture and operating model consulting?

Many businesses have had to adapt their business models and modes of service delivery; as this no longer a short term situation this is going to be around for some time.

On reflection, this change creates opportunities to overcome some of the shortcomings of traditional classroom training.It creates opportunities for teaching that allows for shorter sessions, with period of personal reinforcement and reflection in between.

Sessions are one to one making the content relevant for each individual at their own pace aligned to their own learning needs and objectives.

Traditional group training over two or three days was intense and although the benefits of team building and networking were great the actual embedding of learning was often weak. Delegates moved from one topic to the next at pace without sometimes the time to contextualise the material and think things through.

Often the group was dominated by individuals whose personalities dictated the pace maybe leaving behind the more junior and less confident behind. It was difficult for the course leader to  create “differentiation”, as it is called in educational circles, to ensure that the course was adapted to all delegates of all abilities with variety of exercises and material to fit.

These sorts of issue occurs in both corporate course where people from the same firm come together for a training event, but even more problematically in public courses where delegates can be from varying backgrounds, levels of experience and  prior knowledge. In public courses the situation is more extreme because the delegate cohort can be so diverse; in reality a one size fits all is the only approach, Having run several master classes for “professional associations” you often get the extremes of: the experts who attend to impress colleagues  or reinforce what they know already, or at the other end of the spectrum complete novices. Keeping such classes relevant for all is not easy.

In conclusion the move to one to one online delivery, where we run sessions once or twice a week. specifically with one attendee, has proved quite successful in providing a more effective more focussed learning plan.This coupled with Dever Learning our learning portal that hosts the material, allows the client to: review topics, investigate things deeper and formulate questions for the next session.

The downside is we spend more time delivering for less income, but let us face it it is better to deliver and achieve  some revenue than none. On the up side costs are lower, no trips to London and hotel bills and no COVID risk. The flexibility works both ways as trainers can have a better work life balance so it is not all bad. The economy needs to re structure, we as a training company need to restructure and as we train in business models we need as the phrase goes “Need to eat our own dog food” !