What A Training Organization Can Be Made Of

I attended an OC-STC(Orange County Society for Technical Communications) presentation with Saul Carliner, PhD, CPTP, entitled: The Way We Work: What Research Suggests about the Real-World Practice of Technical Communication and Training Groups.  It was a fairly interesting seminar in which Dr. Carliner noticed the tendency for training to call what they do something else:  Organizational Development;  Performance Consulting;  Workplace Learning and Performance.  He noted that these new names tended to confuse clients, much like other training argot may as well be a foreign language to the CEOs we serve.

“Why,” he asked, “don’t we call what we do ‘training?'”

Team in Training calls what they do “training.”  Yet, in the parlance of Human Performance Improvement, they do so much more than train.  According to HPI models, typical training initiatives cover information, knowledge, or skills gaps.  Yet trainers often agree that knowledge gaps are not resolved in the classroom alone — that leadership needs to back up training to ensure that the performer gets the job done.  This is Team in Training’s model.

The wife displaying her "Running Girl" moves the night before her ~40th half marathon (and she said she didn't like running!)

The wife displaying her "Running Girl" moves the night before her ~40th half marathon (and she said she didn't like running!)

There’s a coach that teaches the performer how to run.  There’s a mentor running right along next to the performer, offering encouragement and helping out.  There’s a structure to ensure that the performer’s ability to run the marathon is steadily increasing.  There’s the motivation to strengthen the performer’s resolve, the incentive to keep the performer going. The entire structure is devoted to a performer’s growth, to a change in that performer’s behavior to accomplish something that the performer had never accomplished before, maybe not even have wanted to accomplish before!

All this in a “Training” organization.

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