Ann, a training manager in a company with multiple locations, was until the morning proud of her latest achievement: two months ago all of the company branch managers passed a series of training sessions, where they were updated about the company's goals and learned innovative methods to improve their sales' skills. Managers actively participated and expressed interest in the material. At the end of the training she received great feedback and she was very pleased.
"This morning, before I set to talk to you", she tells me, "I went as usual at 8:30 to the office; I opened the computer and the first thing I saw was an urgent summons to my boss's office, VP human resources. I entered his office a few minutes later, and at the entrance I already felt that something was wrong..."
"Ann", he told me, "Yesterday Ned (our VP of Sales) stopped me in the hallway and he was very concerned and nervous. He told me he studied last month reports, and he was surprised to find no increase on sales, as everyone expected, and everything stays the same as at the beginning of the year – it seems too slow, salesmen are tired… "
"Yes", I said, haven't any idea how to respond.
"Ned claimed", My boss kept firing at me, "that he made some checks yesterday and discovered that no branch managers had initiated any new move – they didn't gathered their teams for weekly meetings, didn't guided their deputies. Instead they continued to handle only the daily routine activities - inventory management, branch maintenance and dealing with customer complaints. He just can't figure out why the company decided to spend so much money on expensive training, which eventually yielded no results! He intends to request an urgent meeting with the CEO on this issue as soon as possible! "
My boss took a deep breath, trying to stay calm. While I focused all along the floor, frantically looking for an escape route close to me, to jump way down, probably directly to the main warehouse on the ground floor ...
"Ann", My boss said coolly after a minute of absolute silence, which seemed like eternity, "I ask you to submit to me an urgent detailed report on the latest branch managers' training. I want to know what was there every minute, I want to know who said what and when, I want to know who was breathing, who was blinking, who was scratching his head. I want to know everything! "
"Fine", I said.
When I went out of my boss's office, I felt as if all this company's future is laying on my shoulders right now and of course the future of its entire staff. And as you know me, I don't really have large shoulders ...
I went back to the office, I took several deep breaths and after a few minutes of thinking and focusing I decided to call Tom, a branch manager, who I like and have good contact with. I promised myself to take an objective attitude and especially to listen to Tom, but it didn't take me more than 5 seconds to tell Tom everything. He, in his turn, surprised me by saying:
"Ann, I assure you, there is no a single branch managers who doesn't agree that the training was excellent. But the problem is not with the training! The problem is something completely different!
When I returned to the office after the training I felt good - I felt I learned a lot, I got an important insight, but when I tried to remember certain subjects from the training sessions I found out that I only remembered the summary at the end of the day. I actually liked one advice based on a case study from another company, but I couldn't concentrate and understand how I can apply it in our office.
The next day we received a large new stock of products for the holidays. Two weeks later the IT team installed a new system of collection (you must remember what pressure we had during this time period), and I was fully occupied and busy with my daily work. Two weeks ago, when things calmed down a bit, I tried to actually remember some of the things we learned at the last meeting, especially the issue of how to handle sales objections, and I'll tell you the truth – I didn't remember anything.
I avoided scheduling a staff meeting - if I can't get myself to remember all the insights I have learned, how could I possibly pass them to 200 employees?? "
I stopped Tom for a moment: "Let me understand what you're basically telling me. You say that if you had the means to remember what you had learned, to know how to implement it in our branches and to pass all that knowledge to your employees – would you have done more?"
Tom said: "Absolutely! One can't rely on what I remember, it won't make me achieving better results, it can't provide me with tools to improve sales and it won't bring the expected change!"
"I understand you perfectly", I said, and for the first time this morning I had a smile upon my face.
I assume that you, the reader, as a training manager in an organization with multiple locations or an expert in sales training, probably had faced or will face the situation described here. How can knowledge be shared in large organization with multiple locations so it will make a positive impact on the company's business results? How can one find the solution which will have the optimal cost - benefit ratio for the organization?
Ann is smiling because she is aware of a solution to this issue.
Recently a new product called Movietraining™ , developed by CastEffect, was introduced to the market, which provides a solution exactly to this issue. The product is a short, focused and result driven process based on tools taken from filmmaking process. This process implements four principles which make it so effective:
1. Learning process - the participants create content for corporate training video using scriptwriting techniques, where they provide a unique and customized interpretation to sales skills and how to improve corporate sales. The customization enables managers like Tom to use the trained material for their specific needs.
2. Documentation of the learning process for using in future ongoing training – it provides a solution for managers like Tom, who only remembered a small percentage of what they learned during the training sessions.
3. Production of training video - directing, photographing and editing scripts from the learning process to be used for creating training video as working toolbox for managers like Tom to distribute knowledge acquired by them to their employees.
4. Additional Training Kit, which includes a list of written principles, conclusions and recommendations for future ongoing learning.
Ann can still save the situation - she will gather the managers once again for a short training session. They will experience all phases of the Movietraining™ - and I'll wait for a phone call from her and read in the newspapers a report about the significant increase in her company's business results!