The Truth About Training

If you were given the opportunity to provide a 90 second elevator speech to convert a non-believer into a loyal advocate for your training and development department, what would you say? How would you be able to convince this person in such a short time?

If you are a training professional who has been in the field , you may have already experienced this scenario. When ever organizations go through cost saving initiatives, training seems to be dispensable and training leaders find themselves in a position where they have to prove the value of training to the organization.  Start thinking about how your departments add value to the organization and become the training champion in your organization.

The Background

Let’s set the stage. We have a manager of training and development standing in an elevator with a VP of Operations who has a business unit that could really use the help of training and development. But the VP of Ops thinks that the training department is only really good for conducting orientation and customer service training.  The manager of training and development decides to take this short amount of time to educate the VP of Ops on the “Truth About Training”.

The Speech

Hi Bill,

I thought I saw in a recent email that you were working on two really big initiatives within your division. If there is anyway you may want to leverage my training and development department, please feel free to let me know. In case you aren’t quite sure how my department may be able to assist I would love to share a few key points. First, “strategic training and development initiatives are learning related actions that a company should take to help it achieve its business strategy” ( Noe, 2010, p.62). We would be able to coordinate/ design/create learning events with objectives that are in alignment with your business goals. I’m sure just as with any new initiative there are aspirational goals you have created. It takes people, your people, to get you there. Ask your self does everyone on your team have the skills, knowledge, and competencies to get there? Does everyone understand their role and the expectations with the changes that have occurred. If you can answer no to any of these questions, let’s grab lunch, my treat and we can discuss further how to leverage my department to support your division and get you the results you are looking for with this new initiative.

 Audio Version

elevator speech blog


3 thoughts on “The Truth About Training

  1. Nicole,

    I love the layout of your page as well as the survey you incorporated in your page.

    Very interesting perspective on your elevator speech. I like the way your speech took a true “conversational tone” and you created an actual scenario for the blog.

    I’m curious, if Bill responded and said “yes” to the questions you asked and the team knew their purpose, etc-what other factors for training would you provide?

    • Audrea,
      Great question! In real life I would ask those questions only if I had information that supported that these things were not happening. But let’s just say that the VP of Ops says “yes” ( Let’s face it the perspective of those on the top are often different from those doing the work), I would share the other perspectives of his department and make the case for the importance of leveraging my department to assist in aligning his vision for the new initiatives with the perceptions of those who will be impacted.

      But this is something that takes tact. One wrong word and you can now go from building alliances to making enemies. Great question once again!! Thank you for adding value and food for thought!!!!

  2. Nicole,
    Great way to start the speech; personalizing the speech to his new initiative will definitely get his attention. I liked the fact that you stressed alignment of the training design and implementation with the business goals. Those are two very good questions you asked to get him thinking about his team’s knowledge and skills, as well as their new roles and expectations. Good approach for getting a follow-up conversation.

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