Impacts Beyond Measurable

March 28, 2012

In my research of performance management, business consulting, training and development, etc…. I have come across tons of national statistics about the effectiveness of training your workforce and the benefits resulting such as retention, increased efficiencies, decreased losses, sales increases and a more engaged workforce.  However, amid all the headlines and summaries my deepest connection exists in my personal experiences.  There have been multiple points in my career where I have adjusted my perspective, had ‘ah ha’ moments and changed behavior based on training received on-the-job.  Below is a recent example of such an occurrence;

I used to work in the career service department of a university in which one of the main strategic initiatives was to be known as the ‘career university’.  While there were tons of great process coming down to career services to enact this vision there wasn’t a lot of support from the rest of the campus.  Despite numerous attempts to get more buy in from the leadership team, faculty and staff it didn’t seem as if we were making any progress.  Our director at the time had been working with one of our project management professors and organized some learning sessions with him to discuss our situation.

He ended up taking us through a ‘Constraints Management’ series of trainings and assisted us in locating our core conflict.  Though the initial sessions sounded more like ‘bitch-sessions’ they were expertly lead and detailed notes were taken.  This professor was able to walk us through the conflict and assumptions surrounding it and develop a current reality tree.  We were then able to create an injection to address our core conflict and naturally transform the current reality tree into what we would like our ideal reality to look like.  Now I am oversimplifying the process quite a bit – but being able to present to the leadership a thought pattern, thoroughly reason out along with a detailed solution (with visuals to match) was incredibly powerful and shifted the overall culture of the campus.

I have taken the lessons learned forward in my career and continue to mentally use these processes.  Though not specifically measurable, these are the kinds of impacts that truly improve the skills of professionals and lay foundations to a stronger economy.

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