Questions to Ask When Creating Your Strategic Training & Development Initiatives

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Training and develop is a core aspect of organizational sustainability and success,  or so it is preached. Experts encourage training and development initiatives to align with the organizational objectives. There is an abundance of methodologies, frameworks, and strategies, yet before all of this, one must understand specific aspects of the state of the organization and the goals that it is trying to achieve before designing any program. Therefore, this post will discuss questions to ask when creating your strategic training and development initiatives.

“Confidence comes from discipline and training,” – Robert Kiyosaki.

What's your mission

Properly crafted mission statements (1) serve as filters to separate what is important from what is not, (2) clearly state which markets will be served and how, and (3) communicate a sense of intended direction to the entire organization. A mission is different from a vision in that the former is the cause and the latter is the effect; a mission is something to be accomplished whereas a vision is something to be pursued for that accomplishment. Also called company mission, corporate mission, or corporate purpose. The mission statement should guide the actions of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a path, and guide decision-making. It provides “the framework or context within which the company's strategies are formulated.” It is like a goal for what the company wants to do for the world. ~ Hill, Charles; Jones, Gareth (2008). Strategic Management: An Integrated Approach

1. What is the mission and vision of your firm? Pretty basic, yes, but it is surprising how many small and medium-sized businesses have a hard time narrowing its mission and vision down. Or worse there is a “cookie cutter” mission and vision statement for the firm, but the culture and actions of the firm couldn't be farther away. Be real, be specific, and get clear on the mission and vision of the firm. It is encouraged to have internal and external stakeholders participate in the activity. Group collaboration may even help to shed light in regards to the connectedness or the lack thereof in regards to the perception of the mission and vision for the firm.

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2. What are the strategic influencers of the firm’s business strategy? Think of internal and external factors that have an impact on the firm’s business initiatives. Identification of such aspects are key to evaluating the influence, and building key initiatives to promote designing a training and development program that aids in learning, applying, and expanding on those key influencers to day to day business operation. Knowing what impacts your business strategy and in what capacity will help to see where the firm stands in comparison to where it could be if it crafted internal resources to maximize strategic influencers that aid in carrying out initiatives that tie in with the business strategy. In essence, this is a GAP analysis question that asks “What impacts our business, and what are we doing to carrying out our business strategy in the most resourceful manner? Are we missing anything? If so, what, and how does it impact our firm?”

3. What competencies are needed to carry out our business strategy? A needs assessment of competencies needed to achieve organizational goals is paramount to designing the right training and development program. Think of this question as “what are the critical success factors to achieve XYZ?” For example, if your firm is struggling with its marketing platform, that is an issue that will impact achieving marketing and organizational objectives. Identifying the critical success factors will help you to see what competencies are needed. The key is identification, evaluating options to gain the competencies, selecting the best fit based on the company’s situation, and doing something about it. Identification only will do nothing, but identify, and this question leads into a bigger question of “ok, so what, now what are our options and how do we do it?”

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Training and development initiatives require purposeful preparation and understanding. The ability to sit down and evaluate the identified three questions helps owners, leadership, and training experts to identify, evaluate, and begin to craft the appropriate training and development initiatives. There isn’t a one-way is the best way approach, but there are best practices that are encouraged, the identified questions start in that direction and may surprise you in the alignment or misalignment between the perception and reality of training and development initiatives.

by Katie Doseck, PhD MBA

Chief Visionary and Strategic Ace Up Your Sleeve | Viral Solutions LLC

Copyright 2015 by Viral Solutions LLC

Dr Katie Doseck, MBA, PhD Viral Solutions

Katie Doseck, PhD MBA | Chief Visionary & Strategic Ace Up Your Sleeve. I catapulted my experience with extensive education, trainings, and personal coaching; earning a PhD in Organizational Management with a specialization in Human Resource Management, MBA in Organizational Leadership, and BA in Law & Liberal Arts. Subject Matter Expert (SME) areas: Human Resource Management, Employment Law, Organizational Change, Change Management, Resource Planning, Strategic Planning, Talent Management, Selling & Sales Management, Training & Development, Decision Making Models, Project Management, Customer Relationship Management, and Motivation. Dr. Doseck is based out of Logan, Utah.

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