The recent poll on Training Zone about rates for independent trainers, has got me all fired up. Not because it seems I’m undercharging (I prefer to think that I’m offering value), but because training design appears to be worth less than delivery.
The analogy I often use is that of building a house – a house has to look nice, be practical, warm and appeal to those who will live there. But first and foremost it has to be structurally sound, safe, comply with building regulations and have planning permission! That’s essentially what design does: Designers are the architects, structural engineers and builders. Deliverers are the interior decorators and estate agents. It’s no good being ‘sold’ something that doesn’t stand up to the test. Having detailed design is like having the technical drawings and blueprints – the client knows exactly what they are going to get, even if the ‘finishing touches’ may be a nice surprise on moving-in day!
So that’s one point, but the other is to challenge those trainers who only ever deliver their own stuff. Again, I have written about this in the past (see here). Now, I’m not suggesting that all independent trainers should have someone else do their design – that would be impractical and expensive. All I suggest is that they are open to using material designed by others.
I have recently been running some workshops as an associate for another training company. These workshops were designed by someone else. Because they were designed well, I was able to try brand new activities (and be 80% confident that they would work) and present new concepts. By delivering material that was new to me, I came out of my comfort zone, learned something new, and expanded what I can offer in the future. In short, I have developed myself.
I just wonder… by being precious about material, and not being willing to deliver training designed by others, are many freelance trainers missing out on great personal development opportunities (which incidentally) are paid?