I’ve just returned from a fabulous creative meeting with one of my clients. Three of them and I sat in a room for 3 hours and just talked about:
- What they need their managers to do more of
- What they ought to do less of
- What they see happening – good and bad
- What they’ve heard about happens in other places
- Our collective experience of what works and what doesn’t
- How people can learn to do more of the good stuff
- What genuinely gets in their way, and what excuses they hear
- What we can realistically cover in a training session
- What people need to learn for themselves
- How the whole thing can be implemented and measured
At the end, we were all very pleased and the Senior Manager in the room said “Great. That’s that module designed then”. To a point, he’s exactly right, and to a point, he couldn’t be more wrong! What we have is a clear plan of what the session will look like: what the pre-course work will be, what will be explored in the live event (and how), and what people will be expected to do to put the learning into practice.
However, it is a long way from complete: I will have to put in 5-6 days work, and the client themselves will be putting in a couple of days to ensure that we have everything we need to actually make it happen.
Just as a music producer listens to the creative jamming of a group of musicians, my role as a training designer is to listen to all that great unplanned, creative chat. Pick up on the ideas that have legs, challenge the ones that sounded out of line and pick out the main tune. From that, it can be refined: links (the bridge) can be built, the chorus (i.e. key points) drawn out, harmonies added (i.e. related issues) and so a final piece created. I can even suggest who plays which part and arrange for extra or specialist input. THIS is what being a training designer is all about: Making order out of chaos. Writing the parts for all players and orchestrating the whole thing so those involved find it easy to play their part.
It’s like the exciting news that I’m having my office refurbished: the plans are drawn, the flooring chosen, the wood finish and paint selected. Mentally, the office is refurbished, but the time-consuming and dirty bit where the REAL transformation takes place hasn’t even started yet!