In my last blog, I questioned whether bespoke training was always the right thing to offer. Creating programmes especially for a client, reflecting their culture, structure, language and good practice means that there is always the danger that boundaries aren’t being pushed. BUT, pushing boundaries isn’t always what’s needed. Often, we need to share good practice and help people to achieve high standards (which have been agreed) across the whole organisation, and that’s where bespoke training really adds value.
As a bespoke training designer, I need to really get to know the business to do this – recently I’ve been getting to grips with Industrial laundry. It also means working closely with the internal L&D team and taking a steer from them about what should be included.
And this is where I benefit personally.
If I was a typical training provider, I would have a handful of set courses that I was an expert in, and clients would select the workshops (or programme) that they felt best meets their needs. If I’m selling a set programme, it’s set. I would deliver the same thing over and over, reinforcing my expertise in these areas, yet having no incentive to diversify. Any new offering would represent a significant investment and risk – what if I spend a lot of time and money learning new things and no-one wants to buy my new course?
Thankfully, I’m not typical.
Because I work in partnership with my clients, I suggest content that I think we ought to cover, but also, they do the same. Sometimes this means introducing me to concepts and models that I’m unfamiliar with. I’m open about that, and so I begin a crash course of reading, watching and discussing. From time to time I come across theories that I’m not that bought into, but that’s OK as it’s not about me. Whether or not it appeals to me is irrelevant: If it will appeal to the majority of the client’s people then I have a duty to introduce them to it and help them to implement the key lessons. My associates also educate me. When creating a programme I ask for input from my associates and its not uncommon for them to open my eyes to something new too.
So my personal development is largely client and (to a lesser extent) colleague led, and it takes me on some surprising journeys!
If you want a chat and bounce ideas around your bespoke L&D needs, please get in touch. Great things happen when we collaborate, and there really is no catch – although any face-to-face meetings will have to wait until after the Easter holidays 😉