I was asked a question by a freelance trainer in my network who had been running events for a client – “Should I hand over my training materials?” The client then asked to have all of the training materials so they could mop up and run events in the future. My contact was reluctant. The client felt it was their right.
It’s a tricky one unless (like me) you always intend to share materials and factor the cost of design into your work: If my clients pay me for the time it takes to design the materials, they can have them. If they don’t, they can’t. It’s quite straight forward, and I’ve written before on this topic. Ultimately, it depends on the agreement between client and supplier and there’s certainly no right or wrong approach.
But, as the Great British Bake Off started again this week, I couldn’t help but compare the two situations: You could provide me with all the equipment, the ingredients and detailed instructions to make some of those show-stopper cakes, and they would be a disaster (though I’d like to think I’d make a reasonable success of some of the challenges!). Skill and experience make the difference. That’s what would make my effort edible, but not much more, and the winners’ efforts incredible – in a totally different class.
It’s just the same with training and facilitation. The materials aren’t the whole thing. Yes, they are essential, and as I create workshops programmes for internal trainers to deliver I make sure that I know what their skill-level and experience is to design materials that are appropriate. This way, I set them up to succeed, not fail. My Power Hour material is designed for less experienced trainers, and this is reflected in the materials – the equivalent of making jam tarts rather than a pavlova – it’s appropriate for them. However, a complex event (or cake) can only be successfully run by a skilled and experienced facilitator (chef). That’s why I also have a network of associate trainers and facilitators who can be relied upon to do something a little more special than run through some slides and have a discussion.
Although essential, the ingredients don’t make the cake just as the materials don’t make the training. I’m pleased to be able to offer organisations what they need: the ingredients only (‘cos they have talented but busy ‘chefs’); the chefs only (if they have everything in place but no-one to deliver); or everything from planning, designing to delivering.