R e b e c c a   M o r g a n ' s
Insights & Information
Sept./Oct. 2007
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Rebecca Morgan, CSP, CMC
Certified Speaking Professional
Certified Management Consultant

Developing and implementing strategic key-talent development solutions for you

Grow Your Key Talent

Latest Blog Articles

The following short articles were recently posted to my blog "Grow Your Key Talent."

  • Do you know how your customers are being treated?
  • Acknowledge the good stuff
  • Even utilities can excel at service

Come to a Free Seminar!

If you're in the South Bay, you're invited to attend a free breakfast seminar I'm giving.

Thurs.., Oct. 18,
8:00 - 10:00 a.m.

Advantage Personnel and Key Point Credit Union are sponsoring this program in Santa Clara.

The topic, "Innovative Interventions: Outside-the-Box Training Case Studies," is applicable for anyone interested in more creative ideas on developing their staff. This is a very interactive program, using case studies to see how you'd solve the actual situations presented. You'll not only have fun in the process, you'll walk away with new ideas and excitement for applying them.

Click here to register.
Need training for colleagues in Asia?

I'm going to Singapore and India from Jan. 3-23, '08. I'd be happy to give a speech, deliver a training session, or provide consulting in Southeast Asia and India before or after these dates. Please contact me ASAP to explore what I could do for your colleagues.
Get a Deal if I'm Working Near You!

You can save money by piggybacking with my other clients. If you want to explore what I could do to help your people be more effective, contact me ASAP so I can work you into my travel schedule.

Or get several companies together, or gift your clients with a presentation for their teams.

Nov. 17 -- Tampa, FL
Nov. 21 -- Miami, FL
Dec. 6-10 -- Atlanta, GA
Jan. 4 -- Singapore
Jan. 6-18 -- India
Jan. 21-23 -- Singapore
July 11-13 -- Washington, DC
Aug. 2-5 -- New York City
Jack O'LanternBooks For Treats

Do something different this Halloween -- give gently read children's books to your trick-or-treaters. For about the price of a candy bar, you can purchase good second-hand books and delight your ghosts and goblins.

I've been doing this at my house since 1995, and the kids (and parents) loved it so much, I expanded it into the community. We gave out 3500 books last year, and have 8000 to hand out on Halloween to kids in San Jose..

Go to the Books For Treats site to read more, download a free kit on how to do this, and start it at your house or community. Our motto is "Give kids brain candy. Feed their minds, not their cavities."

Give Us a Call!

We're always happy to brainstorm with you.

How Can You Achieve Long-Term Results for Your Training Dollar?
This issue's focus is on using long-term training programs to increase ROI.

1. Offer A Course Comprised of Shorter-Length, More-Targeted Sessions

In my 27 years in the people-development business, I've observed that most companies' model for training is to offer a half-day or one-day program for a particular target group. But rarely do they conduct a needs assessment and determine if everyone in the group could benefit from the program. The attitude is typically, "Even the exemplars can use a refresher." But here is what gets overlooked:
  • many of the exemplars consider this a waste of time.
  • in fact, many feel insulted because they don't see themselves needing this skill polishing
  • consequently, they - and others who don't think they need to be there - sit with their arms crossed, constantly check their email, or even read the newspaper during the session
As a result of seeing these behaviors and ultimately my clients wasting money, I've created practices that are guaranteed to increase participants' engagement and accountability, and your ROI.

Specifically, one practice is to change a single training session from a half-day or full-day program to several shorter sessions. They extend every other week for several sessions, based on what's required. This practice enables participants to:
  • choose one or two behaviors to work on between sessions
  • focus on small behavior changes that create big results
  • attend only the sessions they and their managers feel would be relevant
  • increase the accountability to the instructor and participants as well as their managers.
Whenthese sessions are part of a cohesive whole they can providelonger-term behavior changes that show up as increased effectivenessand productivity.

2. Try a Management (or Customer Service or Sales) Academy

If you've considered a one- or two-day training program, be open to the new idea of offering a year-long (or more) management academy. How are the results different than with a one-time program?
  • Longer-lasting effect. Education has shown that programs spread out over time have a greater effect than one-time ones. It's why universities don't offer one-day undergraduate courses on physics, chemistry, or psychology. Educators know it takes time for new ideas to sink in and learners to think about the concepts. With adult learners, we also want them to be able to apply the ideas shared in the session. Spaced learning allows that.

  • Upper management involvement. The managers of the participants can be integrated into the program by knowing what their staff learned and how to reinforce. My article "The Three-Legged Stool for Training Success" (PDF) discussed that, to get maximum ROI, the learner's manager needs to be involved in the program and create accountability as it applies to the job. I often include monthly executive briefings to share what was covered in the training and convey what managers should look for in behaviors from their staff..

  • Better use of time. In the time it takes for a 2-day training -- 16 hours -- you could have eight 2-hour monthly sessions or five 3-hour sessions. In between would be homework, reading, and accountability activities with peers and the participants' managers. Rule of thumb: As long as the participants are local, their time is better spent in shorter programs with practice built in than a longer program. If they are disbursed, distance-learning technologies can be used to involve everyone.
What's Your Approach to Department Training?

Many times, I get called to present training because "it would be a good thing for the staff." No business reason is stated; no measures are set to determine
  1. if training is needed at all, 
  2. who needs the training, 
  3. what kind of training is optimal,
  4. how new behaviors will be measured.
Some managers call in their internal training department or someone like me because "training" was an objective handed down from above. Then they can check off "Staff training provided"  and report its completion to their bosses. What a waste of time and money!

Check to see how you place on the chart I created called "Ways Managers Approach Training" (PDF).You'll see if your current approach is accomplishing your objectives or if there is a better way to do so.
How Can You Provide Long-Term Development on a Budget?

Cost is one of the biggest barriers managers face to providing staff development. Not only do they want people away from their jobs for as little time as possible, but they're concerned that training will put a serious dent in their budget.

Would you like ideas that cost nothing and would take as little as an hour a month? Or something that costs $100/month and takes only 20-30 minutes at a monthly staff meeting?

To show various ways we might work together, I've created a simple chart of 10 cost-effective ideas to begin your development effort. Several options have minor cost and time commitments. Download the "
Morgan Development Solution Possibilities."
8-Step Process for Creating a More Effective Workforce

How can your team constantly find ways to work smarter - both individually and organizationally? Experience shows improvement efforts spawn from professional development activities that not only force team members to examine their own processes, but provide tools and skills for implementation.

Long-lasting professional development does not come cheaply or without thoughtful effort. But the alternatives - poorly conceived and executed activities or none at all - can cost many times more. For you to get the highest ROI, many elements need your attention - from creating clear, achievable objectives to planning for reinforcement.

Based on more than 27 years in the professional development field, I've seen some programs that worked, and many that didn't. I don't want you to waste your time or money so I've
developed an 8-step process to ensure success.

  1. Clarify your desired outcomes
  2. Identify gaps
  3. Streamline individual and organizational processes
  4. Enhance target group's skills
  5. Increase individuals' productivity
  6. Measure results
  7. Boost profits
  8. Celebrate success
(Read the details of each step in the rest of this downloadable article)

Call today if you'd like to explore how to increase the ROI of your training activities.
This email was sent to rebecca@rebeccamorgan.com, by rebecca@rebeccamorgan.com
Rebecca Morgan, CSP, CMC | 1440 Newport Ave. | San Jos=E9 | CA | 95125