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Seb Anthony

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How to get more for less ?


Due to the all familiar hire freeze I have been asked to look at the different resources we can use to deliver management training within our company. Getting an external provider in is not on the list of options due to the costs involved.

We do have an e-learning solution in place (which is great) but we are really after alternatives for instructor led training.

Ideas we have already though of were appointing specialists (ex. IT and Project Managers, etc) to deliver specialist training, appointing people with an interest in training for longer periods of time to our team, using freelance trainers and squeezing more modules in our existing training time (we would then give homework to compensate for the 'lost' time).

This is as far as we got and I was wondering what other ideas are out there. Anything you can think of is more than welcome.

Kind regards,
Peggy Hoogstoel

8 Responses

  1. thinks again about the freelancers
    I have a vested interest in saying this but…
    If you use freelancers to deliver your material….
    -you get total quality control
    -you get people who will want to get invited back
    -you get experienced trainers
    -you get expertise from elsewhere/other industies
    -you don’t get managers doing the training who want to be elsewhere
    -you don’t get the downtime of the people you have pulled from the line

    You might also get “bite sized” training that cuts your other costs as well since many freelancers can offer this expertise

    As you rghtly identify Freelancers are much less expensive than going through a consultancy who might have offered you the same freelancers anyway!

    I know a number of companies who use freelancers very effectively in this way

    I’d love to offer my services but I’m not allowed to on this website:-)

  2. use the experience you have
    I am assuming that you already have some pretty damn good managers with experience in the business. Why dont you design the packages so they have a well written brief then run some train the trainer sessions with experienced managers who have an expertise and use them as ad hoc trainers. Works well in organisations I have been in and allows them to bring real life organisational experience to the learning

  3. Training on the cheap
    You can get some good managers that are able to coach or mentor others. Some may even do well as a second trainer. But there is no real substitute for a professional trainer – whether internal or external – if you want to run a course.
    That said, you may have some ex-trainers somewhere in the organisation that you could co-opt as internal associates. With manaagement’s agreement you may even be able to contract them to do, say, 20 days a year.
    It is not ideal but in the circumstances it may be your best option.

  4. Fundamental issues underly this?
    Would I be right in thinking that external providers are off the option list because not only are they considered (too) expensive, but the brutal reality is that the PERCEIVED value of any training that might be done is not enough to offset the costs of delivery, perhaps in part because there is no means in place to reliably, credibly and robustly measure the cash contribution of management training to the bottom line?

    If there was such a method and consequent improvement in the perceived value of this management training there would be a clear business case for spending the money!

    There are 2 problems here IMHO – the obvious one – find an alternative to external providers, but more fundamentally, training isn’t truly valued in this organisation.

    Solving the first problem – you will get plenty of good advice here – indeed I did something a few years ago where we trained 65 shop floor people to deliver training – almost 10% of the workforce – but we spent money getting an external person in to deliver good quality, effective train the trainer training. It showed real commitment to training and people could see that and buy in to it.

    Good luck!

  5. Training Providers
    I agree with the various “cost of everything,value of nothing” themes you have generated. If none of the arguments presented by the four respondents to date move your people,there is a further variation. If you are introducing a piece of change or seeking one -perhaps a new policy or set of procedures- use any steering group as champions or trainers. They will of course need the train the trainer sessions but their membership of a steering group should provide the enthusiasum and knowledge to be effective

    You have a hard task


    [email protected]

  6. Training Consultant
    Hi Peggy
    I note with interest that you use e-learning. Another excellent and cost effective option is using text based study materials. These are not boring text books but well written, interactive study units on a range of topics. They are easy to use and up to date. Current user reviews are excellent. If you would like to know more without obligation drop me an e-mail and I can get information to you.
    Best wishes
    Damien O’Leary

  7. Beware perceptions of “failed” managers
    Just a quick thought, do be careful of the managers as trainers that you use. High quality, credible managers as trainers can really add value, but using “failed” managers, or those who are perceived to have failed, is more risky.
    Dick Townsend

  8. What if?

    The series of questions below are based on a self-directed management development programme I designed and implemented. They may offer you a way forward – and they may not depending on the nature of the learning culture your organisation has or wants to create.

    1. What if the your organisation wanted their management development investment to be linked to overall business goals (rather than training in specific topics)?
    2. What if, in principle, the senior managers in your organisation saw learning – acquiring knowledge and skills that increase individual and organisational capability – as the prime responsibility of employees?
    3. What if, in light of 2 above, senior managers re-thought their role in terms of learning – from being seen to lay on a series of teaching / training events to creating the conditions in which individuals can continuously learn how to maximise their contribution to the organisation in both challenging and booming times?
    4. What if managers could be helped to decide their own learning goals by looking at how the strategic and operational needs of your business are impacting their current performance and the level of performance they aspire to?
    5. What if, as part of their development programme, managers were required to research, plan and implement an intervention that would make a significant difference in their part of the business?
    6. What if, managers learned to learn through a wide variety of methods (e.g. reading, networking, shadowing, observation, seminars etc.)- including your e-learning facility – to support their learning goals and their significant intervention project?
    7. What if, recognising that managers need a support mechanism whilst learning, they met in small peer groups every 6-8 weeks to talk about learning goal progress and get challenge, advice, guidance and ideas from their peers?
    8. What if, peer support groups were facilitated initially either by an external consultant or an internal manager, so that they increase the rate at which managers learn through the building of trust and the quality of dialogue (and don’t become talking shops!)before the facilitator drops out?
    9. What if managers described this self-directed learning programme as ‘extremely useful because it puts you in charge of your own learning agenda, builds closer relationships with colleagues from across the business and motivates you to learning more about what it takes to make a positive difference for the organisation?

    Hope this helps.

    Roger Martin
    01993 813721


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