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Workshop report: The 3 Box System


This is the transcript from the EvaluationZONE Workshop on the 3 Box System held on 1 February.

Use this diagram to refer to while reading the transcript. (Find out more about the 3 Box System first)

EvaluationZone Admin Hi Stephanie.

Stephanie Phillips Hi Paul.

EvaluationZone Admin Hi Bill.

Stephanie Phillips Hi Bill!

Stephanie Phillips Glad you made it in the end.

EvaluationZone Admin Do you mind 1 to 1 tuition?

Bill Barker Hi - at last. Sorry for the mix up. No, I have no problem with 1 to 1.

EvaluationZone Admin Okay, let's go for it. The 3 boxes are simple but profound. Have you tried them yet?

Bill Barker No, I have just logged here to find out.

EvaluationZone Admin Okay, give me a piece of training at random as an example and I'll apply it.

Bill Barker Induction Course for new employees.

EvaluationZone Admin Good example. I have been asked many times to evaluate induction, it is very difficult. The reason is it is a peculiar piece of training. All employees get it but we don't expect specific results. Induction usually goes in Box 1. Box means it is must have - all employees have to have it. Do all your employees get it?

Bill Barker Yes - mandatory.

EvaluationZone Admin Good, now what is its value? It's a tough question, any guesses?

Bill Barker First - Health and Safety process instruction, processes for acting in the event of a fire, other health and safety elements.

EvaluationZone Admin Okay. So what is its value - it may prevent fires or accidents. What is that worth?

Bill Barker Second - establish a picture of the organisation for them.

EvaluationZone Admin Okay, a general introduction. What's that worth? Difficult eh?

Bill Barker Sorry - it's going too fast. They need to know where to go, what to do in the event of a fire.

EvaluationZone Admin I'll slow down - Let me help.

Bill Barker Okay.

EvaluationZone Admin The problem with a lot of training is it avoids problems like accidents. The only way to evaluate this is to calculate a negative - what are we saving by avoiding fires?

Bill Barker Lives.

EvaluationZone Admin Imagine training pilots.

Bill Barker Okay.

EvaluationZone Admin Safe flying saves lives.

Bill Barker True.

EvaluationZone Admin Imagine you want to prove its worth training pilots.

Bill Barker Okay.

EvaluationZone Admin Take the next 10 new recruits, and only train 9 of them. The other will be given the keys to the plane. Okay?

Bill Barker Okay - as long as I don't have to be on it!

EvaluationZone Admin True! Now you wait for this trainee to crash, then you tot up the damage and costs. And you say, for every £ we spend on pilot training we save X£'s. Not a good way to evaluate eh?

Bill Barker Nope.

EvaluationZone Admin So we call basic pilot training Box 1 - they all must have it. We don't bother to evaluate.

Bill Barker Good idea.

EvaluationZone Admin But we check they are being trained well.

Bill Barker True.

EvaluationZone Admin And then we check the efficiency of the training. That's all you can do with Box 1.

Bill Barker So Box 1 is must have no matter what - no need to evaluate.

EvaluationZone Admin Yes. Lets move onto Box 2.

Bill Barker Okay, Box 2.

EvaluationZone Admin Box 2 is added value training.

Bill Barker Like improvement over existing?

EvaluationZone Admin In Box 2 the training aims to improve something exactly. Take sales training. Sales are expected to improve.

Bill Barker To add value to the business or service?

EvaluationZone Admin Yes, in £'s of profit.

Bill Barker Okay.

EvaluationZone Admin If we expect more £'s we can show a ROI. Do you know about ROI?

Bill Barker Okay.

EvaluationZone Admin All Box 2 training should be ROI-able.

Bill Barker I see.

EvaluationZone Admin Unlike Box 1, where you have to kill people to prove a point! Let us move to Box 3.

Bill Barker Okay.

EvaluationZone Admin Nothing goes into Box 3 consciously.

Bill Barker?

EvaluationZone Admin It only goes into Box 3 if it can't go in 1 or 2. Let me show you.

Bill Barker ???

EvaluationZone Admin Do you do any management development?

Bill Barker Yes.

EvaluationZone Admin Give me a specific example.

Bill Barker Leadership in Management.

EvaluationZone Admin Which box do you think?

Bill Barker 2.

EvaluationZone Admin Okay. if you want it in Box 2 what £'s do you expect back?

Bill Barker It's hard to quantify that way.

EvaluationZone Admin Exactly - so its not in Box 2 - try Box 1.

Bill Barker Let me think a sec...

EvaluationZone Admin Do these managers have to have it?

Bill Barker Yes - with a few exceptions.

EvaluationZone Admin Do you assess them afterwards?

Bill Barker Yes - we try to establish a change in performance...

EvaluationZone Admin What, if they don't change do you fire them?!

Bill Barker With their people evaluating their abilities in leadership...ultimately I guess we would but we would try other interventions first.

EvaluationZone Admin Okay, then it sounds like Box 1. They must have it.

Bill Barker I guess...

EvaluationZone Admin If you want it in Box 2 you have to approach it differently. You have to start with a measurable target before you train them.

Bill Barker Okay. Do they have to agree objectives before the training?

Bill Barker Yes.

EvaluationZone Admin Like what difference will better leadership make?

Bill Barker Yes.

EvaluationZone Admin Good, then we need to ask them to put a £ sign on it. Then it can go into Box 2.

EvaluationZone Admin Let me summarise so far. Leadership can go into any box. In Box 1 you must take it seriously. If they don't have leadership then you have to do something about it, or you ask them to agree how their leadership skills will impact on the business.

Bill Barker Okay.

EvaluationZone Admin Then it is Box 2 because it improves the business - not a minimum standard like Box 1. If you can't make it fit 1 or 2 it slips into 3. That is nice to have training, no-one one takes it seriously, no-one knows what value it will add.

Bill Barker Okay. So if it is not mandatory but you cannot identify a ROI...

EvaluationZone becomes the dreaded Box 3, yes.

EvaluationZone Admin Box 3 is bad news. No one takes it seriously, there is no perceived added value.

Bill Barker...Dreaded because you want to do it, but you can't really say what add value it will add so it hard to justify. Any questions so far?

Bill Barker Okay. - I'm with you so far.

EvaluationZone Admin Now, let's move on to validation and evaluation.

Bill Barker Okay.

EvaluationZone Admin Box 1 only needs checking - We don't need a £ sign. The training need is self-evident. I call box 1 checking validation - there are no £ signs involved. So, 'do the pilots check all their instruments?' - that sort of thing. In box 2 we can evaluate, because we have a £ sign. That is the distinction. No £ = validation.

Bill Barker Okay.

EvaluationZone Admin With a £, you get 'e-value-ation'. Box 3 I don't bother with - why should I? No one is interested anyway. Can we move on?

Bill Barker Let's pause a sec please.

EvaluationZone Admin Okay. let me know when you're ready.

Bill Barker Okay. lets go on please.

EvaluationZone Admin 1-to-1 is hard work Bill isn't it!

Bill Barker Yes it is - especially through this medium reminds me having a conversation over satellite!

Stephanie Phillips Bill - we'll put this transcript up for you to look at later too!

EvaluationZone Admin Now, consider how much of all your training budget goes into each Box. There will be some in each.

EvaluationZone Admin What percentage of training will be in Box 1 do you think?

Bill Barker I guess as much as 75%.

EvaluationZone Admin Spot on. That's my guess. Now you don't have to evaluate 75% of what you do, just do some sample validation.

EvaluationZone Admin How much training will be in Box 2?

Bill Barker 15%?

EvaluationZone Admin Again, I agree. What I suggest here is revisit it -exactly why are you doing it? It needs some £ signs. And Box 3? Well, try to shift it...

Bill Barker It must be 10%

EvaluationZone Admin By that I mean, either get it taken seriously (Box 1) or ask what value it adds (Box 2). It is that simple on this level, but there is more to it - this will take time.

Bill Barker Okay. I believe that I understand.
EvaluationZone Admin Good - that is why we want subscribers to take a long term view of this subject.

Bill Barker I believe that you are right.

EvaluationZone Admin Do you fancy trying it out yourself for real?

Bill Barker Yes, I would.

EvaluationZone Admin Have a look around the rest of the site, especially ROI. Pick a bit of training and decide which box it is, then follow through. If it's Box 1, decide whether it really is must have. If trainees do not accept this don't have them on the programme! If it's Box 2, then they have to help with the £ sign. Keep away from Box 3. Will that do for today Bill?

Bill Barker Okay. I will - I'll make time this weekend to start browsing through the site & I will try to apply this to some real examples. I suspect there will be more in box 3 than I would like...

EvaluationZone Admin Don't worry, we all have Box 3's. No-one is being critical. Also a few words about EvaluationZone - we have plans to explore everything in more detail. We can organise other events, including phone conferences and face-to-face workshops, and even phone presentations using synch'ed slides. So, have a go, then feedback your thoughts.

Bill Barker Understood. Thanks for your help. I have not tried this medium before.

Stephanie Phillips Bill - do let us know if this has been useful for you.

EvaluationZone Admin Good luck and let us know how it goes. Shall we call a halt then?

Bill Barker I have found the subject matter interesting certainly - and well delivered. Not sure about the medium as I say. How does it work with loads logged in?

EvaluationZone Admin We will need to place a limit - we will complement this with the other methods. Any problems or worries, let me know. No need to rush. Okay?

Bill Barker I look forward to trying with more people, but yes, I am fine with it thanks.

EvaluationZone Admin Great, we'll see you next month hopefully.

Stephanie Phillips Bill - thanks for coming along today. Look forward to 'seeing' you at later sessions.

Bill Barker Yes, you will.

EvaluationZone Admin Bye Bill.

Stephanie Phillips Do use the discussion forum in the meantime if you have any questions.

Bill Barker Bye.

Stephanie Phillips Bye.


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