How much Time should Organisations spend on finding Training Needs A


1 People have different views on how much an Organisation should spend on find their Training Needs. Different Organisations take different actions on this matter.

2 The different assumptions which people hold explain some of this varia­tion.

3 These notes list some important assumptions. They aim to encourage Readers to examine these assumptions, identify their own, and estimate the degree to which evidence supports the different assumptions. This process should help Readers decide how much their Organisation should spend on finding Training Needs.

4 Readers should note that these notes refer only to Training Needs related to Managing. They do not refer to Training Needs related to tech­nical knowledge of the processes and products of a particular Organisation.

Assumptions about Managers

5 Few Managers have much useful information to offer when asked to state some specific training needs of their Subordinates

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Who should take the “Responsibility” for Management Development


1 Whenever Executives meet together and start discussing the training/ development of Managers someone usually asks the question: “Whose responsi­bility is it to develop Managers”?

Should Line Managers or Staff People get the blame?

2 Usually the discussion moves to the question: Should a “line” Manager (the immediate Manager of a particular person) or some “staff” person (e.g. someone in Personnel, Training, Manpower Development, Sales Training) develop a Manager.

3 However another issue usually exists. When people ask “whose responsi­bility” they rarely appreciate that “responsibility” means different things to different people. Further it can hide several aspects of the activities of Manager Developing.

Many Basic Questions Exist

4 The following questions show some of the different ideas which underlie the question – Whose responsibility is it to develop Managers? To under­stand this question people should ask:

(a) Who should think about trying to do something about developing a particular Manager?

(b) Who should encourage other people to do something about it?

(c) Who should take – which type of action with respect to the objec­tive?

(d) If a particular Manager does NOT get “developed” who should the Organisation blame?

(e) What attitude should we try to create in people we want to use in the developing process? More specifically – who do we want to feel like blaming themselves if particular Managers do not get “developed”?

(f) How should we “arrange” people in the Organisation to help achieve development of Managers (Organisation structure).

5 In addition to these points, someone should look at the systems and the whole climate (culture) of the Organisation with respect to developing Managers. Just what do the Organisation’s systems do to encourage, or discourage, the development of Managers? What effect does the Organisa­tion’s culture have?

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The Uselessness of believing that “People can only develop themselves”


1 Tom says at a meeting: “We should get the training people to develop the people in that section”. One of the personnel people present states: “No one can develop other people, people can only develop themselves”. The meeting tended to give Harry quite a deal of attention because he has had some years of experience in the personnel and training field.

2 Tom says: “What do you actually mean by that statement? If people can only develop themselves why do we spend money on formal training courses, team-building exercises, etc?” Harry says: “Well no one can change anoth­er person unless that person wants to change himself or herself.” Tom says: “What has happened to the theory that you influence people’s beha­viour by rewarding and/or punishing them?”

3 Harry backs down a little and says: “Well we certainly do attempt to influence people’s behaviour by giving them something they want or taking it away, etc. But they alone can decide whether or not these rewards/ punishments will have any effect on them.”

4 Tom counters: “If your statement applies to everyone then we have a common situation for all people. Thus we accept a limit for everyone on whether we can ‘develop’ people. But we still aim to have an effect on them – to influence their behaviour. Since the limit applies to everyone we should ignore it and do what we can to influence them to ‘develop’ (themselves).”

5 “We would do better if we could find out which rewards and which punish­ments have the greatest effect on particular individuals. Then we could choose the more appropriate rewards/punishments to achieve the type of behaviour (development) we wanted.” Continue reading

Must People take “Responsibility” for their own Learning?

1 Some Trainers use the statement: “People must take responsibility for their own learning”. This idea worries me. First, I wonder whether every­one puts the same meaning on the statement. Second, I suspect it will encourage some Trainers to take an unsuitable attitude to their training work.

Meaning Of The Statement

2 The statement could mean that if people do not learn anything from a training/developing activity they must blame themselves. (This point assumes that “take responsibility for” implies “put the blame on”.)

3 However, perhaps the statement means that people should take the initia­tive for their own training?

4 From another viewpoint it might imply that Managers of Subordinates should not blame themselves if their Subordinates do not do anything about their own training? But I suspect not.

5 Perhaps it means that Trainers should not take any initiative about encouraging people (Trainees) to “improve themselves”. I doubt if most Readers would believe that statement.

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Changing People – Try to change them or offer them the Chance to change A

Section A – Introduction

Special Introduction

1 These notes try to change your opinion to a belief (or maintain your current belief) that no real difference exists between (a) try­ing to change people and (b) off­ering them a chance to change.


2 Some people believe that Trainers should not try to change people (Trainees), they should only offer Trainees the chance to change i.e. the Trainees decide whether to change (learn).

3 The same point applies to Helping Organisations and their Members. Should someone try to get another person to become a Christian, give up drinking, stop smoking, etc. or set up an environment where the person makes their own decision?

4 Thus some people suggest that two opposite approaches exist – as sug­gested in the heading of these notes.

5 However these notes show that no one just offers people the chance to change. Some degree of “try to change others” always exists and many variations exist in the effort people use to encourage/allow others to change. Continue reading

Changing People – Bases for Deciding to encourage People to change


1 These notes follow on the notes on “Changing People – Try to change them or offer them the chance to change”.

2 The other notes set out the following framework – one person or group (called Providers) want another person or group (Prospects) to change so that the Prospects can achieve Objective X. The notes pointed out that often Providers have a method (a service or product) which someone (usually the Providers) believes will help the Prospects achieve objective X.

3 Thus the following four elements exist in changing people: Providers, Prospects, an Objective, and a Method to achieve the objective.

4 However, cases exist where Prospects know how to achieve objective X. For this situation only three elements exist – Provider, Prospect, and Objective.

5 However an additional element of persuasion (encouragement) also exists – provided Providers decide they will try to get the Prospect to change.

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Some Meanings for some Human Resource Development Terms


1 Sometimes this term means the same as “Industrial Democracy”.

2 It usually implies some degree of Worker Participation in the top-level managing of an Organisation. The term “Worker” seems to imply people from lower levels in the Organisation, often on the manufacturing side. The “Workers” elect and/or “someone” appoints people to higher-level groups of the Organisation (e.g. Board of Directors, Management Committee). Such groups may function as (a) decision makers and/or (b) influencers of the decision makers.

Employee Motivation

3 This term will have many meanings.**

4 In many people’s writing and thinking, the term implies that reward systems (pay, benefits) and other systems (better communication) will induce “better” motivation. Often the term also includes the idea that “better” job design or organisation structures will achieve “better”/higher Employee motivation.

5 A problem arises: better motivation to do what? Presumably the term implies higher motivation to work toward the (official) objectives of the Organisation.

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Human Resource Development


1 One approach to considering Human Resources Development (HRD) involves distinguishing between:

(a) what people expect from HRD

(b) why they feel concerned about HRD

(c) the expectation of HRD Practitioners about HRD

2 If the expectations of the practitioners of HRD (Human Resource Develop­ment) differ from the expectations of the people who decide whether HRD efforts should go ahead or not, a major problem exists.

3 Example. An MD of a Company expects profits but the HRD prac­titioner expects to achieve a better “Quality of Working Life” ­which may not necessarily lead to greater profit. When the MD finds out the difference the MD may lose interest in having HRD as an on-going activity within the Organisation.

The Need For HRD (Human Resource Development) One Definition of HRD and Some Examples

4 Human Resource Development activities “deal with developing and managing our human resources at work toward new goals of greater sharing of person­al, social, and economic values”. (pg 123, Mills, 1975)*

5 Some examples of approaches which belong to HRD include:

(a) Organisational Development

(b) Human Resource Accounting

(c) Management by Objectives

(d) Job Enrichment

(e) Worker Participation.

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Encouraging Sales Managers to carry out Kerb-Side Training A


1 A Client asked the following question – How do i encourage medio­cre sales managers to engage in kerb-side training when they have no knowledge of that type of training themselves and see little or no need for it?

2 The following notes aim to answer this question.

Encouragement – by the use of Role-Playing

3 Some Sales Managers have altered their attitudes to kerb-side coaching quite significantly as a result of role-playing training which involves kerb-side coaching.

4 The following section gives one approach to carrying out such role-playing.*

Procedure for a Role-Playing Session

5 Select a role-playing situation which involves a common problem for the Company’s Sales Representatives and which uses an important Company Product.**

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Coaching Sales Representatives after a Call – A few Priniciples

A Meaning for Kerbside Coaching

1 The term “Kerbside Coaching” refers to the training which a Supervisor (or Sales Manager) carries out immediately following a sales call. It occurs when a Representative has just spoken to a Prospect/Customer and the Supervisor has observed the Representative’s behaviour and aims to improve the Representative’s performance in future selling situation.

2 Nowadays Supervisors will probably coach their Representatives while sitting in a car rather than “on a kerb”.

Some Principles Of Coaching

3 The following principles should help Coaches and Representatives gain benefits from coaching attempts.

Observe the Sales Call Carefully

4 Supervisors who wish to coach wisely and effectively will need to ob­serve the sales call carefully.

5 Further, Coaches will provide Representatives with a particular advan­tage if they can perceive things that others (particularly the Sales Repre­sentatives) do not perceive. In addition they will need to see relation­ships between things which others do not perceive or have a lower probabil­ity of perceiving.

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