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Training Doesn’t Work (Most of the time)

by Kevin D. Crone

March 31, 2014

As a matter of fact, 87% of content is forgotten within 30 days. That is why, when in school, we studied and crammed for exams. This helps to explain why change doesn’t work very well either. There is too much input and not a lot of real time output.

Helping build the business, helping the company reach its strategic objectives. Helping an employee with personal development for their career and life advancement.
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Training is usually about what to do. Coaching is about doing it, applying it, practicing it and learning from it. Education is usually conceptual, theory and being able to think. In 1912, Dale Carnegie discovered this early in his career when he first started to work with people.  He discovered that traditional education didn’t prepare his business students for the real world. Even his course ran out of gas quickly because he taught rather than coached. So he researched what business skills were needed, broke them down to common sense behaviours and swept his participants into practicing things they were uncomfortable doing.

Today, most of us are still uncomfortable telling a compelling story to employees, investors, team members, board meetings and customers.

Too often, as businesspeople, we don’t understand how development should work, so we enroll in education, workshops, pep talks and other methods, and as a result we struggle with developing our talent. This means the business does not have the capacity to reach its goals. This also means we don’t have enough leaders who are resilient and will figure things out and take the business into the future. This means we don’t have the management capacity to lead change, adapt to the world and continually redesign the business to match what is going on and to excel, stand out and compete.

Can we ever get this right? It is a big thing to manage and lead the business and build talent. What is bigger?

Most small/medium sized businesses put little effort into their rethinking strategies and plans and, ultimately, take the cheap, looks easy way. Their employees leave and they are left to do business in a dysfunctional way with little help.

They lose capacity to meet the changing market demands.

Tell me, does the following conversation sound familiar to you?
The leader says, “Let’s take the hill.”
“What hill?” says the employee. They can’t tell you what the business strategy is, what the impact of their offering is, how they are truly unique in this commoditized business environment. Yet they are asked, ill-prepared to get up there! “What do I do on the way up if the enemy pushes back, the customers change, or I can’t get anyone’s attention?”
“Figure it out but don’t forget your passion”, says the leader.
“But I don’t know how to do much more or how to do it differently than I have always done. Now what do you want from me?” says the employee. “Hey, how much do I get if I take the hill and do you realize how much education and personal courses I have taken?”
“Be inspired for cripes sake, that’s what good teams and players do.” says the leader. “Maybe I have the wrong players.”
“I don’t like my manager, it’s his/her fault that I’m in debt and I can’t go to Venice this summer and you can’t trust business people because they treat you like cattle,” says the employee.

Wow…… doesn’t this sounds all too familiar?

As a small to medium size business, you have to know by now that you must  take responsibility for your success. (Big business does too but nothing is simplified there.) You are accountable, no white knight is coming. You need to breathe new life into your plan to build people… to think and act on what you need to be more competent, to help your people be more resilient, more bold to go for it… to find a horse that will get you there and ride it.

Business re-thinking, training and coaching can be available in one spot. You, as a leader, need a safe place to go to discuss your strategic intent and map out what you need… to think through who does what on behalf of that intent… to plan out how to make sure your people are competent for what’s to be done.

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People need a safe place to think, strategize, and practice under the guidance of a supportive but accountable coach. People need to apply what needs to be done in real-time, internally and externally. I suggest you find a way to do those two things.

Have a great week!

Kevin D. Crone
Chairman, Dale Carnegie Business Group
kdcrone@dalecarnegie.ca or 905-826-7300 / 1-800-361-2032

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Read past issues in the Monday Morning Mentor Blog.
A Special Invitation from Kevin D. Crone, Canada’s Monday Morning Mentor…

There was a day when sales worked!

In those days:

  • Product peddlers could start pitching with their product benefits and people would listen.
  • Whether salespeople dropped in or had appointments to see what their prospects or customers needed and take orders, buyers would give them the time!
  • Even professional solution-sellers could stop in to see customers, and the client would appreciate the visits and the solutions that were found for them!

Well, where are the leads now? The sales?   Read More

Executive Coaching Series: The New Sales/Marketing Transition
Tuesday, April 15th
2:30 – 5:00 pm
Mississauga, Ontario



As always, you will enjoy Kevin’s style, the peer conversation and the insights revealed in the new research.

If you have questions, please email Chee Vang at cvang@dalecarnegie.ca or call our office at 905-826-7300 / 1-800-361-2032.

For owners/managers/sales managers…

Unique help is on the way! Here is your safe place to rethink.

Here is a big and powerful suggestion to ignite your business and your sales.

Join a handful of successful companies and leaders, with some of your team on April 10th for a full day and April 11th, at our Centre of Excellence. We will help re-ignite your business so you and your team can re-ignite your customers – period.

As a participant…

  • You will rethink how you are going to take the hill, go to market with a differentiated offering that matches up with your customers changing motives. Bring a marketing-type with you.
  • I will get you to climb the tree and help you assess the trends and what’s going on in your industry and then figure out what new, bold messages will get your customers attention.
  • You will be re-positioned with a new story that truly differentiates you.
  • You will prepare your salespeople for bigger deals by giving them new insights and points of view that cause your customers to see issues that they didn’t realize they had.

You need to lead, invest a little time, and go for it – despite being busy, distracted, and overwhelmed in this complex business world. Even though you may not realize you need what I am offering, or this is not resonating because you may not want to do any rethinking that interrupts all the initiatives you are into, believe me, you need this work!

I promise, you will see that within a half hour and will be excited about what you come up with. The fact is, you are too consumed in the business; instead you need to be objective… as they say, no doctor can heal themselves.

The truth…
90% of businesses are commoditized
Only 14% of customers can really tell the difference between offerings

What this means, is that repeat business and getting big sales through marketing isn’t working well. Salespeople are ill prepared to go up the hill. “Sell damn it”, doesn’t work like it used to. These are real trends.

So join me! You will be different. Your offering, story and sales approaches will be refreshed. I have tons of experience at business design and coaching for behaviours, and if you have the commitment to grow despite all the things going on, despite being so busy, despite trying to get buy-in and alignment for any change and all the rest of it, you will get new momentum.

Reach me now. I’m a bit presumptuous with this offering but that is because I am doing this work now with some Ontario businesses and see the need.

Let me hear what’s going on with you, then I can give you advice on what you can do. Whether you join me or not, this is not the time to be reserved, cynical or scared to talk to people who can help. Take a minute and contact me.


cell: 905-330-9023


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