L&D Requests to Expect & Suspect

Requests for L&D for New Hires should be Expected. Requests for L&D for Performance Problems should be Suspected.

Take the Order and develop a Project Plan that includes Analysis. Until you have Valid & Credible Analysis Data no one can really decide what to do, or not do.

A Harless Lesson From 1985

I recall the late Joe Harless on the stage at an NSPI (now ISPI) Conference so many years – decades actually – ago.

He was complaining about how some in attendance – and in general – were advising others about saying “no” to clients’ requests for training. He said – something to the effect of…

“And when your client asks you for help in developing some training, do not, repeat, do not say (in a whiny voice)

“Are you sure it’s a training problem!?!”

Instead say,

“Yes – I can help you – and I can help you even more if we can do a little analysis first!” 

That was his reply, his advice, to the client and to all of the assembled. At least that’s my cognitive recall so many years later – and we should all appreciate what that means.

He went on to say something to the effect that saying “no” would start off the relationship/effort poorly.

That saying yes started one on the right path in the relationship.

And that doing the analysis before design/development – should help that client and others see whether Training was the right approach, or whether a Job Aid would be more appropriate, or whether knowledge and skills were not central to the need/opportunity/problem at hand and something else needed to be done.

Joe taught me to never say no. To always say yes. And to include Analysis in the approach that followed. And to come to a shared understanding with the client – on that journey – to uncover the situation, the need, and the right solution-set.

The only time I ever missed a Harless session at NSPI/ISPI was when I myself was doing a session – or Rummler was doing a session. Otherwise, his sessions were always the place to be. As was true with Rummler. Gilbert and Mager had pretty much retired and dropped out from attending/participating by the early 1990s.

Joe’s 1985 article (3-page PDF) based on his 1985 Presentation to NSPI – here

And so – be Prepared to Pivot – and have Planned on it!

My Position on Taking the Order in L&D

This video is 18:53 minutes in length. It was recorded 2022-07-18.

My Book on This Is Currently with the Editor

See all of Guy W. Wallace’s books on his Amazon Authors Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B08JQC4C4V


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