What Icare did constantly better: a short case

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Giving sense to work & training

March 24, 2015 – by Peter van Dommele – consultant, sociologist, horse coach

Leadership training without developing a Personal Vision won´t give the desired results

Many (middle) managers lack this drive of continuous improvement which distinguishes real talents in management and leadership from others. I see this every day in my courses, based on 360º feedback, MBTI and Horse Coaching. They learn, experience and define new objectives and intentions, but the Monday after they forget about them. It all depends on your drive. Some pick it up, some don´t.

That does not mean at all that they are bad managers, they just need a little extra push, some more direction. There will be always some of them (10%) impossible to develop (dismiss them), and another 10% which flies ahead on their own (stimulate & direct them). It is the other 80% which defines the success of the training and, in the end, the success of the company and most of them just need some extra stimulation.

To achieve that (part of) this 80% responds, it´s absolutely necessary to implement a strict follow up of training activities.  If not, all these nice trainings will be more a cost than an investment.  As said Ray Hunt, horseman, about leadership: Be as soft as possible, but as firm as necessary”, and yes, in this case we have to be firm. The success of training is based on a strict and consequent follow up. So, ask these 5 simple questions about their training activities:

  1. What did you learn?
  2. How can you apply this to your work
  3. What are you going to do in the next 3 month
  4. Which concrete actions you are going to take
  5. What will be the result?

Based on the answers, help them to define their Professional Development Plan and stimulate them to report every month about their advances to their manager or personal coach. Include an official evaluation moment some month ahead in the process. Measuring results will be an extra stimulation. This approach is based on the assumption that it is easier to start working on changing personal actions than changing personalities. Personalities will change by doing.

But will this be enough to create or stimulate this will to develop and change? Certainly not.  All these activities must make sense to the participants; there must be a higher goal, a dream to be fulfilled. The company can offer this goal through its company vision and by offering excellent conditions and opportunities, etc., but in the end, it all comes down to their own Personal Vision: what do I want with my life and my work, and based on which qualities and values can I achieve this dream?

Just helping them to think about their Personal Vision in a structured way, is for most of them normally the first time to seriously reflect about their lives and their work.  This is a basic and crucial step, the one that opens the door to new horizons. It is therefore essential to include in training programs working on the development of a Personal Vision of the participants. It is here where the will to develop and change really starts.

Peter van Dommele2


Inspired by &samhoud



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