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Training Across Multiple Locations

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Provides practical solutions to the business problem of distributing training to multiple locations
Introduces a new and practical way to use assessment to create a sustainable training and development function
Shows how those involved with training and development can make bottom line contributions to the company
Provides a model for calculating return on investment (ROI) for technology based programs
In this era of rapid globalization, human resource development professionals in every type of organization face the problem of managing training and development across many different, often widely dispersed, sites. Training Across Multiple Locations offers a comprehensive, proven model for designing, building and assessing every aspect of a multiple location training and development (T&D) system. Stephen Krempl and R. Wayne Pace detail how to integrate training from multiple locations into a comprehensive organizational strategy, and how corporate training can align those multiple locations with a single corporate vision.
Training Across Multiple Locations draws from numerous real-life examples to show how distance learning technology-including intra-nets, web-based training, and computer-based training-is being used to manage multi-point training at companies like Motorola, Ford, Boeing, Kinko's, Hewlett-Packard, and others. With technology, the authors reveal, training organizations are able to extend their reach and distribute training over a far wider audience in ways that may make current approaches to training less relevant and even obsolete. And perhaps most importantly, they provide a model for calculating return on investment (ROI) for these technology-based programs.
Krempl and Pace present a detailed review process for evaluating the effectiveness of multiple location training and development systems and provide specific advice on how to conduct the review and how to share data to enhance unit effectiveness. They also include a unique questionnaire that helps teams assess how well they are carrying out their T&D responsibilities and how well they are integrating their activities into the corporate business plan.
Training and development functions survive by maintaining relationships with critical decision-makers at all levels in the organization. This process is often described in terms of politics and power-but Training Across Multiple Locations treats the issue simply in terms of how to get the job done. The unique process described in this book will encourage better preparation and more informed discussions and decisions, allowing managers to better anticipate problems and stay on top of key issues.

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Chapter 1 The Nature of Multiple-Location T&D Systems

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In general, we can say that the larger the system becomes, the more the parts interact, the more difficult it is to understand environmental constraints, the more obscure becomes the problem of what resources should be made available, and deepest of all, the more difficult becomes the problem of the legitimate values of the system.

C. WEST CHURCHMAN

Vast business opportunities in Asia, South America, Africa, and other parts of the world have enticed many companies to expand their marketing and manufacturing capabilities worldwide. Truly, we are in a global age. Organizations all over the world are rushing to develop global operations. Odenwald (1993) has noted that “corporate human resource executives are setting up training management teams in regions around the world” (p. 160). This global expansion requires multinational corporations to examine how they manage the increased complexity of training and development (T&D) operations that involve multiple locations. Thus, we will begin by discussing the goals and impact of globalization on a multiple-location training organization and the three dilemmas that every training manager in this environment must face. How do we balance the desire for autonomy with the need for some central control and standardization? Do we position training and development near the power centers or near the people they serve? Do we want our professional staff seen as business managers or learning specialists?

 

Chapter 2 A Model for Creating a Multiple-Location T&D System

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It is best to do things systematically, since we are only human, and disorder is our worst enemy.

HESIOD

A multiple-location T&D system can be characterized as a set of building blocks, with each block representing one aspect of the department. In this chapter we will describe this system and its components as viewed from two major perspectives: the training and development perspective and the business perspective. As seen in Figure 2.1, the system can be modeled after the classic ADDIE development process, covering all aspects from analysis to evaluation. For the system to stand as designed, each building block must be in place and held together with the “glue” of political savvy, which we will discuss in Chapter 7. If one block is missing, the structure is weakened.

The classic ADDIE process used for designing individual programs can be adapted to the design of a multiple location T&D system. As you learned in Chapter 1, the acronym ADDIE describes five steps in the instructional design process: analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation. From the training perspective, the upward arrows (Fig. 2.1) on the left side of the model summarize the process. It begins on the bottom row of blocks with an analysis (A) of the organization’s needs. The next row of blocks represents designing (D) an intervention or plan to respond to those needs. The third row of blocks represents developing (D) the tools to support the plan. The fourth stage entails implementing (I) the plan, and, finally, the fifth stage is evaluating (E) the results. Using a framework like ADDIE provides T&D professionals with a familiar framework for thinking about how to build a multiple-location organization. However, it is not the only perspective.

 

Chapter 3 Using Business Functions as a Frame of Reference

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I like business because it is competitive, because it rewards deeds rather than words. I like business because it compels earnestness and does not permit me to neglect today’s task while thinking about tomorrow. I like business because it undertakes to please, not reform; because it is honestly selfish, thereby avoiding hypocrisy and sentimentality. I like business because it promptly penalizes mistakes, shiftlessness and inefficiency, while rewarding well those who give it the best they have in them. Lastly, I like business because each day is a fresh adventure.

R. H. CABELL

Adopting a global position affects all business functions of a company. Finance operations, marketing, human resources, research and development, and legal affairs face new and sometimes daunting challenges. In this chapter, we will look at this very familiar business paradigm and establish how we can use that as a framework for building a multiple-location system for the management of training and development functions. For a system cannot operate in a vacuum but rather must operate within a business ecosystem that renders the services necessary to its survival.

 

Chapter 4 The Role of Technology in the System

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We must discard the idea that past routine, past ways of doing things, are probably the best ways. On the contrary, we must assume that there is probably a better way to do almost everything. We must stop assuming that a thing that has never been done before probably cannot be done at all.

DONALD M. NELSON

Many corporations are defining/redefining their technology strategy. What role should T&D play in helping shape its thinking on this issue? In the broadest sense, T&D functions within the arena of knowledge transfer and communication, which are central to the use of technology. More specifically, it is responsible for sharing best practices and implementing on-line learning. Therefore, we will define the lead role it can play in the selection of technology, moving it to the forefront of corporate decision making by demystifying the process and anticipating issues or problems while ensuring that its needs are met. Later, we will look at specific variables to consider before implementing new technology and at thirteen multiple location corporations and how they use technology to manage their operations and educate their workforce.

 

Chapter 5 Managing Multiple-Location Systems through Regional Centers

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The CEO of one state department of agriculture, for example, had found that even regional structures were too large, too amorphous, and had moved towards smaller, autonomous district units. His metaphor said everything: I don’t run a ship: I run a flotilla! The problem with such chunking is that it can lead to decoupling. Top managers throughout the West were beginning to face the same persistent problem: what do you do after the consultant has been through your organization, chopped away at the corporate headquarters and flattened the hierarchy?

How do you get efficiencies and synergy now?

DAVID LIMERICK AND BERT CUNNINGTON

In general, regions are created around the markets the company serves, with regional staff given authority and responsibility over activities that require serving their local markets. In this chapter we will explore specific considerations of regional T&D management and look at some tools that facilitate various aspects of the operation. The management of regional operations is unique in the world of training, from reporting relationships through structure and staffing. What are the important questions to ask yourself before deciding whether to build a regional center? How can you raise revenues? What are the five steps to follow in developing your staff? These are important issues that affect the operational performance of the regional center and will be considered in detail in the chapter.

 

Chapter 6 How to Assess Performance

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Measuring the return on investment (ROI) in training and development has consistently earned a place among the critical issues in the Human Resource Development (HRD) field. … Although the interest in the topic has heightened and much progress has been made, it is still an issue that challenges even the most sophisticated and progressive HRD departments.

JACK J. PHILLIPS

Conducting a regular audit is one of the most powerful ways to sustain a multiple-location training system. In this chapter we will describe exactly how to assess and review a multiple-location system and use assessment tools throughout the centers. Once you are comfortable with the tools, you can begin using the assessment results to develop local units using a teaching/consulting approach. Do you want to know whether the multiple-location system is being followed and how it is working? Then you must measure.

Whether the process is called a review, a measure, or an evaluation, each term means the same thing in this context, and each represents a systematic way of looking at the accomplishments of the various training organizations and their people. We recommend the system review document (Figure 6.1). Using this document at headquarters before you examine what the locations are doing is important because it shows your colleagues that gap analysis is not just for the “little” guys. The story of the old shoemaker applies well here. You may recall that the old shoemaker made shoes for everyone in the village. But his own children had no shoes. In just the same way the training director reviews his own processes and products before he says anything about other people’s operations.

 

Chapter 7 How to Ensure Survival

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It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage, than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institutions and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new ones.

MACHIAVELLI

With the multiple-location system and system review document developed and operational, the next step is to implement survival plans to ensure that all locations know how to operate skillfully within their political environment. As you know, the best training and development plans amount to little unless each field location is able to build bridges to critical power centers at all levels of the organization. In this chapter, we will look at nine critical success factors covering the gamut from planning to attitude to reliability. We will look at the creative tension between performance and politics and offer a case study on how that dynamic can derail your success. Finally, we will investigate how to respond to too many requests made too often and on too short a notice. Sound familiar?

 

Chapter 8 How to Build Organizational Capability

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People are the common denominator of progress. So … no improvement is possible with unimproved people, and advance is certain when people are liberated and educated.

JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH

The same concept that has successfully launched the regional center can now be applied to the entire organization at the corporate level. In this chapter we will defend the role of the T&D function in enhancing total organizational capability and how to build individual, functional, and cross-functional capability using specific tools. And will all that development lead to change? Inevitably. So, we will speak to the matter of change management also.

The T&D function provides a range of activities that add value to and strengthen the overall capability of the organization. Products and services develop the performance of individuals, facilitate team development, and improve the way the organization as a whole achieves its goals. The business need and ability of local and regional teams often determine which products and services can actually be delivered. The caveat to this is that senior managers may need to be educated about the breadth of activities that the T&D function can undertake.

 

Chapter9 A Call to Action

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

YOGI BERRA

We live in a time of global economics and global expansion. The most significant trend within this global economy is regionalization. A company can hardly do business in new markets without considering the problems associated with managing across multiple locations and training and developing employees in the variegated national venues of the world. This global expansion has increased the complexity of the corporate system and the complexity of managing it and requires corporations to examine how they manage multiple-location operations. This unparalleled opportunity is tempered only by the risk inherent in failing to manage the people and processes needed to fully utilize that opportunity.

For the training and development function, the risk lies in failing to reach the mission-critical goals of managing knowledge in multiple locations, supporting diverse cultures, and enhancing performance across geographic and national boundaries. But the very nature of a multiple-location system embodies paradoxes that challenge even the best management talent. Are we seen as business managers or learning specialists? Do we position ourselves closer to the people or closer to the power? How do we attain the most effective balance between control and autonomy? What will your decision be? For some, the answer lies in adherence to a system encompassing all aspects of the training and development process. We believe that the more “systemic” the function, the more credibility and impact it has. Toward that goal, the traditional training model, ADDIE, can be applied in a larger way to create and manage a multiple-location system.

 

Appendix: Communication Climate Inventory

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Please respond to all questions as honestly and frankly as you possibly can.

In no way will your identity be associated with your responses nor will your responses be used in such a manner as to jeopardize you or your job.

Unless the wording of a particular item specifically indicates otherwise, respond in terms of your own impressions of the entire organization in which you work.

Indicate your response to each item by circling just one of the five numbers in the right-hand column. PLEASE DO NOT OMIT ANY ITEM! Use the following code to interpret the meaning of the numerical symbols:

5 = Circle this number if, in your honest judgment, the item is a true description of conditions in the organization.

4 = Circle if the item is more true than false as a description of conditions in the organization.

3 = Circle if the item is about half true and half false as a description of conditions in the organization.

2 = Circle if the item is more false than true as a description of conditions in the organization.

 

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