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Medium 9781576755648

1 Introduction: The Hole We’re In and How We Can Stop Digging

Tim Mooney Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The first rule for being in a hole that you can’t climb out of: Stop digging!

DENIS HEALEY, former British Chancellor of the Exchequer

What if training really had to work? What if your organization was “betting the business” on a new strategic venture, the success of which depended largely on training? Could you guarantee that the training would absolutely, positively work to drive performance and to create business impact? The odds would be against you. The reality is that training fails to work far more often than it works. If you put a hundred 2employees through the typical corporate training program, chances are that less than 20% will end up using what they learned in ways that will lead to improved job performance. The vast majority of trainees will fail to improve their performance, even if they tried to utilize the training. They will encounter a combination of obstacles, including indifferent bosses, crushing time pressures, lack of incentives to change, peer pressure, or some other problem that will extinguish their motivation.

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Medium 9781576751862

Chapter Thirteen: Executive Development at Allstate Insurance

Brinkerhoff, Robert Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF


Telling Training’s Story

One of the important development programs for leaders is the

Allstate Business Simulation (ABS). The Allstate Business Simulation is a two-month executive development program that gives high potential leaders the opportunity to:

• Use strategic planning and fact-based decision-making skills;

• Run a 100 million dollar company through the use of a computer-based simulation;

• Make marketing, finance, human resources, and operations decisions;

• Create an action plan for an Allstate project that links to a strategic goal; and

• Network with key business leaders.

The course is designed to give the managers exposure to business issues and challenges beyond their immediate functional area. It addresses many of the topics covered in most MBA curricula. The course is for high-potential managers and directors with at least five years of experience with Allstate, and requires nomination by an officer to participate.

Evaluation Purposes

This comprehensive course was a significant investment of time and money for the organization. It made good business sense to get answers to the following questions:

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Medium 9781576751855

1 What is the Success Case Method and How Does it Work?

Robert Brinkerhoff Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF


The Success Case Method


rganizations today are in a constant struggle to renew themselves and their processes, continuously trying out new ways of being more effective and competitive. People at all levels are

faced with an endless parade of new technology, new ways of organization, new tools, new methods, new training programs, new jobs, and so on.

• An automobile manufacturer introduces a new team assembly approach

• A furniture company employs laptop computers to help salespeople present a dizzying array of potential office configurations

• Ambulance crews use wireless communications to communicate with a remote physician who provides real-time directions for care

• Airline security staff have access to new databases to scan passengers in an attempt to spot likely candidates for increased scrutiny

• Telecommunications operators receive listening training to help them better establish rapport, in an attempt to increase customer satisfaction

• A hotel chain provides cash incentives to housecleaning staff to help drive repeat business

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13 Getting Started on the Courageous Training Path

Tim Mooney Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Afew years ago one of us was touring the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza in Mexico. The largest pyramid there— Kukulkan—seems to grow out of the ground and soars above the jungle a remarkable 25 meters high (80 feet), about the height of an eight-story building. It is a common practice for tourists to climb to the top of the pyramid. There are 365 steps (one for each day of the year), each step very narrow in depth, but considerably higher in rise than the typical staircase. In addition to the architectural and engineering phenomena, one observes another more human phenomenon that occurs daily at the pyramids. People tend to climb the pyramids—all 25 meters of them—facing the rock, using all fours, as a child might go up a set of stairs for security. For many people, once they get to the top above the treetops and turn around and gaze out over the jungle, their fear of heights—perhaps even if they did not214 previously know it—kicks in with a jolt and they realize getting back down safely is a serious problem.

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10 Case Example #2: The “So What?” Factor

Tim Mooney Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Most school districts are busy places. In a school district that has opened nine new schools every year for more than a decade, “busy” is an understatement. Such is the case in the Clark County School District (CCSD) in Las Vegas, Nevada, the fifth-largest district in the United States. The student population is fast surpassing 314,000. It employs more than 37,000 people, including 19,000 teachers, 11,000 support staff personnel, 1,300 administrators, 150 school police, and 6,000 substitute and temporary employees. The district has more than 160337 schools within its boundary of approximately 8,000 square miles.

In such a vast organization, with its environment of rapid growth and all of the challenges that causes, why would any one employee attempt to initiate a new approach to conceptualizing and managing training? The training delivery burdens alone were staggering. An equally perplexing question is how does any one employee go about implementing a massive organizational culture change in terms of the way people are trained in an organization this large?

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