Executive education & development is critical for any organization but is often overlooked. Quite easily, one can only pin the blame on a ‘fixed mindset’ which assumes failure as an evidence of ‘non-intelligence’. It’s interesting to note that even some of the Fortune 500 companies are guilty of such a mindset. No wonder that their counterparts, who have a ‘growth mindset’ and believe in the power to transform and an endless possibility to learn and grow, excel.
To address the handicap of having a ‘fixed mindset’ there’s a new wave of entrepreneurs who are revolutionizing the executive education space vis-à-vis their 360-degree approach. Incidentally, corporate biggies are no longer shying away from letting them train their executives.
So, what exactly is this 360-degree approach? What is it that these entrepreneurs do differently that results in real professional development in tandem with their organization’s vision and mission.
Conduct pre-training diagnostics
What happens before the training is extremely critical because trainers can only deliver a relevant training if they do a ‘need analysis’ or a ‘diagnosis’.
This enables them to design a more ‘focused training’ instead of delivering a bland, ‘blanket training’. For instance, if they are to train a team of customer service executives, they first make mock calls to determine their competency score. They do a 360-degree assessment by collecting opinions of peers, superiors or if required even customers. To trace their personal interests the participants are given surveys, questionnaires, and polls and the program is tailored accordingly.
An all in all-inclusive approach, the key purpose is to involve the clients and trainees right from an early stage lest they think it’s just another boring, ‘must-attend training’ because the bosses say so. Such an approach results in long-term retention since employees gain trust seeing money invested in their professional well-being and development.
Conducting an experiential training session
The extent to which any workshop or training influences learning, performance levels and behavior change depends on how the session is not just designed, but how it is delivered. Entrepreneurs today are aware that ‘gyaan’ giving sessions can never create an intuitive learning environment that adults seek. It has to be relevant, interactive and two-way.
This is one reason why the participation of trainees is paramount for them. They create an atmosphere where participants are heard and talked to, instead of just being spoken to or lectured. They do so by charging up the sessions vis-à-vis group discussions, debates, team assignments, audio and visual clippings, and a few games to exercise body and mind alike.
Peers are given pep talks and asked to share experiences relevant to training modules for it is a form of active demonstration of how there’s a possibility to learn through an exchange of experience. The participants are given opportunities to practice in a set-up where they can make mistakes and still not be judged. The approach is absolutely ‘learner-focused’.
Most importantly, these sessions are delivered by industry experts which means knowledge transfer happens from someone from within the industry. The participants are naturally inquisitive, trusting and more attentive because they know their concerns are being addressed by someone from their own domain rather than an outsider.
Create a post-training environment
Most times, it is the train-and-forget approach that results in little or no impact on trainee performance and the organization’s growth. Having identified this major roadblock, entrepreneurs in the executive education space know how important it is to create a positive post-training environment for more sustained outcomes.
They understand the need to continually give employees a room to improve and assess their performance by tailoring industry-specific questionnaires, surveys and give them assignments to be completed by assessees. Based on their accomplishments or slipups, they share relevant articles, inspirational real-life experiences via newsletters and recommend books that will contribute to their professional development.
Such follow-ups keep employees engaged and interested in their own career graph for who has ever liked a performance dip?
Undeniably, these entrepreneurs give a bird’s eye view by getting into the system. They not just diagnose, but also give a prognosis which is what the 360-degree methodology is essentially all about. They are the doctors that any corporate organization can trust their employees to. Are you willing to?
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