Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2009 - (Page 11)

BEFORE YOU BUY | DOUG HARWARD THE TRAINING MANAGER IS THE ONE WHO MAKES ALL THINGS WORK THE UNSUNG HEROES OF TRAINING O ver the past few years, the role of the executive in charge of training has become very much glamorized. Chief learning officer, or CLO, has become a common title that leaders of training organizations claim to be, and even aspire to be. However, industry data tells us that less than 8% of the Fortune 1000 companies actually have a C-level executive solely responsible for learning. To be an officer in a publicly traded company, you generally must report directly to the CEO. In smaller companies that strict definition may not be necessary to have the fabled seat at the table. But in larger companies, it’s rare to find someone directly reporting to the CEO who has the sole responsibility of training for the entire corporation. Of course many executives use the CLO title, although many do not actually own the responsibility for training across the entire corporation. This is usually because training is still so decentralized, making learning quite different from the broad and comprehensive responsibilities of a CFO, COO, CIO, or any of the other recognized titles for chiefs and officers. Naturally, these comments are not meant to disrespect the CLO, but to point out that sometimes, the real glory is hidden. What is not rare in today’s business world is the role of the training manager, and his/her responsibilities are clear. Most of the largest companies today have a training department, and with it a manager of training. This is the role that makes the day-to-day activities of the training organization work. It’s the role that must know the most about instructional design, delivery and administration. And it’s the role that must understand enough about learning technologies to determine which tools are necessary, and which tools and technologies are not. Training managers must be knowledgeable enough to interface with engineering managers, human resource managers, manufacturing managers and IT managers, making them the jack-of-all-trades when it comes to learning. And regarding performance, it’s the role that gets the least credit when things go well in training, and gets much of the blame when things don’t go so well. It’s also the role that gets tasked by executives when their organization is not performing to standard. Training managers must determine the right measures to justify the activities for learning. They have the challenging task of ensuring that the organization is offering the right curriculums and courses; that the training programs are properly designed; and that they come in under budget. They must ensure the instructors are in the classrooms on the right day, and on time, and the classrooms are properly set up. The training manager is the one who makes all things work. The responsibility of all of these critical elements of running an efficient and effective training organization falls directly on the shoulders of the training manager. If you are this person, you are my hero, and probably the unsung hero of your company. Again, this is not meant to disrespect the CLO’s contributions, or to discourage training managers away from CLO ambitions. The training manager and the CLO role are significant in the company, helping to influence the culture of incoming employees, helping them to be successful and impacting the everyday quality of work life of the employees., You might be wondering by now how this ode to the training manager fits in a column titled “Before You Buy.” Good question. The simple answer is, CLOs should not be the only influencer of training-related buying in an organization; the input of those with the hands-on knowledge is crucial to making the smart choices. If you’re a CLO, be sure to take the 360-degree approach to buying and seek the training manager’s input. If you’re a training manager, make sure your voice is heard. To those executives who have training managers reporting to them, I hope you see the same value in their work and show them how much you appreciate what they do each day. And to the many training instructors, instructional designers, training coordinators and administrators, I hope you too will tell your training managers how much you appreciate the hard work they do to make sure you have the necessary resources to do your job. Good training, like good baseball, is a team effort. The pitcher might be on the mound, but he won’t get anywhere without the right field strength. Doug Harward is CEO of Training Industry, Inc., and a former learning leader in the high-tech industry. E-mail Doug at 11 Training Industry Quarterly, Winter 2009 / A Training Industry, Inc. ezine /

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2009

Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2009
At the Editor’s Desk
Winning Organizations Through People
Before You Buy…
Learning Technologies
Coaching & Mentoring Your L&D Legacy
Training’s Performance Support Imperative
Beyond Learning Objectives
Targeting Training With Limited Budgets
Meet Deborah Masten
Meet Terri Dorsey
ADP: Supporting Succession Planning Through Training
Closing Arguments

Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2009