MARKETING AFRICA MAL 18/17 mal 18:17 online - Page 26

social, technological, legal and environmental landscape in years to come and to be ready for them before they come. Organizations need to also develop well defined training outcomes and not the academic things that many do today. Many say they want a better performing team. The question is that is there a united understanding of the definition of better performing? Organizations say that they want their troops to work as a team. Is there a united definition of what a team is? The assumption that everyone has the same definition for words is a fallacy that has greatly reduced the return on training investments. There must therefore be an aligning session where the simplest of words are defined within the context of the corporate expectation. Remember that the return on training investment in the army is that the enemy is defeated, the army advances and the empire grows. To achieve this in the corporate space trainings have to be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. Abraham had a smart objective. It was specific because the outcome was well defined and understood by all and this was the pursuing of the enemy that had captured his nephew and rescuing his nephew. It was measurable because success was not left to ambiguity. It was either they rescued Lot or they did not. It was attainable. It was not a lofty plan in the sky. Abraham had experience. He had trained them before the kidnap of Lot happened. All he did at this point was to arm them. He knew that with the kind of training he gave his troops, they would be able to succeed in their mission. It was relevant. For that particular period, rescuing Lot was the most relevant action they could embark on. It affected Abraham personally 24 MAL 18/17 ISSUE and Abraham was their l eader. They could not afford for the leader to be hit personally like this. It would ultimately affect the team if the leader is down and so this was a very relevant issue. It was time-bound because if they did not act swiftly, over a certain period of time anything could happen. The life of Lot depended on swiftness of the action. Make your organizations return on training investment SMART. Make it specific by ensuring that there is a well-defined and tangible goal. The definitions must be aligned and everyone must be on the same page concerning the definitions. It must be measurable in that the before and after must be so clearly defined. If the objective is a more cohesive team, after defining what you mean by more cohesive, identify the attributes of a more cohesive team and also be aligned that you all have the same definition for those attributes. The expectation from training should be made attainable by ensuring that they are prepared for things that are never likely to happen. For instance planes are subjected to wind tests with winds at speeds that are never likely to happen. They are tested with turbulence simulation for turbulence levels that the plane is likely never to have to deal with. As such when turbulence happens, the plane may be tossed around but it was built for worse. The training should be relevant to the needs and growth trajectory of the company and not just a traditional and academic thing. Too many team buildings occur just because there is a budget for it. This is why those team building sessions never produce teams. They all go out in some resort and play games over the weekend but return to the very same demons they left in the office when they get back. Training expectations should be time bound. At different levels of education in school there are different expectations. At one level, it is expected that the child will be able to read. At another level it is expected that the child will be able to recite the multiplication tables. At another level the child is expected to be able to apply the multiplication tables to certain real problems. Similarly every training program should have performance timelines. If it is a training for the sales team for instance it should be well defined that the training is to deliver X percent increase in sales by X time. If the training is to kill silos, then what are the effects of silos? What are the manifestations? What are the direct and indirect consequences of small picture groups versus big picture teams? If these consequences are removed what do we expect to see and by what time? The true test of what a person is made of or their capacity is found in pressure. It is found in how they handled failure and unfavourable outcomes. What comes out of a person in times of adversity is their true value. The greatest credentials of a great person are expressed in their victory over adversity. If you want to know what people you consider your friends think about you wait until you hit turbulence. That is when the truth in their hearts concerning you will come out. There are people that you may think are friends today that are going to surprise you when the turbulence comes. With this understanding, you need to navigate life in such a way that you work with people but you do not hinge your happiness on them. Relate with people but never see them as your source. The day you make man the source in your life, you are being set up for disaster. Build your capacity in the day of peace. Increase your tolerance when there is no provocation. Work on your humility when it is easy to stay humble. Learn to withdraw and enjoy