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One more training program was over. We were discussing the program and how well it went off. The subject naturally turned to how much of the learnings the participants would actually put into practice back on the job. This is a matter of some concern for all associated with people development. To what extent do participants actually attempt to incorporate their learnings into their managerial styles/individual behaviours when they get back to work?

My take on this, largely based on my experience as a trainer-facilitator for several decades is:

  • Only about 10 % of participants are what I would call Self-Starters. They implement action plans which are a bridge between the training program and their job with sincerity and discipline. They do so fueled by ambition, to desire to succeed and the urge to get ahead. They do it because they know it is good for them, their teams and their organization.
  • About 80 % – the vast majority- look for what I would call an Organizational Nudge. They look up to their boss/HR/some other agency to push, goad, cajole them them to implement their learnings. If there is no perceived interest shown by the organisation, they show no interest either. They feel it is the responsibility of their immediate supervisor to get them to talk about their actions and get them working on them.
  • The remaining 10 % are the Die Hards. They implement learnings only under great pressure and virtual organizational compulsion. If you say that a copy of their action plans is required by the CEO, you will see definite action. They will, in short, act only out of fear and nothing else.

The bad news is that I don’t see the figure of 10 %  as self-starters increasing over the years. The good news is that if you make up your mind to take responsibility for your career progression, you too could well be part of the Self Starters.

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This is Post No: 173 of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success