10 Incontestable Truths of Training and Development

“When you invest a dollar in a person, you get $10 back.
When you invest a dollar in a machine, you get $2 back.”

– Clay Mathile (Source: http://www.flyernews.com)

1.  People ARE your most valuable asset.  This is reality, not an empty cliché.  It’s time for more organizations to walk their talk.

“Let us cultivate our garden.” ― Voltaire

2.  People need maintenance and upgrades even more than machines do.  Retraining is maintenance.  Training is an upgrade.  Development is the next generation model.

“If you bought a million dollar machine,
would you use it continuously without inspections,
maintenance and upgrades?  Of course no
t!
Do you care as much about the upkeep of your people?”

3.  Training is NOT for everyone.  Only invest in the employees you intend to keep.  By the way, what about yourself!

“Floss only the teeth you want to keep.” ― Zig Ziglar

“A staff can be no better than the man it serves.” ―David Halberstam

4.  Development is NOT an event.  It’s a continuous, lifelong process, necessary for the health of both the organization and individual.

“No matter how good you get you can always get better,
and that’s the exciting part.”
― Tiger Woods

5.  The outcome of development is change.  Define your change objectives and inspect the results.

“When you reread a classic, you do not see more in the book than you did before;
you see more in you than there w
as before.” ― Cliff Fadiman

6.  Development is an investment, NOT an expense. Paying expenses keeps the doors open.  Investing opens new doors. Investments are for organizations that expect to be around for the long haul. In fact, investments make the long haul feasible.

“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” ― Derek Bok

7.  Training is a risk/reward proposition.  Like financial investments, the greater the risks, the higher the potential return.  Choosing the right training programs, the right participants and the right service provider reduces the risks AND increases the dividends.

“Necessity is the mother of ‘taking chances’” ― Mark Twain

8.  Development, like all planned change, is strategic.  Strategic thinkers do not put the training budget in the discretionary spending column. When organizational strategy is being discussed, smart thinkers give the training director a seat at the table.

“Change before you have to.” ― Jack Welch

“If you do not change, you can become extinct!” ―Spencer Johnson

9.  Training builds morale.  Investing in people demonstrates they have a future with the organization. To build a team of loyal, fully engaged, high achievers, hire the right people then invest in their development regularly.

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” ― Plutarch

10. The organization must lead if relevant development is to occur.  Use your influence to leverage the change your organization needs.

“Which came first: the change-ready company
or the change-ready employee?”
― Lorii Myers

www.CrossAbilities.com

 

CHANGE

“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” This expression can be a good reason to keep on doing what has proven to work effectively. Makes sense, right? But, this good advice misapplied can also create problems. Consider someone using this cliché as an excuse to avoid necessary change. A threadbare tire that still holds its air comes to mind. Technically, it is still working. But disaster lurks. Consider also something that works, but is about to fail due to a change in external conditions. This happens in business all the time. Products, services, and business models are constantly being made obsolete by something new and better. In business, continuous change is required to survive.

“Change before you have to.” — Jack Welch

Now, to my main point. Some people will do almost anything to avoid change. Certain kinds of change make people uncomfortable, even fearful. Instead of change being an opportunity for improvement or to experience something new, they gravitate toward the familiar, which they acknowledge could be inferior. Funny thing, this tendency seems to increase as we age.

“The devil we know is better than the devil we don’t know.” — Cliché

“Middle age is when your broad mind and narrow waist begin to change places.” — E. Joseph Cossman

Change should not be something to automatically fear. After all, changing socks is a fantastic idea. Changing lanes is often necessary. Changing keys makes music interesting. Changing colors makes autumn beautiful. People enjoy watching the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. Finally, this post is the result of many changes. (You should have seen the first 59 drafts.)

Change is more acceptable when seen as a remedy for suffering. Like most elections, the buzzword in the last presidential election cycle was “change.” Most of the candidates have used it or similar words such as reform. For example, Huckabee proposed to “reform” the tax system. Obama’s overall theme was “stand for change.” (This was later changed to “Unite for Change.”)   In these and most other cases, the same game plan is in force. Step 1: Convince the people something is terribly wrong or headed in that direction. Step 2: Offer to come and save the day through “change.” (I think I hear the Lone Ranger theme song.) Before taking sides in these matters, some questions we must ask are, “Will the proposed changes really save the day?”, “Which person or group is most qualified to save the day?” and “Does the day even need to be saved?”

Here are some thoughts to help change our attitude toward change.

“If we don’t change direction soon, we’ll end up where we’re going.” — Professor Irwin Corey

“In a time of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future.” — Eric Hoffer

“No great improvements in the lot of mankind are possible until a great change takes place in the fundamental constitution of their modes of thought.” — John Stuart Mill

“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.” — Carol Burnett

“The most effective way to manage change is to create it.” — Peter Drucker

“Lord, where we are wrong, make us willing to change; where we are right, make us easy to live with.” — Peter Marshall, US Senate chaplain

“If the rate of change on the outside (of the firm) exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.” — Jack Welch

“I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their lives. Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change.” — Jim Rohn

“We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance.” — Harrison Ford

“The main dangers in this life are the people who want to change everything – or nothing.” — Nancy Astor (1879 – 1964)

“Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” — William James (1842 – 1910)

“Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.” — Warren Buffet

“It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.” — James Gordon, Medical Doctor

God bless,

— CC

© Copyright June 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com

“Chasing the Puck”

I came across a quote that caused me to pause and reflect about the way I’m living my life and conducting my business affairs.

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” — Wayne Gretzky

As I tried to put these words into personal context, my mind flashed back to days of watching small kids play soccer. For those who haven’t seen such a sight, imagine a clump of 10-15 kids chasing a soccer ball in a seemingly random fashion. In a game it’s amusing — in life, it’s tragic.

I came to the conclusion that a “chase the puck” approach to life is a major contributing factor to an unsuccessful, stressful, unfulfilled life. The alternative is to make a habit of intercepting the puck. That is, to observe the puck’s speed and direction, choose a spot in the puck’s path, and get to that spot as the puck arrives. If you believe Mr. Gretzky’s quotation is an apt metaphor for life, you might draw the same comparison I did regarding tell-tale signs that someone has been chasing the puck rather than intercepting the puck.

“Chasing The Puck” “Intercepting the Puck”
Dwells on the painful past Envisions and dreams of a better future
Never has enough time Has time enough for what matters most
Lack of money, growing debt Budgets, saves, invests, delays gratification
Bitter about mishaps Thankful for blessings
Reactive – waits for things to happen Proactive – influences what happens
Pessimistic Optimistic
Results: limited success, stress, regrets Results: Abundant success and personal fulfillment

Success Starts With a Dream

“Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I’ll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I’ll give you a stock clerk.” — J.C. Penney

Success is a Daily Decision

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” — Thomas Edison

“This is as true in everyday life as it is in battle: We are given one life, and the decision is ours whether to wait for circumstances to make up our mind or whether to act and, in acting, to live.” — Omar Bradley

“Change before you have to.” — Jack Welch

Success Requires the Proper Mindset

“Either do or do not; there is no try.” — George Lucas

“I’ve never been poor, only broke. Being poor is a frame of mind. Being broke is only a temporary situation.” — Mike Todd

“Achievement is largely the product of steadily raising one’s levels of aspiration and expectation.” — Jack Nicklaus

Success Requires Knowledge

“In a time of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future.” — Eric Hoffer

“Instead of waiting for someone to take you under their wing, go out there and find a good wing to climb under.” — Dave Thomas

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” — Galileo Galilei

Limits to Success

“Every man dies. Not every man lives. The only limits to the possibilities in your life tomorrow are the “buts” you use today.” — Les Brown

God Bless,

— CC

© Copyright July 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com

Life Planning

I’ve heard it said countless times that Americans spend more time planning their vacations than they do their lives. If true, it’s a scary thought. Maybe that’s why lately there have been ads promoting “old-fashioned ideas” like saving, budgeting, and investing. For example, have you seen the “Feed the Pig” TV ads and Website?

Americans complain endlessly about fiscal irresponsibility in Washington D.C. and rightly so But, are individual Americans any better than Uncle Sam? How much pork barrel spending is in your family budget?

“Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.” — Ronald Reagan

Since we all like thinking about and planning vacations, let’s apply what we know about that to life planning. Making a life plan requires detailed answers to just three questions:

Where do I want to go? (i.e. Vision)

“George Washington had a vision for this country. Was it three days of uninterrupted shopping?” — Jeff Melvoin, Northern Exposure, Bolt from the Blue, 1994

“If you don’t have a vision, then your reality will always be determined by other’s perceptions.” — Melanee Addison

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain

“Every person takes the limits of their own field of vision for the limits of the world.” — Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860)

“If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.” — Lawrence J. Peter

Where am I right now?

“We are not in a position in which we have nothing to work with. We already have capacities, talents, direction, missions, callings.” — Abraham Maslow

“We are all born with wonderful gifts. We use these gifts to express ourselves, to amuse, to strengthen, and to communicate. We begin as children to explore and develop our talents, often unaware that we are unique, that not everyone can do what we’re doing!” — Lynn Johnston

“Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?” — Benjamin Franklin

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” — Helen Keller

“Time is our most precious asset, we should invest it wisely.” — Michael Levy

“If you have ideas, you have the main asset you need, and there isn’t any limit to what you can do with your business and your life. Ideas are any man’s greatest asset.” — Harvey S. Firestone

What route will I take? (i.e. Plan)

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now” — Alan Lakein

“A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow” — Proverb

“Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning” — Winston Churchill

“Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.” — Denis Waitley

“I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” — Bible, Jeremiah 29:11

Of course, these steps only produce the plan. Execution is required to produce results, which is another topic for another day.

“Control your own destiny or someone else will.” — Jack Welch

God Bless,

— CC

© Copyright June 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com