10 Steps To Getting The Results You Want
by Stuart Warner, Building Your Business Limited
It’s so easy to waste a lot of the money you invest in training.
When I say this I’m making some assumptions. I’m assuming that the reason you
spend time and money on training is that you want a concrete result. You want a
return on your investment. You want a better performance from your business and
ultimately you want greater personal rewards – more time off, higher pay or better
quality of life. After all isn’t that why you run a business in the first place?
Unfortunately there’s little evidence that training leads to better business results.
There’s a gap that much training can’t seem to cross.
This gap is to do with what’s called ‘the transfer of training’. On one side of the gap
you have training and good intentions. On the other side of the gap you have the
day-to-day real world - your small business.
One of the major reasons for this gap is that the training sometimes provides
knowledge but not practical skills. Lack of practical skills means lack of action to
change what’s happening in your business, and lack of change means business
For example, say you invest in a marketing course. If you learn new knowledge but
you never put it into action in your business, you haven’t achieved a return on your
training investment. Perhaps you enjoyed the course but was that the only reason
Instead, you could try to achieve a full transfer of training as follows:
Research by Margaret Foxon of Florida State University1 found that four factors were
causing this transfer of training problem:
• 43% Lack of support for ‘on-the-job’ training • 23% Training too theoretical – not practical enough • 21% Trainee not motivated or couldn’t see the relevance • 13% Poor delivery of training
So what can we learn from this? Here are our suggestions for 10 steps you can take
to get the results you want from training.
Make sure you can identify the result you want to achieve from the
training. This could be better business results, but it’s even better if you
can see how it could bring you more of what you want out of life.
Make sure you are 100% committed to getting this result so you carry
through and put in the hard work needed.
Make sure you can see a practical link between the training course and
1 Australian Journal of Educational Technology 1993, 9(2) pp 130-143
Make sure the training will give you practical skills and not just academic
Depending on the level and extent of the skills you want to learn, make
sure the training will provide these skills in small digestible chunks.
Better to take steady steps forward like an apprentice, rather than get
overwhelmed by a deluge of new learning.
Make sure you get good support from the trainer while you are learning
to apply the skills, not just when you’re learning the knowledge.
Make sure the skills you are learning can be applied straight away at
Make sure the skills are relevant to your day-to-day work.
Make sure the training provides you with a documented structure for
you to follow when your learning and so you can go back and revise any
Make sure the training gets you to learn by repetition. That’s why
knowledge isn’t enough. We only learn by doing it – applying the skills in
This last point is vital. Learning is about forming new habits – habits that will bring the
outcome you want. It takes 30 days to develop new habits and you only do this by
Charles J. Givens wrote, “Achieve success in any area of life by identifying the optimum strategies and repeating them until they become habits”.
I hope you find these 10 steps a useful and valuable guide to getting more from your
training. If you have any comments, favourable or not, on what we suggest please
email us at [email protected]
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