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As we all know HR training and consulting is an unorganized segment. However, there are some great training partners that are available, and I write on behalf of the fraternity. My views on strategic training partnership are as under.
Categorize your needs and accordingly look for partners:
Look for trainers freelance or companies who have proper training processes and tools. Soft skills is a number game, and thus value for money is a reasonable proposition. It also gives room for experimenting with new facilitators. A typical soft skills trainer would be a budding trainer who will in all probability moves into higher OD work. So keep your eyes open for new folks. Group work and role plays are the essences here.
These are the success skills for leadership behaviours. This need requires highly experienced trainers who must have an operations exposure for sure. The debrief has to be built around specific behaviours defined in the competency grid. Generalities will just not help. The facilitator must know your leadership competencies and behaviours. Else the learning will not be in line with your needs. These trainings require huge investments in terms of case studies, video’s, simulations and experiential processes. Only an experienced partner can handle this. These training also need a very high level of customization. Look for a partner who can invest in tools and has a research team backing up.
High-end OD intervention:
These require a different treatment altogether. Your partner must have a full-fledged OD support set up. The interventions can last for months so contract staff will just not do. Very specific tools need to be developed, and a follow-up process is essential. This is not a volume game and needs a very high level of focus. Only established brands with processes, systems and know how can handle this.
People development is not a process where quality can be compromised. A people partner is not a vendor but a strategic partner. A great relationship can go a long way in shaping the culture of the organizations. High-end OD organizations operate with an intent of cause and thus must be delicately handled. I have known some organizations that have created such strong relationships with their OD partners that it has become a success factor in creating a learning and development culture. Lastly, people development is a strategic process and needs strategic partners. Your partner must be a part of your vision. If the people development process fails even once, the entire learning culture deteriorates. Training is shaping up minds of people, and thus it is a very fragile process. Do handle with care.