Q: What effect will offering leadership training to my managers have on my business?

A: Building strong leaders within your company has a life-long impact on your business as well as on your team. ActionCOACH Business Coaching teaches clients that the No. 1 key to a winning team is strong leadership. It is the leader’s vision and goals that drives the team to success and the company to profit. It’s no coincidence that the stronger the leadership skills are, the more creative and motivated the team is. Leadership training is a win-win for all.

Q: What recent developments in research can help businesses and individuals learn more quickly and effectively?

A: There is more clarity about the link between behavior changes and emotional experiences. The importance of having highly engaging experiences that impact the heart and mind of the learner is integral. On-the-job experiences, experiential classroom programs (such as role playing, problem solving, group dynamics, etc.), and movies continue to be three of the more effective mediums for behavior modification.

Q: What is important to keep in mind when creating an agenda for a business meeting or seminar?

A: One element that is important, yet often overlooked, is the incorporation of movement. The movement could be a 15- or 30-minute activity such as dance, improv or stretching. Such movement increases the energy, focus and engagement of the group, and is an unexpected brain refresher that your attendees will thank you for.

Q: Recent economic pressures have hit our company pretty hard, making it difficult for us to continue sending employees to training. Are there other options?

A: Definitely. Companies that understand the value of education are finding more efficient ways to develop employees. Remember, training does not need to be a formal, off-site event. InterPro has been providing “Strategic Coaching” for over six years. This “learn-as-you-go” model places a consultant at the client’s side during the workday, where learning can be applied immediately to improve workflow, and enhance problem-solving and decision-making skills. Other options include mentoring programs, cross-functional teams and project groups that allow employees to learn from one another.

Q: How are organizations using technology to enhance their training efforts?

A: Savvy organizations are using webcasting and web conferencing for their training sessions, which enables them to reach any employee at any time with a computer and broadband access. By eliminating the need for employees to travel to a central training location, organizations save time, reduce travel expense and significantly improve productivity. The training sessions can also be recorded and placed on an organization’s web site, so employees can review selected material to increase retention and development.

Q: My company is going to initiate Lean Manufacturing. Will there be job losses?

A: The Lean process is not about job elimination. It’s about making each employee more efficient. Lean methods allow companies to identify and reduce common wastes, streamline processes, incorporate a visual management operation, establish an inventory system, focus only on value-added activities and, ultimately, become a customer order-driven enterprise.

Q: In today’s tough economy, what are some ideas on how to maximize training budgets?

A: Technology has become increasingly complex as training budgets become tighter than ever before. Savvy IT professionals find they need to have a good understanding of their specific requirements and a plan for measuring the return on investment for their training dollars to show the bottom line benefit to the business. New Horizons helps companies find the most efficient and effective training solution by conducting training needs analysis, using pre-and post-training assessments and defining goals to benchmark against.

Q: When choosing a venue, what factors should a facilitator consider?

A: The most important thing to consider is ease of planning. A good venue will have on-site professional event planners who will handle most of the details for you. The facilitator should be able to concentrate on the content of the meeting, while the planner coordinates audio-visual requirements, food and beverage needs, and other peripheral details. Moving a meeting off-site and removing employees from their everyday environments allows groups to focus, avoid interruption and brainstorm freely.

Q: What are the factors that a business considers when booking an all-day training meeting?

A: Businesses look for a fun and relaxing environment that is conducive to learning, as well as a location that is centrally located and easy for people to find. They want tools for technology, great food and creative team-building exercises, such as dance lessons, scavenger hunts and rope climbing sessions. All of these services are available at the Roberts Centre.

Q: How do I convince my boss that additional training is cost effective?

A: If you have 50 employees with annual revenue of $3 million, your FTE/Revenue number is $60,000. A cost-effective training program should increase that number each year. If it decreases, training is a waste of profits. I recommend you spend minimal training dollars on your Duck employees (can’t-do underachievers) and maximum training dollars on your Eagles (can-do overachievers). To increase training dollars, simply WOW your boss by increasing your FTE/Revenue number. The Eagle Leadership Academy teaches - never train disinterested Ducks. Learn to “dollarize” your training program.

Q: How do I make sure that my Lean work is sustainable?

A: To achieve a sustainable Lean environment, you need to incorporate Lean into your organizations’s culture. TechSolve integrates the education of your employees with action-oriented Lean improvements and solutions that are aligned with your overall business goals and culture. Developing your employees’ Lean knowledge ensures that they will make continued improvements to their processes.

Q. How can live simulation games help our company?

A. The realistic feeling is a big reason why many companies choose live simulations to train employees in complex subjects, such as Xavier’s advanced risk management experience, the Ultimate Route TM. Experts say adults absorb information better when they use it, not just hear it. Faced with time pressure and limited information, participants must make decisions quickly in a mistake-safe environment while gaining invaluable learning through their struggle, teamwork and reflection. Participants leave the simulation prepared to apply their experiences at work immediately.