Instant Mashed Potato Training

Recently I heard of a manager who wanted his staff to learn Appreciative Inquiry in a one hour presentation!

It got me thinking that perhaps Sue and I have taken the wrong approach in AI training. Maybe we should just add water and voilà – instant mashed potato training. As long as it’s tasty it doesn’t really matter if it works. At least it would satisfy those managers who wade in the shallow end of the thinking pool and expect to gain deeper learning in less time than it takes to whip up instant mashed potato.

Usually those managers who have this mindset, when it comes to dealing with human behaviour, waste time and resources. Wishful thinking rarely accomplishes significant change in people’s behaviour. It only provides a band-aid that will peel off soon after training.

Here’s what managers can do to achieve effective staff training;

  • Be realistic
  • Allow sufficient time for the workshops
  • Provide facilities that enhance learning
  • Provide follow up
  • Hire experienced professionals
  • Pay professionals a professional fee (shopping at the two dollar store will usually get you two dollars worth of training)

Oh, by the way, I do love mashed potato. But not the instant variety – it never tastes the same.

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