Will Kenny

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Best Training Practices
Will Kenny
3927 York Ave N
Robbinsdale, MN 55422
612-978-3050

Think Pieces

free ideas to help you spread your best business practices

Jump directly to list of free articles here
And don't forget about my reprints from The Training Tipsheet

What are Think Pieces?

Think pieces are free articles offered to help you be more effective in promoting best practices in your organization.

When clients are struggling with how best to meet their needs, how to discover and promote best practices in their businesses, they often ask me to write a summary of their situation: the changes needed in how their employees work, the options they have for effecting those changes, pros and cons of those options, costs and challenges, and so on. I help them define the problem and identify solutions, along with the constraints and resources that allow them to choose the best solution for their needs.

Many years ago, a client of mine dubbed these summaries "think pieces". He worked for a large regional financial services provider, and when they were trying to identify the best path to a goal, he would say,

"Will, would you write up one of your 'think pieces' on this?"

Free Resources to Jog Your Thinking . . .

The "Think Pieces" section of this site offers free advice of a broader nature, from work with clients, published articles, and newsletter content. These articles are offered to help you step back and think about how you encourage changes in practices within your own organization.

Please feel free to share these with your colleagues, as long as you acknowledge the source. (Naturally, anyone who wishes to include one of these articles in a newsletter or other materials must contact me for written permission first.)

And don't forget The Training Tipsheet Reprints

My free biweekly e-zine, The Training Tipsheet, offers tips and ideas to help you spread best practices thorugh more effective and efficient training and communication.

"Reprints" of past articles from The Training Tipsheet are archived here as well. Browse the reprints for additional helpful suggestions about communication with employees and better training methods.

Available Think Pieces

click on the titles below to jump to the desired article

The Complete Communicator

Learn to look at two key assets -- content knowledge and communication skills -- separately, and to gather them from separate sources, if need be, to assemble everything you need to effectively spread best practides.

Watch your language!
Is "Training" a Dirty Word?

Training is a key tool in spreading best practices throughout your organization. But if you don't think about how you throw the word "training" around when talking to management and colleagues in your company, it could be a dirty word.

Developing On-line Training Yourself?
Here We Go Again . . .

Now anyone can create an on-line course and upload it to a web site or the company intranet. Is that a good thing? Let's take a look at some lessons learned when we changed from typewriters to word processing . . .

How Do Your Sales Reps Know What They're Talking About?

Is Sales Training a Pro-Am Event in Your Company? If so, you're probably getting "pro-am" results: a lot of activity and enthusiasm, but fewer "tournament" wins against the competition than you'd like . . .

The Inconvenience-O-Meter

Employees learn to read the value management places in any given training or practice by the inconvenience that management is willing to put up with to get the training done. It's about a lot more than dollars spent . . .

5 Reasons the Hired Help Isn't Helping Much . . .

I've worked as a corporate staff person hiring outside help, and as a freelance contractor, on projects of all sizes. And I've seen instances where, as the project gears up, the team leader begins to realize that things aren't going as well as they should. Here are the five most common reasons . . .

Why Are You Paying for the Same Knowledge
2 or 3 Times?

When you go looking for outside help -- writers and content developers, designers, facilitators -- it always helps if they are familiar with your business and your industry. But focusing too much on their level knowledge can lead to mediocre results. Don't hire clones, hire complements . . .

Does Your New Culture Have Amnesia?

Sometimes organizations face change on a scale that touches every employee. In the frenzy of launching new ways of doing things, the past can get lost -- and with it, the all the advantages and success that past has brought you. If you forget to connect your new culture with your old one, your employees will, too . . . and you probably won't like the results.

"Man, You're Working Awfully Hard!"

We all know how to run, we think. We all know how to communicate, we think. Maybe we should all think again, and even get some expert help.

Keep it up . . . Boo!

ghostWhat would you say to employees if you knew you could say it well, over and over again? Some organizations have the balance between ongoing communication and self-contained training events backwards. Maybe a little "ghost" could help.

Is your "Communications Grid" letting you down?

8 ways to build the "grid" you need to compete: All your great ideas about beating the competition are only as good as their execution by other people. If your key strategies and great ideas never seem to reach front line employees — and thus your customers — your communications grid may be costing you opportunities . . .

What You Wanted To Be When You Grew Up . . .

Maybe you got where you wanted to be, and just didn't notice: On a recent morning radio show, listeners were asked to call in and say what they thought they were going to be, when they grew up, and what work they actually ended up doing. Nobody said they wanted to help other employees do their work better . . .

The Rules of YOUR Game

Best practices are the rules of the game that everyone should follow: The rules of your game are generally a combination of externally mandated requirements, standard conventions in your industry, and your own unique approach to the business Put them all together, and you have a description of how you want to do business . . .

What Your Thermostat Tells You About Your Training

Understanding evaluations from your participants: If you've collected session feedback from any sizable group of employees or colleagues, you probably discovered that your event faced at least two crucial issues . . .

The Complete Communicator

Watch Your Language!
"Training" as a
Dirty Word

DIY On-Line CourseDevelopment

Sales Training: The Know-What

The Inconvenience-O-Meter