Company specific, even more so In-house developped and facilitated training courses are increasingly coming under pressure. So as to justify their additional expense.
Concurrently it is very much in doubt that such company specific, tailor-made developments offer real added value. Balanced against standard offers, which are possibly cheaper. From a cost point of view the arguments start with the constant new expenses to develop. In addition, seminar rooms, hotels, travel to and from the airport as well as trainer fees are quoted in particular. COVID-19 conditions highlight this pressure furthermore, as expected.
At the same time, hopes for a different kind of learning grow. Firstly, a design in modules based on different digital media would allow more autonomy of the learners. In addition, a detachment from rigid presence and processes would be fostered. (For instance, Crossknowledge, is an example for this, offering varied learning paths and a wealth of elements.)
In addition, any transfer of knowledge could be standardized in this way. Moreover, it could thus be detached from any shaky trainer competence. Still, protests are easy! Firstly, company specific culture and specifics easily fall victim to standardization.
Secondly, company culture is most difficult to copy and, in the best case, one major competitive advantage. In the light of this, a first question that arises is whether the drastic reduction in company specific events can really be helpful. For instance, company cultures can erode or solidify too much. So far so, that adjustments to changing conditions no longer take place. Otherwise, both stabilization and ‘unfreeze‘ can be achieved. But this is something completely different and more valuable than teaching mere knowledge.
Visible behaviors: products, rituals, myths, etc.
Products such as the company logo or elaborated design principles represent, more or less, explicit knowledge. Such knowledge would have to be integrated in standard training courses. Thus the courses would lead to the company specific tuning effort that one had actually wanted to avoid. Cross company target behaviors, meanwhile, can of course be tought in a standardized way, and practiced.
Feeling for what is Right, Common Informal Norms
Precisely because such values are rather implicit – formulated target values and company mission statements notwithstanding – they are only suitable to a limited extent for teaching in standard events.
Basic assumptions: relationship with nature and other people, time and space orientation
Underlying essence of business is extremely solid and enduring. Even less explicit than values, but convictions can evidently be very powerful. Executives and managers have to consolidate it and, if possible, develop it cautiously. But not only those: every employee can contribute. This can of course also occur in standard training courses, for example on a fireplace chat in the evening. However, it is also desirable that the entire event should be permeated with the “spirit of the house”, as can be ensured by a company specific event.
Picture by the author, with loose reference to Edgar H. Schein and Chad Renando