The 360° Training *(Published on Nigeria Seminars and Trainings website)

 Wole Osunmakinde, 

Polymath Training & Development Facilitator, Philomath Writer, Performance Coach


I feel it is incumbent on us, as professionals in the field of Learning & Development, to critically have a review, a restructure, a renaissance, a rethink, and a reconstitution on what we consider to be a proper training or seminar.

My submission in this regard is that workforce training/seminar should be a 360° engagement with keen respect to approach, content and delivery. It has to be all encompassing, and holistic. We cannot longer deliver training/seminars merely on the platform of information. No! We have to relocate our professional base from the point of information to that of transformation, and from presentation to impartation. This much needed shift in our L&D/Training paradigm would be turning point in workforce capacity building in Nigeria.

Information is a source of learning but unless it is organized, processed, and made available in a format for decision making, it is a burden, not a benefit – William Pollard                               

Now, four factors, I believe, can be the drivers of the desired shift in the administration of training and seminars, especially the corporate engagements. These are Sight, Insight, Foresight and Hindsight.

                                                    


These four element are what I think should drive every training we administer as professionals. The degree to which these quadratic set coincide and interplay is what will ultimately decide the quality and impact of your training.

This Is It!

Training should be all encompassing. And the key to that is balance. That is, balancing the elements of sight, insight foresight and foresight in your L&D facilitation. Now let us examine each of these elements:

Sight: All professional trainers must see the prevailing trends in their respective fields of engagement. The emerging facts in your field must be adequately captured and eloquently cascaded to your trainee(s) or audience.  Here, the up-to-date facts, figures, features and formats of the topics and contents of your presentations must be meticulously studied, carefully analysed, and brilliantly disseminated. In short you must keep the eagle eye on your game.

Insight: Friends, textbook knowledge alone is never sufficient for anyone to be a maven training facilitator. In most L&D hinging particulars, the cutting edge realities are beyond the surfaces. The treasure stones are always buried down the surface. It is, therefore, required of us to dig deep into the mines of knowledge and information. Real facilitation is about taking along with you your audience deep into the crux of matters. So duty beckons on us to set our trainees on a plain where they can see the inference in the references, the implications of the indications, and the consequences of the sequence. The key is insight – insight into what we present.

Foresight: The dual purpose of training is now and future. Trainings must be developed and delivered not only to address the immediate workforce needs.  It must project into the future. It must be born out of both what we see and what we foresee.  So, a thorough L&D professional is both a coach and an oracle. .And this can only be enhanced when the facilitator/trainer can bring the likely coordinates of the future into the now equation. It is about being strategic in the engagement and interaction with the participants. What produces Foresight is a critical and analytical combination of Sight and Insight. The precision of Sight plus the expertise of Insight equals exceptional foresight.

Hindsight: No experience is lost. Mistakes, ingenuities, regrets and achievements, all can be nuggets. I strongly submit that it is permanently unethical to facilitate a training/seminar in which you do not have much experience to bring on board. I remember one training I attended while I was a Manager with a foremost Pension Fund Administrator in which the facilitator that took us in a module on Pension Management. The gentleman actually goofed! He knew next to nothing about the Contributory Pension Scheme. We had to rescue the obvious novice from the duress of questions and queries from the disappointed participants. I have also attended trainings that were just amazingly administered with much hindsight shared. In fact, it was a training I took when I was a staff of a pharmaceutical company a couple of years ago that made me fell in love with L&D and I actually conceived the idea of being an L&D professional and a Life Coach. The facilitator by the name of Fela Dorotoye, took us spellbound. His set-piece of Sight, Insight, Foresight and Hindsight on Personal Effectiveness as a module was just classic!

You see, both integrity and ethics demand that you look for competent a facilitator in the L&D area in view that is not your core. Great facilitation will always require a more than average repertoire of experience, exposure and expertise.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

This Is How It Works

When you meticulously combine these four elements – Sight, Insight, Foresight and Hindsight – in your Training/Coaching as an L&D professional, you will arrive at what we call 360° Training. Your content and context will not just be another academic structure but an intellectual infrastructure. It is an end where training becomes more than informative but rather trans-formative.

 Statistics here and there show that L&D has the potential to improve human capital development, or let me say workforce performance, by up to 75%. Getting this accomplished depends on how effective are the L&D programmes delivered by us. And the effectiveness of any L&D programme is a direct result of the competence of the professional on duty. The competence, however, is a derivative of the mix of Sight, Insight, Foresight and Hindsight.

For instance, the renowned giant automobile manufacturer, Mercedes Benz sees and studies carefully the trend of things (sight), and set out to scale above the trends. The company has professionals with exceptional understanding of everything about automobiles; they parade the best know-how (insight), they think ahead of others for new features and possibilities, and their new release is always the future of the automobile producers (foresight).  And they always have something to leverage on and/or improve on from their previous models (hindsight). If you take your time to look at their models (like I always do), you will find out dozens of similarities and dozens of differences at the same time between the current and the previous models. They look so much alike and yet so much different. While you are captivated by the breath-taking features of the newer models, you do not really miss your emotions for the preceding models. Amazing experience many can tell. We, as L&D professionals, can be this enterprising and all encompassing, so meticulous, and yet, so ecstatic. 

In all, it calls for continuous improvement – update, upgrade, uptake – from our part. We just have to learn more, improve more, input more and deliver more.