Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A bit off topic

I want to go slightly off topic with something today.  A couple of days ago - a co-worker of mine and I met with a person who works in the same field as we do - training, hiring, and development for a restaurant owner.  She works for the same brand that we do.  She had some really great ideas and even a fantastic spreadsheet that she created to help us with some issues we have been having.  My co-worker...let's just call us the M&M's - and I were very excited about the information that she gave us.  We have a 'what we have been doing isn't working very well, let's try something new' attitude. We were all pumped up - right after the meeting we sat down and worked on compiling notes on the meeting to present to our bosses. We did this with the idea that we would love to be given the nod to go forward with it and were ready to do some preliminary work on the project.

These are some important things to remember when you are proposing a new and kind of radical idea - do your homework.

Think about the people from whom you need to get approval.  What will they say when you present the new way of doing things to them?  Will they agree that a change is needed?  Will they say that it won't work?

I know that I have to expect to get some push-back on this new approach - I just didn't expect it so soon!  The very next day - the other M got an email from one of the people who we shared our notes with saying that it couldn't be done at this time.  It is so hard sometimes to get people to break out of their old way of doing things and see the benefit of a new way.  The point here is to be prepared. I guess I didn't present the notes the way I intended.  I meant the email to be a re-cap of the information that was shared with us - and the person who replied took it as if we - M&M were saying this was a done deal.

Depending on where you work - moving forward with a new training plan - no matter how much it is needed - may be an up-hill battle.  You may face people who are against any change - people who don't see things your way.  They are not wrong for having different views than you do - but if you believe...really BELIEVE in what you are doing - it is your responsibility to convince them to give it a try.  Get all your ducks in a row - collect information about the successes or lack there of that you have seen with your current system.  Put together a solid presentation - introducing all the key players to the new way.  When you have find tuned and polished your presentation - ask for a meeting.  Bring the people together who will approve or deny your plan.  Present the data to them and just ask them for a chance to try it.  I intend to work with the other M to gather information and build the case for our plan.  When we present it - my intention is to ask for a time frame - let's say 6 months.  Give us 6 months to do this and see what happens. If it doesn't work - at least we will know we tried something different. If we see improvement - give us another 6 months. If after a year we are seeing a change - great - we all win! If we are still in the same place we were today - we end it and move on to something else.

Be proactive! Put together a plan for change before your boss asks for it.

I am reinvigorated!  Yesterday afternoon the M&M were feeling pretty let down. It was like someone came along and popped the balloon of good feelings we had from the day before. Today - that balloon is filling back up again!  I believe that we can make a change that will have positive impact on our company.  I can't wait to get started!!

Training is not a one - time event - it is an ongoing journey...Learn it...Live it...Pass it on!

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