No Training Budget? No problem.

No Budget

Do you have a great team that needs development but lack a budget for training and access to an internal world-class learning team? Perhaps you’ve been limping along sending people to local conferences when you can to try to develop them. But while that may appease your team for a while, you know it’s not really developing them…because after all, nothing’s changed. And deep down, you know you’re not living up to the promise of developing your people.

But let me ask. Why should you invest in your people?

Yes, I’m asking.

Why should you develop people? If your training budget is no more, I will venture a guess that the answer to that question is exactly why it got cut in the first place. Here are great reasons that will get the budget cut almost every time:

  • Development is a good thing to do.
  • We need to develop millennials or they will leave.
  • Everyone should have a specific number of hours of training a year to maintain certifications.
  • We tell ourselves that our people are our most important asset.
  • Everyone should have a development plan.

While those things sound very nice in recruiting brochures, they do not drive a dime of revenue. The longer we spend fighting for development because we ‘say’ it’s a good idea, the longer we will live without a development budget and the more the guy in Finance who approves the budget will laugh and tell us we just don’t get it.

Because when margins are slim in an environment of rapid change, ‘nice to have’ doesn’t make the cut.

And it shouldn’t.

Fluff doesn’t drive strategy. Results do.

Your CFO is right.

If you want to meet your commitment to developing people, do it in a way that will drive results. Offer development solutions that the business cannot afford NOT to invest in.

Not Learning. Not Human Resources. The Business.

Because if you can make people better at delivering what the business needs from them to achieve the strategy, it’s smart business and it will pay for itself. Development solutions should drive results. Not next week or next month. The morning after the program – first thing.

The best way we know to do that is to immediately apply new skills to live cases in a workshop. We ask participants to bring the hardest challenge they are currently facing to which they have applied their best thinking and haven’t been able to solve. Usually, these are big hairy complex challenges. Adaptive challenges, that require different thinking. Over 95% of participants walk out having already made real progress on relevant, quantifiable issues that matter to the business. Many cases are worth millions in real money.

Typical results we see using this approach include:

…A regional bank EVP was able to make progress on an opportunity worth $10MM.
…A functional manager was able to save her team from being replaced in an acquisition.
…A national auto parts retailer was able to increase average ticket sales by $.40 driving millions of dollars in new revenue.
…An automotive service company was able to finally implement two critical business changes they had been struggling with for over 5 years. One was worth $10MM and the other increased their safety and employee retention numbers 10 fold.
…A director was able to turn a marginal performer into an A player and save over $100K in recruiting and a year of lost sales productivity.

Suddenly, the need for a training budget disappears when the business cannot afford not to find the money to get this stuff solved for good. If you’re struggling to get traction on development that doesn’t drive business results, just stop. Stop trying to get funding for time-wasting local conferences and low budget learning that doesn’t change behavior. Focus on what’s important and deliver real results, right in the program. That’s an easy sell… and you’ll still be able to check the boxes for millennials and developing people to be your best asset. Want help? Contact us, it’s what we do.

The LeaderShift Mastery Series is made up of three core programs representing a 90% solution to developing leaders and building an organization’s adaptive capacity. We provide real solutions to tough challenges related to influence, building resilience, and driving sustainable change.