Why Do Training Programs Fail?


Creating and delivering “sticky” corporate training requires two basic things. First, any attempt to apply the content must bring some type or form of immediate and verifiable financial value to the company. Second, the content must be able to create some type or form of personal benefit for the student. If either one of these elements is missing from the equation, the training simply won’t stick to the wall.

For example, consider Six Sigma training. If successfully completing a Six Sigma Black Belt Certification Program does not bring any type or form of benefit to the student, do you suppose that person will become or remain passionate about using Six Sigma to only the company’s benefit? Of course not. When this happens in a company, Six Sigma will naturally die on the vine, so to speak.

On the flip side, if Six Sigma projects do not yield verifiable financial benefits to the company, do you suppose the company will continue to support Six Sigma and dedicate resources to the realization of its aims? Of course not.

Furthermore, if the training goals are not measured, reported or tied to executive bonuses, how long will Six Sigma be sustainable? Obviously, not long. Like it or not, the acquisition and practical application of knowledge must yield benefits that are real (i.e., verifiable and traceable) — for all parties that come to the table.

If you are called to the dinner table and no food is served, how long are you going to stay at the table? Granted, the table conversation may be great, but sooner or later your stomach will drive you elsewhere.

About Mikel Harry

Dr. Harry has been widely recognized in many of today's notable publications as the Co-Creator of Six Sigma and the world's leading authority within this field. His book entitled Six Sigma: The Breakthrough Management Strategy Revolutionizing the World’s Top Corporations has been on the best seller list of the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Business Week, and Amazon.com. He has been a consultant to many of the world’s top senior executives, such as Jack Welch, former CEO and Chairman of General Electric Corporation. Dr. Harry has also been a featured guest on popular television programs, such as the premier NBC show "Power Lunch." He is often quoted in newspapers like USA Today and interviewed by the media, such as The Economic Times. In addition, Dr. Harry has received many distinguished awards in recognition of his contributions to industry and society. At the present time, Dr. Harry is Chairman of the Six Sigma Management Institute and CEO of The Great Discovery, LLC.
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2 Responses to Why Do Training Programs Fail?

  1. cegosasiapacific says:

    Very well said, Dr. Harry! While we think of ROI on each and every project, why training programs be any different?

  2. Phill says:

    True words and great points Dr. Harry! Now I have to re-think of the initiative I am driving for 3 days training with a client tomorrow…

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