current case of financial services, an imperative for value
Dont just sit there, send an article to your
job has changed dramatically. New data, new information,
broadcasts and the distribution of new reports and analysis
come faster and with greater frequency in this New Economy.
All managers are looking for the new, new thing;
and surprisingly, the source often turned to is the training
function. If they are to prosper, value-added trainers and
management developers must build this service into their
offerings, often without direct fees for services. Why?
If the financial services industry can be used as a benchmark,
then it is the systematic offering of whats
new that will make the difference internally to the
training function, and hence, to their vendors.
day we provide our clients (and they share with us) the
bits and bites of new data that represent leading edge thinking
and analysis. We exchange reading lists, websites, and newsletters
generally without contractual obligation or fees.
They pass this information along to their managers, either
at courses or digitally. This process has become imbedded
in the way we must do business. Why?
consolidation within the sectors of financial services,
particularly in the US, had an instant effect on traditional
classroom training. Commoditization with ever-lower costs,
the ubiquitous presence of technology, and the disintermediation
of the training function as managers purchase directly,
dominate the trends. Banks, in particular, have formed consortia
and allocate mainstream base-line training to highly effective
cartels like the American Banking Association, even for
contemporary topics like e-learning. Pricing is rock bottom.
areas of the companies create, or at least attempt to create,
knowledge management systems to help managers deal with
the sheer volume of data about their business. Success in
this mission is spotty but should improve with time. The
flow of new information knowledge maintenance
keeping up to date, has long been the purview of the training
organization. Either courses are offered with names like
current matters or individual course offerings
are augmented with contemporary discussions of issues that
affect the industry as an add-on to existing
courses. Where is the training professional to turn for
this new information? Traditionally, there was staff available,
but reengineering has eliminated that headcount. Contracts
with vendors could be augmented to include the providing
of information, but the competitive bidding process and
the availability of much of this information, at little
or no cost, has made aggregation an unbillable service.
How, then, do vendors survive?
case can be made for bundling value-added services
developed and provided over time. These services include
the billable development, consulting and training in the
traditional sense, but also include the providing of an
information flow within specified projects that become billable.
For example, the development of a senior management seminar
would include a continuous flow of new industry information.
This information would be beyond the specific scope of the
seminar, but billed to that seminar (and transparent to
the client). Example 2: a portal could be established and
maintained with a specific use for a specific training effort,
but access could be much broader than the original population.
Maintenance of the portal of information flow would probably
not have its own contract, but be subsumed into other projects.
is important not to exaggerate the case. We feel traditional
training and courses will continue to exist but in a hybrid
environment mixed with digital and virtual delivery. Financial
Services is an extreme set of sectors with exhausting consolidation
and reengineering, and the presence of consortia and cartels.
We see this as an opportunity to stay in touch with clients
and business partners each and every day. Dont just
sit there send something!