A CEO Walks Into A Bar…

HappyCEONo, the title of this post isn’t the setup to a joke. As a training leader, what do you say when you run into your CEO at the local watering hole? In the elevator? As you pass in the hallway? This train of thought started for me when I read comments on a discussion started on the Chief Learning Officer LinkedIn group page.

The entire discussion was kicked off by this comment: “If a month goes by and you don’t find yourself wondering, ‘Am I truly adding value to my organization?’ you’d better hope you don’t run into the CEO in the elevator, because he will ask you.”

Instead of hoping you don’t run into the CEO, the better thought to have would be how do I change this? How do I prove the value I add to my organization? Can you answer that question in a positive way and can you back it up with proof?

Do You Fear Running Into the CEO?

A lot of training leaders live in fear of this very thing. They wonder what they offer to their organization and feel as if they don’t have data to back up their value to the top brass. Lacking actual data, many training leaders point to a list of courses or numbers of people trained, but they can’t actually tie their value to business objectives.

The Measurable Instruction Design (MID) process helps instructional designers create training that is measurable. By following the MID model for instructional design, trainers can measure how well students learned in the classroom, if a student’s behavior changed on the job, and how the training program impacted the organization. Those are the very pieces of information your CEO wants most.

Prove Your Value With Metrics

How does the MID process make training measurable at these levels? First, this method focuses on ensuring collaboration between the trainers and the business managers. That collaboration is essential to discovering the metrics that show there is a problem that needs training as the solution. This step makes sure the business manager and the trainer agree that a change in the key performance metric (KPM) is the ultimate goal of the training program. Your training has a goal and it’s specifically tied to improving business.

The next step is pinpointing the standard of performance needed to impact the metric. Performance standards provide the trainer with the content needed to develop training and further align the business manager and trainer on the required conditions and criteria of performance.

Pinpointing organizational needs and agreeing on standards are the steps in MID analysis that begin the process for making training measurable. Once your training addresses those things you can measure and prove your value to the CEO. Then instead of creating fear, a chance meeting with your CEO creates opportunity.

What about you? Do you fear running into your CEO? Can you confidently answer the question “Am I adding value”? Tell me in the comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts.