What the Doctor Ordered: Training, Technology and Leadership

I’m not a doctor, but I like to play one in my current role as a Technology Training Coordinator.  I like present to our faculty and staff over MediaSite in costume as “Doctor Nikki”.  But no matter what role I’ve had: whether “Dr. Nikki” the trainer, Technology Trainingthe IT, or Technology Trainingthe leader, I realize that the best way to solve a problem is to diagnose it and then have the right people treat it, not the reverse.

A Training Problem. Do you have trainers and presenters who lack the skills in the first place?  Don’t expect the technology to compensate.

A Technology Problem. Does your site have a bad user interface?  Do your forms use field labels with really hard to decipher language?  Do you have processes that could be automated to eliminate the potential for human errors?  Then don’t train around design flaws.  Your users can only be expected to remember so much.

A Leadership Problem. Have your leadership expected the technology to guide the policies and business processes instead of the other way around?  Does your leadership fail to hold individuals accountable?  Then don’t implement more technology.  Don’t implement training programs without holding individuals accountable for their professional development.

Take it from “Dr. Nikki”, when you have a problem in your department, the last thing you want to do is send it to the wrong specialist.  It’s like sending someone with a heart problem to a brain surgeon.

How have your organization’s problems been “misdiagnosed”?   Have any been corrected?  I’d like to hear about it.

Photo Credit: “Pills” by Mattza

10 Responses to “What the Doctor Ordered: Training, Technology and Leadership”

  1. Says:

    Great post. Seems like you wear lots of hats or scrubs might be more appropriate for this article. What do you think is the most prevalent problem of the 3 you listed? Or is it more of a per case basis? Just wondering..thanks for you input.

  2. Says:

    Nice prescription, Nikki. I will definitely take it for sure. By the way, how long do I have to take this medicine?

  3. Says:

    @Director of Web MarketingP: Thanks. I’ve been in each of those roles in some form or another, so I know it’s easy for each role to blame the others or to look to the others to solve its own internal issues. To them , I say “Physician, heal thyself!” Sometimes we need to do some self-assessment before looking for solutions. I wouldn’t generalize to say the problem is with any one group or another, but there is a tendency (even with IT people) to think a technical solution will solve organiational issues.

    @wilhb81: Thanks! Needs assessment should be an ongoing process, so it looks like you’ve got to add this to your maintenance prescription plan… ;)

  4. Says:

    The most prevalent problems I see are problems with management. All too often there are great employees but they go unmotivated or underutilized for their specific skills and talents. It all comes back to the leadership not doing their jobs. Regards!

  5. Says:

    Great post. I do believe that those are the same three things that our government is currently lacking!

  6. Says:

    The leadership role in Training must be one of meeting an objective, Not one of learning the material. When you focus on learning participants seldom come out with much value. Yet, if you as a trainer have the passion to help them meet their ultimate objective, and inspire them in the process, the learning becomes a byproduct of a result they are committed to.

  7. Says:

    “A Training Problem. Do you have trainers and presenters who lack the skills in the first place? Don’t expect the technology to compensate.”

    A very good point, expertise is needed to leverage the power of technology. Tech cannot get there by itself.

    • Says:

      “A Training Problem. Do you have trainers and presenters who lack the skills in the first place? Don’t expect the technology to compensate.”

      Your trainers must be skillful and knowledgeable enough for you to gain the knowledge that you will be needing to support your job. Self study is good. But it’s better to have someone expert to give you the ideas and impart the knowledge that you ought to know and that will also help you grow.

      I’m glad to say that I have a good trainer in our office that teaches me and shares everything he knows that makes me handle my job easier.

  8. Says:

    Great post. Sometimes people look to technology to magically solve all problems without first making the best use of people first.

  9. Says:

    Nice post. Training, Technology & leadership run hand in hand. This is something which a lot of BIG organizations lack now days.