Building Business Acumen for Trainers: Skills to Empower the Learning Function
September 2006, Pfeiffer
- Finance skills
- Partnering skills
- Communication skills
The Introduction lays out the intended audience, major themes, and organization of this book. An introductory case study tells the story of the (fictitious) Pogo Insurance Company. Try to help Stanley, Pogo’s manager of training and development, tackle the challenges he encounters. Use this case study to assess your business acumen in the areas of financial skills, partnering skills, and communication skills.
SECTION 1: FINANCIAL SKILLS 1
1. A Primer on Financial Basics 3
In this review of the essential principles of business financial management, key terms and concepts are explained in clear, easy-to-understand language.
2. Understanding Budgets and Forecasts 41
Here you will learn about the differences between a budget and a forecast and about types of budgets, budget variances, preparing financial forecasts, and conducting break-even analyses. This chapter also explains how to create a variety of scenarios through forecasting and financial analysis techniques in
order to answer the what-if questions asked by management.
3. Evaluation and Return on Investment: What It Means to Management 75
This explanation of the fundamentals of conducting a training return on investment (ROI) analysis also addresses the impact of the analysis on the organization, the ROI information management needs to make informed decisions, methods of communicating ROI results to reinforce the need for
training and development (T&D), and evaluation in relation to ROI analysis and other analyses of value.
4. Outsourcing and Vendor Management 115
This description of outsourcing and its role in T&D will give you necessary insights into how to write a request for proposal (RFP), select vendors for your project, and decide between hiring and outsourcing.
SECTION 2: PARTNERING SKILLS 155
5. Building Institutional Support 157
In this chapter you will explore how to position T&D as a strategic asset in an organization and learn strategies for aligning T&D activities with major organizational objectives. You will also learn how to perform a stakeholder analysis to gain support for T&D.
6. Partnering with Your Customers 177
Through this discussion of five critical success factors of successful partnership and ten strategies for building strong partnerships, you will learn the ways in which relationships play an essential role in partnerships.
7. Partnering Inside T&D 201
This discussion of instilling the practice of partnering inside the T&D organization details eight key behaviors of leadership for T&D professionals. You will also learn about performance management and why it is an effective tool for building excellence.
8. Human Performance Technology and Business Acumen 225
In this chapter you will discover the principles of human performance technology and learn how HPT can help you to do a better job of addressing performance needs and solving performance problems.
SECTION 3: COMMUNICATION SKILLS 247
9. Writing Business Messages 249
This explanation of the fundamentals of good writing includes opportunities to practice specific strategies for writing more effective business messages.
10. Developing a Business Case 269
This chapter presents a detailed example of the elements that go into building a good business case for training.
11. Writing Reports 291
In this examination of the fundamentals of writing reports, you will learn the importance of taking preparatory steps as well as ways to approach writing each section of a report.
12. Making Effective Presentations 315
This discussion of tips and techniques for writing and delivering effective oral presentations will help you communicate effectively with your audiences and also use today’s technology wisely.
Appendix 1: ROI Formulas 345
Appendix 2: Using the ROI Calculator 347
Appendix 3: Thinking Like Management Review 349
Appendix 4: Answers for Delivery Flexibility Scenario in Chapter Six 353
Appendix 5: Answers for Measurement Flexibility Scenario in Chapter Six 357
References and Suggested Reading 363
About the Author 375
About the Contributors 377
How to Use the CD-ROM 379
Among his past and present clients are GM, DTE Energy, Dreyers Grand Ice Cream, UnumProvident, the U.S. Coast Guard, Boston University, Raytheon, the City of Lowell, Arthur D. Little, KANA Communications, Merck-Medco, Coca-Cola, Harvard Business School, and Cambridge Savings Bank.
His previous books include Making Stories: A Practical Guide for Organizational Leaders and Human Resource Specialists (also translated into Chinese); The Strategic Use of Stories in Organizational Communication and Learning; On Cloud Nine: Weathering Many Generations in the Workplace (with Robert Wendover; also translated into Korean, and Spanish); and Stories at Work: Using Stories to Improve Communications and Build Relationships.
He is a frequent speaker at the international and national conferences of such organizations as the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI), Academy of Management, and Association of Business Communications, and he is a field editor for ASTD. His articles have appeared in American Executive magazine, Communication World, the ISPI journal Performance Improvement, and ASTD Links.
Also visit his Web sites: http://www.makingstories.net; http://www.oncloudnine.org
AJAY M. PANGARKAR is president of CentralKnowledge, a leader in comprehensive and measurable strategic learning solutions. He is recognized for his experience in the “business and strategy side of training,” helping companies implement training evaluation and ROI strategies, developing balanced and performance scorecards, training and certifying new trainers and subject experts, and supporting those with responsibilities for managing the training function. He is a regular contributing writer for several prominent HR and training publications, is a recognized published author, is government accredited in professional learning, and delivers learning programs for professional organizations and business institutions. He is highly involved in the Montreal community, serving on the board of directors of nonprofit groups and committees. Nominated for the Ernst & Young/Canadian Business of the Year award, he is regularly interviewed by business and news media for newspaper articles and radio broadcasts. He is a founding member and chair of the Quebec chapter of the Canadian Society for Training and Development (CSTD), the founder of the Quebec ROI Network, a member of the CSTD national board of directors and the Canadian ROI Network, and is extensively involved with and speaks to the global learning and performance industry. He can be contacted at email@example.com or www.centralknowledge.com
TERESA KIRKWOOD is founding partner of CentralKnowledge, brings over eighteen years of industry and training experience to her work, and is recognized for her experience in helping companies implement training evaluation and ROI strategies, training new trainers and subject experts, and supporting those with responsibilities for managing the training function. She writes for several major HR and training publications, is a published author, is government accredited, and delivers learning programs for professional organizations and business institutions. She is exceptionally involved in community activities, including mentoring business start-ups for youth, and she regularly speaks to women’s entrepreneurial groups. She was nominated for the Ernst & Young/Canadian Business of the Year award and is regularly interviewed by business and news media for newspaper articles and radio broadcasts. Afounding member and vice chair of the Quebec chapter of the Canadian Society for Training and Development (CSTD), she has helped to establish the Quebec Training ROI Network and is a member of many CSTD development committees. She has also been invited to speak at learning industry and business conferences on topics related to learning strategies and entrepreneurship. You can contact Teresa at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.centralknowledge.com.
TOM BUNZEL specializes in knowing what presenters need and how to make technology work. He has appeared on Tech TV’s Call for Help, as Professor PowerPoint, and has been a featured speaker at InfoComm and PowerPoint LIVE as well as working as a technology coach for corporations and other organizations, including the Neuroscience Education Institute. He has written a number of books, the latest two being Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003 in 24 Hours and Easy Digital Music. His other books are Easy Creating CDs and DVDs, How to Use Ulead DVD Workshop, Digital Video on the PC, and an update to the Visual Quick-Start Guide to PowerPoint 2002/2001. He is contributing editor to Presentations magazine and writes a weekly column as the Office Reference Guide for InformIT.com. He can be reached through his Web site, www.professorppt.com
—Kathy Watt, manager, Business Development, College of Extended Learning, University of New Brunswick
"This book admirably fills a serious gap in the professional
practice of learning and performance—lack of business
savvy. It is clearly written, case-based, concrete and
comprehensive. I especially appreciated the financial and
return-on-investment content. I was also delighted that it contains
material on Human Performance Technology. I will recommend
this volume to my students, colleagues and corporate
—Harold D. Stolovitch, emeritus professor, Université de Montréal, principal, HSA Learning & Performance Solutions LLC, and author Telling Ain't Training and Training Ain't Performance
"This engaging book is absolutely essential for human resource
professionals! It should be required reading for everyone in our
—Jill Russell, principal and founding director, TPO HR
"Some of the jewels of this book are it explains the language of
finance; it provides practical advice on how to communicate the
case for investing in development initiatives, and it is full of
guidance on how to collaborate with the business to determine the
payback of investing in development solutions. The case
studies used throughout the book brings ideas to life in an
exciting way. This is one of those books every HR, HRD, and
training professional should have."
—Judith A. Hale, author,Outsourcing Training and Development: Factors for Success
"Relevance is in the eye of the beholder. And for training
professionals who want to earn a seat at the strategic planning
table, nothing can help build corporate relevance better than
applying the skills outlined in this book which will show you how
to turn training into business results."
—Marty Fisher, vice president, Stores HR and Training, Abercrombie and Fitch
"If today’s aspiring Learning professionals don’t
read this book, they will miss an opportunity to gain that ultimate
competitive advantage that will revitalize their career into
becoming a true business player. The primer on financial tools,
business partnering and dynamic communication strategies described
in this book are excellent. The book has integrated a number of
innovative learning concepts, tools and methodologies that weave a
comprehensive business learning roadmap for Learning professionals
to attain greater business acumen and be on top of their
—Francesca Bleck, director, human resources, Technical Learning & Development, Lafarge North America and Latin America, Corporate Technical Services
"Changes in our industry have revealed the critical need for
knowledge and skills in business acumen—the area Business
Acumen for Trainers specifically and uniquely addresses. This is a
must read book for anyone in a training position today or in the
—Wes Parker, national curriculum manager, Management & Employee Development, Verizon Wireless
Buy Both and Save 25%!
Building Business Acumen for Trainers: Skills to Empower the Learning Function (US $67.00)
Total List Price: US $128.95
Discounted Price: US $96.71 (Save: US $32.24)