If, like us, you're a little tired of sitting in a room with a series of tables set up in a U shape, with a bottle of water every few seats and an overhead projector that won't focus properly, while someone inexpertly but enthusiastically trains at you with a series of misspelled PowerPoint slides as though you're twelve years old, then we might have a solution.
Our solution is based on the premise that this kind of training doesn't work, and never did.
Becoming more widely adopted these days is the 70:20:10 learning model, which is based on evidence that (as a loose approximation, of course):
70 per cent of learning happens on the job
20 per cent arises through mentoring by others, and
only 10 per cent of learning happens through structured classes and courses.
The model simply highlights what should be common sense: in many cases traditional professional development training courses are a waste of time.
This hit us a little hard, because for over a decade Impress offered just this kind of training. Sorry about that.
Training in effective communication
So we had a rethink. To us it was clear that in our world of writing and communicating there are lots of people who struggle when it comes to getting a message across clearly; being a hyper-educated, extremely clever expert in your particular field is no guarantee that you're a good communicator. Maybe it's because anyone who went to school after the 1970s wasn't taught to write, or perhaps all the multi-tasking that's part of the modern office's computer environment simply takes the focus away from the importance of the written word, but few folk these days can write well. That's bad news for your business, but really good news for ours.
Eventually we decided that we could offer training after all but with a twist: as the basis of our course we use one of your own writing projects, and not simply talk in generalities. We ask you to choose a piece of writing you're about to commence, or one that you've already started that might be going a little wonky, and we guide you through the process of developing it. This works fine in groups of up to about eight people (they learn from one another's challenge), or one-on-one.
By the end of the session each participant usually has a solid outline of his or her project, and while working on it has learned a whole bunch of tricks that will serve well for next time. They have done the work themselves, on a topic they understand, so the learning tends to remain with them.
"This was the best writing course I've ever done." Janice, Hobart
If you take a few hours off to attend our training I can guarantee that you'll arrive back at your office with less work to do than when you left it.
If you have a larger group in mind we can deliver a more general seminar explaining the principles, with examples, that will help your staff to approach their writing with new zeal. We're also developing a series of brief online courses. Contact us for some more info and a rundown of a typical Impress training session.
Learning and development materials
We mentioned at the outset that we had a solution to poor training but so far we've addressed only the world of writing and communication. But we can assist you to improve your own training materials and delivery too.
Coaching your staff, individually or in a small group, to become better at writing and developing documents
Running a brief seminar for groups on the theory behind effective communication
Running a session on mastering Microsoft Word and online collaboration tools
Sprucing-up your training material, through redeveloping your existing material or building a new blended-learning program
Redeveloping your assessment material to make it more effective as a learning aid
With our regular collaborators Sprout Labs we can advise on latest practice in learning and development, including selecting a learning management system and designing large-scale online training programs.