Spring Cleaning for Training Leaders: Embrace Your Inner KonMari
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Most of us today have far more possessions than we actually need. We know we should clean things up and simplify our lives, but we often lack motivation, despite the benefits of decluttering. That’s the point of the Netflix program “Tidying up with Marie Kondo,” in which a Japanese organizational expert helps people eliminate unnecessary possessions to improve their lives through her method known as KonMari.
Unsurprisingly, clutter exists in the workplace as well, with inefficient processes and outdated ways of doing things. This is particularly true when it comes to IT training strategies.
With Spring officially here, we’ve applied some KonMari principles to the world of IT corporate training to help ensure your company’s stakeholders are functioning at the highest level, as well as engaged in the learning process.
Visualize Your Goals
A fundamental part on KonMari is visualizing yourself in the life you want. In the case of virtual labs and IT training, this visualization is about how you see yourself and your customers succeeding on all IT and application skills. As a training leader, you need to remember IT training is not an end unto itself, but a critical means to help develop skilled, productive customers and partners to understand how to use your product.
To that end, you need to set specific goals you want to achieve with all your company’s stakeholders.
Fully Invest in the Process
One of the challenges of tidying up is the tendency to slip back into old habits and accumulate more unnecessary items. To combat this, the KonMari method has people make a total and abrupt change. The clean break from the old, acquiring mindset keeps them from slowly regressing. First, begin by speaking with customers and partners about a complete cultural shift in how to conduct training.
If you want an IT team that is functioning at a high level, you need to be totally committed to the entire process – beginning with the process of getting C-level executives to support these new IT strategies. In fact, LinkedIn Learning research revealed that the second most challenging issue in IT development today is getting management more involved in training.
When everyone is focused on the same goals from the top down, you are prepared to succeed. Management must not only support training , they should actively encourage staff to participate – and even engage themselves.
Prove What Has Real Value
When most of us attempt to declutter, we ask ourselves, “What don’t I need?” With KonMari, however, you start from the ground up and ask, “Does this spark joy?” In other words, “Do I truly need this?” The result is everything being critically evaluated, eliminating far more unnecessary clutter. What remains is what we truly cherish.
In the corporate world, what “sparks joy” should be backed up by data.
This is done by conducting an audit of your existing training strategies and tactics. Don’t just do what you’re doing.
To help conduct this audit, CloudShare partner Learndot by ServiceRocket, an LMS solution which helps companies accelerate alignment, reduce friction and connect with their stakeholders, recommends to:
- Identify your most and least popular training offerings;
- Focus on training offerings that need improvement and figure out why; and
- Understand that data only tells one side of the story – talk to peers in support, customer success and product management.
As you’re evaluating your training processes some questions you can ask include:
- Do customers have to deal with a lot of red tape to sign up for training that will help them perform better?
- Are they missing a lot of training sessions?
- Are your training courses only available in person at a specific time, or do you utilize a virtual training lab that can be accessed anywhere at any time?
When you critically examine each process, you’ll better understand what you need to support external training. Keep what is useful and discard the rest.
Tidy in the Proper Order
In KonMari there are specific categories of tidying. Regardless of where in your home they are, tidy up all the clothing at once, then books, papers, miscellaneous items and finally those things that are sentimental.
You can follow this process for IT teams by categorizing business needs. As a training leader, you must understand what the organization needs, with the most important first, and ensure that every area of your training strategy supports the highest priorities.
While KonMari was developed specifically for helping us take control of the clutter in our homes, it also presents us with valuable lessons for the IT training world. When we thoroughly examine our training strategies and processes we use to support employee learning, we can eliminate the unnecessary and spark joy in our team.
Interested in learning what training efforts will have the greatest impact and yield excellent results? Download our e-book, “Influencers Guide to Greater Training Efficiency and Profitability in 2019.”
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