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Brilliant Basics

At the weekend as I cleaned the bathroom, I remembered fondly a time when I had a cleaner. I’d been reluctant to hire one, as it felt a bit like I had failed on the one hand, and getting ideas above my station on the other.


But the children were small, I was building a business, and (when we did the sums) it actually made sense financially. She only came in for 2 hours a week and just did the basics: Cleaned the bathroom, the kitchen, dusted the lounge and cleaned the floors. My husband and I did other jobs as and when we could fit them in.


It meant that we were spending our time on what made the biggest difference: giving work or our children our full attention and not completely exhausting ourselves in the process.


L&D professionals, and especially in-house ones, often spend a lot of time ‘doing the basics’: Designing courses on more generic skills like giving feedback, coaching, delegation, and time management. These things need to be done (of course) but they don’t need to be done by a specialist.


And internal L&D folk ARE specialists… specialists in their own organisation. If you work as part of an internal team, you add greatest value by designing the really bespoke training that is specific to your people, your organisation, your industry. This is where you should be focusing your time. This is what will make the biggest difference.


Yes, the more generic skills are needed as a foundation, but (trust me – I’ve designed training for at least 20 different organisations) they really don’t differ much from role to role, business to business. It’s how they are applied that makes the difference. That fine-tuning of the content and true bespoking.


So instead of spending a lot of time designing something quite generic, it makes sense to buy ready-made materials and tailor them…and then add to them further with really bespoke content that will make the biggest difference to your delegates. If you do the sums, it will make sense financially too – our ready written materials cost as little as £40 (and you get WAY MORE than a slide deck).


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