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Off the Shelf Training Materials

Snog, Marry, Avoid?


I’ll get straight to the answer, and you can read my reasoning afterwards.


You should give them a little snog.


Here’s why.


There’s lots of snobbery around off the shelf materials. As if they are automatically poor quality. As if using them is dirty. As if it’s cheating, or it means you aren’t able to create your own training.


None of this is true.


Why is it better to take a well-known theory, some useful insight and create bespoke training every time? Why spend ages creating an activity from scratch? If it’s already been done, why do you need to do it too? It feels like a massive waste of time and effort.


This is why they shouldn’t be avoided!


Using ready-written training materials allows you to:

  1. Save time

  2. Save effort

  3. (and this generally means saving money)

  4. Pick up different ways of bringing the theory to life

  5. Build a bespoke solution QUICKLY based on solid foundations


So they are DEFINITELY worth having a casual relationship with.


But why not ‘marry’ them, and build your whole strategy using ready-written materials?


Because unless everyone has the same development needs, they are going to have limited long-term impact. We all know that bespoke solutions are best – bespoke training that goes hand in hand with systems/process reviews and coaching.


But if you want to be smart, give yourself a head start with bespoke training design, get new ideas to incorporate into your own solutions or just be able to deliver something super-quickly, don’t be too proud to use ready-written.


You buy off the shelf clothing afterall…





So, in summary, DON’T use off the shelf training materials when:

  1. The training is very bespoke/niche

  2. It’s for a handful of people

  3. The training will only happen once

  4. You get pleasure from research and design

  5. You have the time and skills to create a truly bespoke solution


And DO consider using them when:

  1. You are up against a tight deadline

  2. The subject is generic enough, or when providing an introduction

  3. You need everyone to have the same basic foundation/understanding

  4. Design is not the best use of your time

  5. Design is not your strength

  6. You hate design

  7. There’s little budget for design

  8. You want to fill gaps in your existing materials

  9. You’re looking for new ways to cover familiar ground

  10. You aren’t paid for design

Our reviews highlight how ready-written training materials have provided a lifeline to so many people - CAPABLE people, who just needed a little help. Why not take a look at our full range of off the shelf training sessions?


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