Yesterday I had a birthday present to wrap. A large cube shape. I had the wrapping paper...or so I thought. When I placed the present in the centre of the wrapping paper, it was clear that is wasn't big enough. There was a 2" gap, and no matter how much I pulled the paper, it was too big a gap to close.
My other half came home, and I complained that I would have to go out to the shops to buy more wrapping paper, and I really didn't have the time. Then he did something amazing....
He placed the cube at a 45° angle, and instead of folding in the straight edges, he folded in the corners. There was more than enough paper to wrap the present. So much infact, we had to trim it!
It made me realise that often we get into the habit of doing things a certain way, and do things on 'autopilot'. Is this also true of training? If you've always sent people on external courses but find that the budget won't cover it any more, do you just say "Well, we can't train people then"?
Think more laterally - Instead of focussing on what you CAN'T do with your budget, think about what you CAN do. Can you use social media? Webinars? Can you identify 'champions' who can share best practice with their peers? Can you coach people, run bite-size training or use project-based learning?
When I do bespoke, commissioned work for clients, I always ask what the budget is. It sometimes takes them aback, but I need to know (figuratively) the size of the wrapping paper we have available so I can recommend something appropriate...and do you know... we can always do SOMETHING useful.