Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Not Always True Generalizations

Today, I am in one of those moods when I just want to oversimplify. The generalizations below are convenient derivatives of my very limited experience. I have to confess that I am embarrassed about this postingI just want to lock these generalizations in this posting and then forget about it. I cannot allow these thoughts to interfere in my interaction with clients. Preconceived notions can be expensive.

Finance: Paranoid and finicky—stickler for details and content accuracy. Their typical mindset—no one knows how to represent our facts better than we do. They seem to be paranoid about legalities—given a choice, they would probably follow each sentence with one disclaimer and two exceptions. They expertise in making straightforward thought/sentence seem complex.

Pharmaceutical: Similar to Finance. Paranoid particularly about the content—how the formula is written and explained, chemical compositions of the drugs, application of the drugs, the physiological impact of the drugs on human body—each word, even comma seems to have a different meaning!

Hi tech: They vacillate from being particular about details to being relaxed. Unless the issue is blatant or recurring, their general tendency is towards being relaxed.

Manufacturing: Unless there are other compelling factors, for example, if a mega event is being planned for the product launch, they are generally relaxed. As for their solution design, they love a lot of movement on the page. They use different strategies to drive home why they want movement—audience likes it, CXO preference, our content is better represented with more movement and if all else fails, sulking.

Automotive: They are initially suspicious—Are you sure you know automotives? It can be very complicated and not many people get it, espiecially women. However, once you establish your worth in their eyes—they like to trust your decisions completely.

Retail: Creative, high energy, they always want quick results and justification for every instructional or visual strategy used.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Competency Development Plan-Formats

Impact mapping
This format is used to collect data pertaining to the strategic competencies of the account from the account leaders. This format also assists the learning consultant (LC) to have a focused and effective discussion with the leaders while at the same time assists the leaders to think through/justify their training requirement. The LC asks leaders questions like—“Why is this competency important for you”, “How does this competency link with the overall unit objectives”, “Where do you see your group headed in the next 6-12 months. What competencies would your team need to meet this requirement?”

Click here to view the format.

Competency rating by leaders
Once the LC collates all the data collected during impact mapping, a a comprehensive list of comptencies is identified. The leaders now rank the competencies in order of its importance for their group. This allows the leaders to not only view list generated after inputs from all leaders within the group but also communicate the relevance of each competency to their specific team.

Click here to view the format.
Click here to view the format with sample data.

The competency rating by all the leaders was then consolidated. Those competencies were identified to be built into the team which:

  • Scored an average of four and above on the importance scale
  • Were marked five by any leader (even though the average score was less than four)

Self/Manager review of individual competencies
Self and manager review was then conducted. I hid the manager column while sending the spreadsheet to the employee and vice versa to assist in fair assessment.
Click here to view the format.

Please note that tool is currently semi-automatic. It should work in the current format for an account size of less than 15 members. However, for a larger team size, this tool is best automated, if possible.