Is Your Training Plan Broken?

If you’ve seen Denzel Washington in Training Day, you’ll know that his training methods, while effective, are not the most orthodox. In the movie, Denzel is assigned to train a rookie and, for various reasons all of which make sense later, puts him through a series of challenges.

Training Plan Day: what’s the point?

One of the problems for Denzel in the film is that he knows his methods get results but, if he were to ask permission to use these procedures would probably get shot down. No pun intended with the shot down, by the way.
This raises the questions:

  • Is the point of a training plan to tick off a check box for employee induction?
  • How do you measure the effectiveness of your training methods? And…
  • Does the ‘one size fits all’ approach work? What’s the alternative?

I suspect that companies are:

  • Required to give the same training to all employees to avoid lawsuits and allegations of favoritism.
  • Don’t follow up with new employees after the training has been completed?
  • Don’t have the time or motivation to craft bespoke training plans for high performing recruits.

The result of this is that training plans, which start out with good intentions, often become a impediment or time wasting activity. Not always but most of the time. Maybe your experience was different.

But there are exceptions. Think about them?

When was the last time you really felt you were learning something and that you wanted to learn more?

For me, it’s when I’m teaching others how to do something. For example, at CoderDojo we teach kids how to program python and Javascript. Not only do I feel good about this but there seems to be a domino effect whereby everyone gets into the grove and the afternoon passes by in a flash.

To flip it around.

Instead of having class-based tutorials in front of a PC – which you can do at home anyway – getting people to work ‘one to one’ with others seems to work best. Maybe it’s not scalable. But maybe it’s something at least to consider.

One of the small tragedies of the corporate world is the amount of knowledge, real deep expertise, that is never tapped.


We’re ‘conditioned’ to training plans. For most of us, it’s hard not to think of training besides web-based courses in a class-room.

But if you think of it, sooner or later, someone will come up with a better way to train. And when they do, we’ll say, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’