Ownership vs Training

In my experience as an operations director at small, private university, I have found myself amused with some of the training snafus that I discovered. My favourite was when my Program Manager skyped me with this question.

Manager: “Marian, do we really have to use the date format the way it is for contracts?”

Me: “Um, what?”

Manager: “Well, since I’m taking over the contracts for curriculum, I just experienced my training and was informed multiple times throughout the training session how important it was on how the date was formatted.”

Me: “Admittedly, I’m struggling to understand  why the date format would matter. Is this a software consideration or simply a process issue?”

Manager: “No software. Everything’s manually done in Word, so it seems to be just a process. In fact, my understanding is that you trained [person 1], and then she trained [person 2], and then he trained [person 3], and then he showed me today.”

My brain struggles to remember this detail from years ago when I trained person 1. Then suddenly it crashes down on me. I did contracts for years, and I have a habit of putting the date format day, spell out month, and then the year (1 June 2014). Could a whole line of people have taken this particularly worthless point and really made it policy?

So I just have to laugh when @northern_tester reminded me of the following quote from Goldratt.

Worse, because I had trained instead of making person 1 a true owner of the process, I had accidentally created a policy without even a good original reason.

My husband (@erwilleke) calls these zombie processes. When you find one, you have to be sure they’re not still alive and useful, but once you’ve confirmed they are indeed zombies, it’s important to immediately shoot them in the head.

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About Marian

My passion is centered around ensuring effective learning experiences that improve people's lives. Developing a learning mindset is my ultimate goal whether working with academic programs or corporate training; formal or informal learning practices. It is my belief that our potential for agility is limited only by our capacity for learning.

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