I was having a conversation with a client, and suddenly the topic of creating a new space for newly recruited inductees came up. Most of these people are management and engineering graduates, and have been selected painstakingly. The organization has high hopes from them.
This client (let’s call him Mandar) wanted an adventure outing for this group, as he didn’t have the budget for a proper training programme. Needless to say, I wasn’t too happy about this, in the larger scheme of work we are doing with them. If there isn’t a budget, I’d recommend cutting down the number of outings, rather than substituting apples for oranges. But how could I get him to see this?
I asked him why he wanted me to do it. Surely it made sense to go for someone cheaper, if the budget was an issue?
He answered that he likes the influence Wide Aware has on the employees currently going through interventions with us, and he finds that it is more stable and dependable in terms of the transformations within the organization continuing than many other consultants he has worked with.
I thanked him for his kind words, and asked him to think a little more about it. What was it that we really did that rubbed off into the participants? He believed that it was the fact that the owners themselves were always involved with the work that made the organization’s values shine all the more brighter. The fact that we had a dream, and were pursuing it with all we had invited the participants to do the same.
I asked him to describe how would he like to see our influence on this new group, without worrying about whether to call it training or adventure. As he described that he would like to see the group feel involved and aligned with the organization’s values, discover that they were valued, and develop a confidence about their place in the scheme of things, he suddenly paused and laughed. “This is a proper induction programme, isn’t it?” on the other hand, I thought that with a careful programme design, we could minimize the training aspect, and keep it more about spontaneous learnings and discovery.
We laughed together, and it is done.
The learning here for both of us being that its very limiting to decide on what the programme will be first or training methodologies, before looking at what we want out of it. Things unfold by themselves once we are clear about exactly what we want to see happening.
This time, we ended up creating a programme design we hadn’t done before, which was a kind of hybrid. I think it will work.