By STEPHEN ONYEKWELU on October 10, 2017

Corporate training and development have benefits such as increased job satisfaction, motivation and innovation. This is in addition to increased efficiency in processes that positively impact the bottom line and capacity to adopt new technologies and methods. BRIAN REUBEN, head, BusinessDay Training throws light on how to make the most of corporate training and staff development. He conversed with STEPHEN ONYEKWELU. Excerpts:

What is the training landscape in Nigeria today like?

Generally, there’s a shift in the business landscape globally. The rules of doing business on earth and what business even means are being constantly challenged. But in terms of corporate training and executive education, companies are increasingly recognising corporate training as a crucial tool for developing their employees because it improves managerial decision-making by creating and transmitting knowledge, which in turn has a positive impact on company performance.

They understand that collaboration with outsiders such as business schools, consultants, coaches and trainers has the potential to impact organisational performance and increase profitability especially as globalisation and technology blurs national boundaries and increases the intensity of competition.

In recent times there has been a proliferation of training organisations, each laying claims to deliver on their promise, how is BD training different?

The first thing you consider is our faculty. Business Day Training faculty is made up of accomplished teachers and active consultants amongst them are some of the finest teachers from some world class business schools. Our faculty members offer a blend of academic excellence, rigorous scholarship, real-world relevance, and practical application to provide participants with unparalleled opportunities to expand their horizons. The learning experience combines world class research and insights with real-world experience.

The next thing is our approach which is based on what we think training means. Our trainings are not such where facilitators excite you and keep you hanging. These meetings are designed as semi-consulting sessions in which every participant leaves with specific action plans that can be implemented once they get back to the office. Plus that, we stand by them to help them should they encounter difficulties in the cause of implementation. We even follow up on our participants to know where they are in implementing the knowledge we shared with them.

Tell us about your track record as a training organisation?

Business Day Training has been a strategic partner with business organisations in Nigeria through both open and in house programs since 2013. Participants from organisations like Hercules Offshore Limited, FCMB, Zinox Computers among several others have all passed through Business Day Training.

You see, we are committed increasing the ability of business organisations to maintain profitable positioning through enhanced collaboration and creativity. We hold ourselves to very strict standards of measuring our success only by the success of our participants. This is what we do and will keep doing here at Business Day Training.

What methods do you use in your training programmes?

We use lectures and case study method and here’s why case study is an effective learning method. In a classroom, while textbooks and reference material serves the purpose of teaching concepts, definition and methods, case study trains you with the skills required to do the job. As a result, leading business schools use this technique. Essentially, a case study is an analysis of an organisation, an event, a person, or a series of decisions resulting in a success or failure. When effectively used as we do at Business Day Training, it is a very powerful teaching tool.

Some Nigerian companies rarely sponsor training programmes for their staff, what could be responsible for this, any remedies?

That’s a sad truth and it is a path to corporate suicide. To become a world class organisation requires a state of the art workforce. Now in our fast changing world where even what it means to be in business has changed, how can your people function at their full potential without training? I always tell business leaders that their people are much more powerful than they can imagine. But to have them function at their full capacity, you’ll need to invest in their ongoing education.

Clearly all high performing organisations take employee training very seriously. And that explains why they dominate the competition.

For organisations that don’t take employee training seriously, its simply a question of wrong value orientation. You know when a company leadership believes the computers, plant and machinery, fixtures and fittings are more important than the people who will use them. The result is that the competition will eventually overwhelm such an organization. So for such organizations that don’t take training seriously, I will say, think again and sponsor trainings for your people. In fact bring them to Business Day Training where you’re also sure of the return on your investment. You should start by registering them for our Strategic Marketing Masterclass 1.0 holding at Sheraton Hotel on the 12th to 13 of October.

This is very serious especially now that job skills are becoming obsolete at an accelerating rate. Software engineers must now redevelop skills every 12–18 months. Professionals in marketing, sales, manufacturing, law, accounting, and finance face the same challenge. The Economist reported the Executive Chairman of Cisco sometime as saying, “We compete against market transitions, not competitors. Product transitions used to take five to seven years; now they take one to two.” How can an organization survive under such circumstances if it takes training its staff for granted?

Tell us about the most recent developments in training around the world and how is BD training domesticating it?

You know, today’s workforce is changing. It’s more digital, more global, diverse, automation-savvy, and social media-proficient. In the past, employees learned to gain skills for a career and stay in the career with what they know only taking trainings once in a while; now, the career itself is a journey of learning.

The training industry has also shifted to accommodate these changes. The result is the explosion of trainings across multiple channels- offline; online, mobile etcetera offering individuals and organisations ready access to learning continuously even on the go. Leading universities now offer micro masters programs at a tiny fraction of the training cost of full masters programs. Upon completion the individual can then apply for full master’s programme at any of the participating institutions.

At Business Day Training we are currently developing several training packages across multiple platforms to accommodate the growing need for continuous learning and soon we will let the public know just how much we have simplified corporate training and executive education.

What is the future of BD training, five years, ten years from now?

Business Day Training is an organisation on the go. You see, to help African businesses grow global brands, we must have world class institutions providing research and training to enhance decision making. We can’t wait for Harvard or INSEAD to do that for us. So you can expect to see Business Day Training as a leading business school doing what it takes to help Business leaders harness the rich potentials of this continent God has so richly blessed.

What is BD Training forth coming Strategic Marketing Masterclass 1.0 designed to achieve?

Interestingly, I’m leading the team for that training. You see, we all have a moral responsibility to share insights that will give business leaders a competitive advantage and that is exactly what we’re set out to accomplish at Strategic Marketing Masterclass 1.0.

My team and I sat down and created a provocative, deep-dive program to help participants discover the tricks, tools and amazing and may be unbelivable new approach to strategic marketing especially in turbulent times as we have now.

Come 12th and 13th October at Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, we will take a few forward-thinking executives on a journey of wisdom that will reshape their thinking about their marketing forever!

This is not another sit and listen seminar – where speakers excite you, overwhelm you, and then leave you hanging. Instead, Strategic Marketing Master Class is designed to transform you – just by being in the room!

My team and I will share the most impactful lessons instilled in us by legendary entrepreneurs, along with what it takes to out-pace, out-market and outperform the competition in a disrupted economy. Any serious minded business leader who is yet to register should do so today. This is not something to miss.

What are your parting words?

I will repeat the words of the American steel magnet and billionaire, Andrew Carnegie, “do your duty and a little more and more and the future will take care of itself. Also business leaders should know that economic turbulence is not an excuse for business failure. I agree with British banker and financier Nathan Rothschild when he said, ‘great fortunes are made when the cannonballs fall in the harbour, not when the violins play in the ballroom. He meant that greater fortunes are made in difficult business environments. But to make that happen you need to know how to align your resources with the radically changing business environment and that’s my way of inviting you to the Business Day Training, Strategic Marketing Masterclass 1.0 which I will lead on the 12th and 13th of October in Lagos. You can send an email to trainings@businessdayonline.com to register or you can call 0708 502 6954. Thank you.

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