The TWI Blog for the Training Within Industry Community of Practice

Archive for September, 2011

Job Relations: Effective Leadership Transformation

I was looking through a catalogue of training for business professionals and saw a number of classes on leadership skills and conflict resolution for supervisors and new managers. The courses are known to be very good and all the trainers are outstanding. The costs are what you would expect for this quality of program.  The reason I bring this up is: I wondered if these classes, in spite of their inherent value to the individuals taking them, have any probability whatsoever of transforming the organizations that participate in them? Participants almost always enjoy these training programs and come back raving about how wonderful the content was. But how often have you seen a person return from one of these classes and make a big difference in the way?  I’ll let you answer that.

It seems to me that if an organization really wants to affect their supervisors’ leadership skills and improve conflict resolution they would be better served by training supervisors and floor managers in Job Relations. 

When we talk to companies they usually tell us that their folks are all getting along just fine, thank you, and that they don’t need Job Relations. But then when we actually deliver JR to an organization, the line supervisors almost always rate this program as the one they need the most. The simple fact that there are scores of classes in conflict resolution, leadership skills, and dealing with change proves the need supervisors have for these skills.

You know, as I looked at the course outlines I was struck by the similarities between the content of many of these courses and Job Relations (JR). 

The difference is JR operationalizes the content taught in many of these courses.

1. JR teaches the supervisor how to see a problem, make a decision on whether to seek help or handle it on their own, and take action.

2. JR teaches the supervisor how to first determine the objective and to evaluate the results of their actions based on the degree to which they achieved the objective.

3.  JR teaches the supervisor how to get the facts, weigh and decide what to do based on those facts, and to take action.     

The class not only teaches the skill of how to do these things, but lets the participant practice the skills on relevant problems in their own experience and workplace.  In that way, they go back to their jobs not just with a head full of fancy ideas but with the ability to put into effect what they have learned and make a real change in how they fulfill their responsibilities.  So, let’s take a fresh look at JR.  Instead of sending a few people out for a few days, why not bring those skills into the organization, for all the supervisors, and thereby transform them and the organization.  

Steve G.

TWI Institute Survey Results

 Summary

In August 2011 the Training Within Industry (TWI) Institute undertook the third annual TWI Institute Survey.   This year the survey was expanded beyond certified trainers to include those who have attended TWI related events, ten hour classes and other consulting activities.  The purpose of the survey was to find out the following:

  • How much J training did certified trainers in companies and in consulting firms do last year?
  • Have the activities of certified trainers changed over the past year?
  • For those who use TWI in companies: What year is their TWI implementation in?
  • What TWI Institute services were used in the past year?
  • In companies: How would the respondent rate the implementation of one or more TWI programs?
  • How important is the TWI Summit to the respondent?
  •  What features of the TWI Summit are important to encourage attendance?
  • What new services would they like to see the TWI Institute provide next year?

The survey was sent via email to the 751 individuals on our contact lists.  Seven hundred and twenty-one were received. The survey was answered by 94 respondents (13 percent response rate).   The sample was a non-representative, self selected sample.    

The findings follow.

Question 1.   Over the past 12 months about how many times did you deliver a J class in your company or to your clients?

In the past year 91 percent of consultants were active.  In fact 43 percent had delivered 10 or more classes in the past year. Ninety-three percent of company trainers were also active. In the past year 68 percent had delivered 1 to 5 classes. 

Question 2.  Do your TWI activities change year to year?

Over half the consultants anticipated the same number of deliveries next year as this past year. Over a third predicted they will do more coaching and mentoring as well. Almost half of the company trainers anticipated an increase in coaching and mentoring.  Only 13 percent of the trainers (consulting and company) anticipated spending more time on logistics and management. 

 Question 3. In my company, implementation of one or more TWI processes (JI, JR, JM, JS) has: not started, is in year one, year two or year three or more.

We eliminated the responses of the consultants as they would all answer N/A. The distribution of responses among the not certified individuals and certified trainers in companies were similar. Forty-seven percent of Not Certified were first year, 35 percent were second year.  Thirty-five percent of the Certified Company group were first year, twenty three percent were second year and 29 percent third year.   Over 85 percent in both groups were first, second or third year.

Question 4.  TWI Institute exists to support the implementation of TWI. On the list below check all that apply.   In the past year which of the following have you used?

In this question all three groups responded.   The highest ranked service was the website as source of information (Average 62 percent). The second ranked service was information on the blog (48 percent). The third ranked service was information from the master trainers which tied with J classes at 39 percent.  The train the trainer came in fifth (the responses of not certified were not averaged in as, by definition, they had not used that service).   While information on the telephone came in at sixth (28 percent)  it is important to note the not certified individuals and consultants reported much greater use of the telephone for information than the certified company trainers. Finally, coaching was the least used service by respondents averaging 21 percent). 

Question 5.  In my company the implementation of one or more TWI processes has is going better than anticipated, going well, going slow, at a stand still.

Those in companies who were not certified and those who were certified had similar distributions of responses when asked how TWI processes were progressing.  On average just under 80 percent responded “well” and “slow”. Few said: “Better than anticipated” and even fewer said their project was at a “standstill”.

 Question 6.  I think the TWI Summit in May is:

 Almost everyone who responded indicated they felt the TWI Summit was important or very important: The not certified individuals responded 100 percent; the certified consultants responded 95 percent; and the certified company responded 86 percent. 

 Question 7.  I will be more likely to attend the TWI Summit next May if it features: (Check top three)

The most highly ranked feature influencing attendance decisions was “good case studies”. The second was more emphasis on management and deployment. The third was TWI and Lean. The keynote speaker ranked 4 out of 8.  A workshop for certified trainers ranked 5th. J classes, JIB writing and Basics (TWI 101) were the last three with an average of under 20 percent.

Question 8.  What new service would you like to see the TWI Institute provide next year?

Thirteen services were suggested by respondents (see the full report for the list). 

Limitations

The sample, while somewhat representative, was not random and self selected.   Therefore, the ability to generalize to the entire population is limited.    

 Conclusions and Planning

The following conclusions can be drawn from the information collected.

 1. Certified trainers who responded to the survey are actively training the use of TWI for their clients and in their companies.

  2. Next year, the activity level of certified trainers should remain the same or increase based on the survey data.  

 3. The consultants and company trainers will be increasing the amount of coaching activity they engage in. 

 4. Seventy-two percent of the company respondents had not started or were in their first and second years of their TWI work.

 5. About half of the respondents indicated that their progress was going well or better than anticipated. Over one third said Slow and six percent said at a “standstill”.  

 6. TWI Institute services outside of training continue to be used. This is the value added by using the Institute.  The “hidden” use of the TWI Institute is the TWI Institute’s web site. 

 7. The blog has the potential to be an increasingly important piece of the overall services, with over 8,000 views in the past year.

 8. Master Trainers continue to provide be an important service for all groups by answering questions, making presentations and appearing at events such as the TWI Summit.

 9. Train the trainer and J classes (Initial deliveries) were used by about one third of the respondents in the past year. These continue to be the sustaining services of the TWI Institute without which the other services would not be possible.

 10. Phone information and coaching were reported as the least used services at 28 and 21 percent respectively. However, to put this in context, we do most of the telephone work at the beginning of the contact with the company or consultant and the coaching occurs after the initial delivery of training and sometimes after the Train the trainers is completed.

 11. The new services suggested by thirteen of the respondents can be grouped into three categories:

  • Classes
  • Community of Practice (CoP)
  •  Coaching

 12. This year the survey included a section on the TWI Summit upcoming in May 2012.   Ninety percent (90%)  of the respondents rated the TWI Summit as Important or Very Important.  They were asked what they thought were features of the TWI Summit that would influence their decision to attend. The most highly rated item on the list was “good case studies”. The second was how manage a deployment, and the third, TWI and Lean.  This year we will endeavor to make these three features are prominent in the program.

 The results of this years’ survey will inform planning for the rest of this year and next year, including plans to:

  • Continue to improve and refine the delivery of the TWI Institute core classes  and programs.
  • Continue to increase the amount of follow up and coaching services provided to ongoing projects in companies.
  • Focus assistance services to clients who are in the start-up and first two years of a project .
  • Accelerate improvements to features and usefulness of the TWI Institute website.
  • Blog bi-weekly, improve interaction on the blog, and improve linkages to other blogs
  • Run a least two webinars that are panel discussions on topics of broad interest to the community of practice.
  • Improve the quality of the TWI Summit breakout sessions to include good case studies, including sessions on how to best  manage a TWI deployment and the synergy between TWI and Lean

 For the full report go to www.twi-institute.org

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