Well, me, of course…
OK, seriously… had a colleague recently ask me how to determine which consultant or firm is “best” for a particular organization’s needs. Though much of this may be common sense, there are some specifics of which you should be mindful.
Some keys, from my experience, in selecting a firm to help:
- Make sure they’ve worked in your industry (or close to it). And I don’t mean just “the training company,” but the specific individual(s) who will be facilitating your efforts.
- Ask if they can either do a needs analysis, or validate yours. They should have a process for both.
- Along those lines, make sure they can respond specifically to your training needs. No off-the-shelf-total-program.” To be sure, you probably don’t want to pay for course development, but there should be the ability to mix content to fit your needs.
- Ask about reasonable customization. Again, you don’t necessarily want to pay for course development, but they should be able to add relevant case studies, examples, and exercises based on interviews with you and others in the organization.
- Finally, make sure there’s philosophical “fit.” If you are largely a “control” type of company, an uber-empowering philosophy from a training firm may be too bold of a single step. Just a single example.
Equally key is to remember that developmental activities are adjunct to reinforcement. Look for evidence of that reinforcement and support of applications. “Train and disappear” is of little value to anyone.
But that’s just me…