The Secret DOS

The Little Emperor Strikes Back

You don’t need this…

So, we’ve recently completed a whole day of training. Well, seven hours of it. Or was it development? That’s probably a more revealing question than it may first appear. I suspect -by which I mean “I hope”- that the Senior Managers who contracted the trainee/developer, would say it was development – that is, would have recognised that we are all experienced managers who are deserving of input that keeps us at the cutting edge of our game. But considering that I would say that our trainer spoke to us for approximately six of the seven hours and told us thing after thing after thing after thing, I have a sneaky feeling that we were being trained. The difference? I think development is more of an accumulative process – it recognises that there is already an existing body of knowledge and experience and seeks to stretch out the boundaries of what is already there. Training, it seems to me, assumes that something is missing and tries to plug the gap.

Oh, but does it matter? Well, there’s the pragmatism of telling people things they already know for seven (or six) hours. Then there’s the emotional reaction people might respond with if they think that they are being told something that they don’t need to be told. Then there’s the wistful sigh of a lost opportunity.

On the other hand, there’s also something to be gained from everything that ever was, is and will be. Consequently, I am reassured that I left the training –it’s going to be training from hereon in- with some things worth pondering over. These are currently they:

  1. How do we avoid training people when what they really need is development? Genuine question.
  2. Who gives a shit about the difference between a leader and a manager? Semi-rhetorical question.
  3. That said, what is the difference between a leader and a manager? Genuine question.
  4. That said, why the hell do I care? How can this sort of thing ever help me or mine? Semi-rhetorical question.
  5. Why do I shiver whenever people speak about my people? Did Moses ever feel the same way? Semi-rhetorical question.
  6. Should I explore the assertion that the company line must always be held, even if that means sacrificing authenticity and integrity? Genuine question.
  7. What the hell is authenticity? Genuine question.
  8. Have we gone too far in our attempts to stamp out discrimination? Genuine question.
  9. What is it about training consultants? Semi-rhetorical question.
  10. How might the whole affair have been done more productively? Genuine question.
  11. What do I need to do differently? Genuine question.
  12. What are my standards of work? Genuine question.
  13. If the workers change, but not the work, do things get better? Genuine question.

That’s more than enough for now. If I still had anybody reading this blog, to answer each question…no…to address each question…at the rate of once a week, and assuming that corollary questions would also pop up, my loyal reader would have something to distract them from what currently passes as news for a few months. It would also help me scratch the damn itch I have to write something even though I have very little these days to say.

If you can bear to put up with my assholery, you’re welcome to come along and stare aghast at my arrogance. Buckle up, tovarisch, and let us go forth.



04 Apr 2017 - Posted by | Rants and ramblings


  1. So footballers shouldn’t call it ‘training’. They should call it ‘development’.

    Comment by paulsimonduffy | 04 Apr 2017 | Reply

    • Pay me hundreds of thousands of pounds a week, call it what you want. I think my point may have been that the name you give something does not necessarily determine what it is. I suspect that footballers train because that is the verb that collocates more frequently with what people do in sports.

      That said, the main point I was trying to make was that the way it was delivered left me inferring that somebody -either the Senior Managers or the presenter- believed that there was an aspect of our practice that was missing and concluded that it was missing because it was not within our skill set. If they’d taken the time to ask us why we thought it was missing, they might have heard different opinions. This may explain why they thought it an appropriate use of time to sit us down for 7 hours, listening to an expert. Whereas I think it would have been a more productive use of our time if we were treated as experts and we’d all worked together to develop a better situation.

      Comment by TheSecretDoS | 04 Apr 2017 | Reply

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