Training is Dead - Long Live excellerate

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Traditional corporate classroom training is at the end of its life - because it no longer contributes to business performance. Communications In Action and PPI Business NLP have merged their coaching practices to create a new company - Excellerate Business Performance Ltd- delivering business coaching services to UK and International businesses.

excellerate has arrived - born from the merging of the coaching practices of Communications In Action and PPI Business NLP.

Communications In Action is a leading business coaching consultancy, well known for innovation in leadership and executive coaching as well as publishing high quality business and personal development books. PPI Business NLP is a well established and respected NLP training company that delivers exclusively business focused training in a pragmatic and professional way. Together, the two companies have focused their resources on the business coaching market to address a need for high quality professional development services that is not being met.

Peter Freeth says, "Coaching services have traditionally been provided in a very disjointed way, with freelance coaches selling themselves on a small scale and clients dipping their toes in the water to find out if coaching works. The simple truth is that coaching does work and is far more cost effective than training. The reason that it has been slow to establish itself is that none of the other suppliers know how to sell and deliver coaching to a professional, corporate audience."

PPI's research demonstrates that training does not support a company's strategic needs, yet many companies continue to use training as a development tool simply because it's what they have always done.

The adoption of coaching as a corporate development tool has been perceived as slow in the past, and the traditional training providers say that this is because the long term value of coaching has not been proven.

"Training has been around for a long time, so people think it must be the way to go. In fact, the long term value of training is poor, for a number of reasons," says Peter Freeth. "Firstly, training fails to address the needs of the individual. Once staff have all the knowledge they need to do their jobs, training stops working because the problem is not knowledge but the application of knowledge. For example, training sales people in new sales models does not work. Helping them overcome their individual barriers to spending more time talking to customers does work.

"Secondly, traditional training fails to provide the high quality of support needed by experienced people in businesses today. We live in the Google generation, where people need answers to specific questions right now - not when the training course is scheduled."

This situational, just in time approach is key to coaching's high success rate. By working on issues that are real and present for managers, coaching delivers highly personalised development, where and when it is needed most.

Another perceived problem with coaching in the past is cost - it's cheaper to have 10 people on a training course than to coach one. If the training is not delivering the right outcomes, it doesn't matter how much it costs - the money is wasted. When companies paid freelance coaches a day rate for one coaching session, it was expensive. When coaching is adopted on a large enough scale it becomes far more cost effective than training - because it delivers results which are tangible and directly relevant to specific and current business demands. Add this to the benefit of taking a key member of staff out of the office for an hour rather than a whole day, and the cost benefits of coaching over training are even more significant.

"Coaching works better because it works faster", says Freeth. "Every busy professional finds it hard to take a whole day - or longer - out of the office for a training course. They're constantly checking their voice messages and emails because they have an important job to do, and training is never scheduled on a quiet day! With coaching, we only take an hour out, and clients always find it a very welcome sanctuary where they can focus entirely on themselves and their own development. Coaching works for you because it is entirely about you."

Michael Beale, Director of PPI Business NLP, says, "Improving individuals' performance is one of the key challenges in business today. The creation of excellerate creates a resource for companies to use to increase individual performance in a way that has not been possible on such a scale before. We have developed models of best performance worldwide, in areas such as leadership and sales, and what is unique about our approach is that we tailor these models to the individual local requirements of our clients to help them achieve outstanding results, quickly. We believe we have set the trend for business coaching over the next ten years."

Training still has a place where it is interactive and focuses on the learner's needs first. For example, informing a sales team about a new product or introducing a new business process. Beale says, "Even this type of training will be replaced by online media. We're seeing clients adopting multimedia presentations to do the sales pitch, ensuring uniformity of branding and making it easy for sales people to keep up with product developments and focus on building high quality relationships. The real value in getting a team together now is in getting them to share ideas and work through common problems together."

excellerate builds on the success of Communications In Action with many long standing relationships that have delivered real and measurable value to client organisations.

The transition to excellerate begins now, and is expected to take up to a year before all client accounts are migrated.

Communications In Action will remain in place as a specialist publisher of business and personal development books and CDs. The website at http://www.ciauk.com has information on the titles currently available.

PPI Business NLP will also remain in place as the business NLP training provider of choice. Visit http://www.ppimk.com for more information.

excellerate's website has information on the new company, its work and its people. Visit http://www.excellerate.org to learn more.

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