Fair usage warning: This post may be classified as a marketing plug
Michael Feiner retired as the Chief People Officer at Pepsi and before long ended up teaching a higher performance leadership course at Columbia. The course was based on a book that came out a few years later as Feiner points. Mike started the course by stating his two basic ground rules.
- Feedback is a gift; share it as one; receive it as one.
- Teaching is more entertainment than teaching. As long as you put on a good show you will keep your audience engaged.
Three years later out of school, when we started running training workshops we started tracking user feedback on our sessions. It took some work but as we got more comfortable and creative with the material as well as the psyche of our participants in this region our scores started improving. The feedback results from our recent ICAAP (Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process) workshop got posted here last week. In case you were wondering how we got here, here is the break down
- It took 50 plus workshops to break into 4 (see feedback above, the max score is a 5) across all eight questions.
- Another 6 years of working with customers on general risk engagements and about 3 specific years on capital adequacy assessment to get the right framework together and the right set of problems to keep students engaged for 8 hours on what some would consider a very dry banking subject.
- Within the first year it was apparent that training is not about what you want to teach, it is about what “they” want to learn. The sooner the trainer and the trainee get on the same page, the smoother workshops begin to flow.
- By the time we crossed our twentieth workshop, we could afford proper space (read a five star location) and pay for ultra clean bathrooms and good quality food. It happened by accident when we got hit by the unexpected registration of a brand name CEO who had just returned from UAE after a long range of stints running Citi and ABN AMRO in UAE and Far East. We panicked and moved to the only available 5 star location and never turned back.
- Getting a four requires so much hard work and the exact execution of so many cross factors that you cannot consistently break it by yourself. In the beginning our workshop execution team was just two people. On the ICAAP workshop it was a group of four working for three weeks and then another group of 8 that worked for 48 straight hours to wrap up the finishing touches.
Specifically on the ICAAP workshop, the grand prize was the sample table of content, the executive summary and the full length report. Participants came to understand how to work and implement the ICAAP process and the grand prize did just that. It also helped that we had collated about four years of data required to generate the report and we took great pains to explain the difference between regulatory capital and economic capital, the key concept we had the most trouble with over the last few years. We also wrote the sample ICAAP report for a client and going through that painful experience set the tone for pretty much everything that happened on the big day. Which means that to break into a four, you first need to sit down and understand the problem your trainees need to solve; if you can help solve that problem with your material, the four is yours.