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Archive for the ‘Training’ Category

Your product is going global, and sales forces from multiple countries have to get up to speed with customized launch meetings and messaging.

Where do you turn for help?

Here is how one of Impactiviti’s preferred vendor-partners helped a growing client with this challenge:

>> Case Study: Global Product Launch Training (single-page download)

global launch

Reach out to us here at Impactiviti (973-947-7429) for any outsource training needs you have – we’ll be happy to recommend an optimal partner!

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Impactiviti provides vendor-client “matchmaking” services in the life sciences training area, built on a unique trusted referral network model. We consult and provide vendor advice at no charge for life science companies. Contact Steve Woodruff at asksteve@impactiviti.com

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As I talk to business leaders – owners of small businesses, leaders of departments, etc. – one common theme emerges. It’s the power of the immediate to derail long-term strategic direction.

Tyranny of the UrgentIt has several aliases:

  • Tyranny of the Urgent
  • Reactive Thinking
  • Tactical Overwhelm
  • The Daily Grind (also useful for coffee references)

Call it what you will, it boils down to the fact that being in the weeds of day-to-day execution tends to obscure our long-term thinking. We lose sight of the goal.

In ice hockey, have you ever seen those scrums on the boards where several players are piled up, all kicking at the puck (and whacking each other’s ankles)? The focus is entirely on that little piece of ice and that rubber disk – no-one’s looking at the goal.

Ever felt that way during the week? Yeah, I thought so. Bad for the ankles, I find.

Losing sight of the forest while in the trees is a very common leadership struggle. In fact, for my friends who lead Training and Development groups in biopharma companies, one of the ways in which this is accentuated is the perception that T&D is a “servant” department – Sales and/or Marketing tosses stuff over the wall for Training to execute. No strategic alignment need get in the way of the “Need it NOW!” ;>((

As a solopreneur, I have to fight this battle all the time. I get immersed in low- or no-return activities that pop up in front of me instead of staying on track. I fail to keep my focus on the clients, partners, and opportunities that are most productive long-term. I have to remind myself constantly what really matters – and even then it’s still way too easy to lose sight of the goal.

What about you? How do you stay on track in the midst of the reactive mode that presses in on you daily? Share your tips and practices for the rest of us to learn from!

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Today’s blog post is not so much a dissertation or opinion piece, but a question.

I’ve been having discussions lately with multiple pharma/biotech clients around the ongoing development of those who cycle into the training dept (as trainers, managers, associate directors, etc.)

Specifically – I know there are a fair number of offerings (including some from LTEN) that focus on training-specific skills – instructional design, facilitation, presentation skills, and the like. I HOPE that many companies are taking advantage of those.

But when it comes to developing “good corporate citizens” who are being effectively developed for positions of greater responsibility, who in our industry has a well-structured and systematic curriculum (say, perhaps, quarterly internal workshops) in place for those in the training department? I’m thinking of skills like this:

  • Strategic Thinking
  • Business Writing
  • Influence without Authority
  • Negotiation
  • Communication
  • Project Management
  • Time and Priority Management
  • Professional Networking
  • Relationship Management
  • Corporate Business Acumen

What do you have in place? I would really like to know (please send me a message: stevew@impactiviti.com). I get the sense, that, along with on-boarding, there are needs here – maybe we can brainstorm some solutions for your department.

(also – is your own sales training dept. planning for these developmental needs, or is it being done through HR? If the latter – is it effective?)

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The good news (sort of): Just about anyone can shoot video these days.

The bad news: It’s that much more difficult to figure out who can do a GREAT job for your company.

The best news: Impactiviti has the right vendor/partners for you!

video production pharmaceutical training

When you need an experienced and creative outsource partner for video production, reach out to us here at Impactiviti (phone: 973-947-7429; email: stevew@impactiviti.com). We’ll make the right referral that leads to the right results!

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Also: Facing complex, multi-faceted projects without sufficient resources in-house? You need a provider who can Bring Order out of Chaos

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Training Program Overload

I sometimes marvel at the number and diversity of training programs that commercial life sciences professionals are exposed to.

Waterfall OprylandSituational Leadership. DISC. Crucial Conversations. Coaching Skills. Selling this. Influence without Authority that. The list, the acronyms, go on and on – as do all the outlined steps and principles contained in each program.

Can anybody really remember all that stuff – let alone apply it in the moment of need?

Or are we overloaded with training program flavor-of-the-month?

As someone who makes recommendations of training programs to my life sciences clients, I seriously do wonder about this. And I wonder how you – people in the life sciences training community (trainers and vendors) – feel about this as well.

Are we so overloaded with information that we become constipated at the point of interaction?

Please share your experience in the comments. How do you, and your colleagues, deal with remembering, and synthesizing, and applying all these programs? Are there strategies you have found to help with the overload?

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How many of your training managers actually have some kind of background in operations – or, have been trained in how to manage vendors and projects?

If your department is like that of most life science companies, the answer probably lies between few and none. Why? Well, trainers are typically assigned out of Sales, not Operations.

But managing projects requires a new skill set, and without it, expensive failures regularly occur during a training rotation (and beyond).

Being shoved into the deep end of the pool is one way to learn to swim. But a one-day workshop is all that’s needed to impart the core principles and basic practices leading to successful project management.

In one minute, here’s an explanation of the key value of this workshop:

Impactiviti and LTEN sponsor these workshops for life sciences member companies. All the details are right here. Sign your trainers up now while there is still room!

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According to the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator, I’d be classified as an INTJ. Or maybe ISTJ. Could depend on the day.

The Myers-Briggs classification format is widely used in our industry (and many others), but is it really worthwhile? According to this article with a rather provocative title (Why the Myers-Briggs Test is Totally Meaningless), the entire scheme is questionable. I’d encourage you to read the entire article.

INTJ

Today, I want to focus on one question: is the Myers-Briggs test a good tool for predicting career success – or, for that matter, helping shape career choices?

I am actually a big fan of profiling – mapping out one’s makeup and tendencies and abilities (I often use the terms personal/professional DNA, or internal wiring) to try to see where a person can ideally “fit” career-wise.

But I think a personality test – whether or not it’s resting on a valid foundation – has limits. Because a truer indicator of success is a performance test.

What are you actually good at doing? What does your track record of work indicate is your professional “sweet spot“?

Some of our traits are hard-wired (I, for instance, am an introvert) but can be managed and behaviorally-modified over time (I am an outgoing networker). Looking strictly at my Myers-Briggs personality type, I’m a very unlikely entrepreneur – but there’s more to us than 4 letters and 16 boxes.

We each have unique gifts. We have special (and cultivated) abilities. We act in ways that succeed or fail. We perform, sometimes well beyond what one might expect out of an arrangement of our profile descriptions.

I’ve talked to an amazing array of successful sales people, some of whom are analytical introverts, others of whom are outgoing relationship-sparking wizards. They’ve succeeded by using their abilities, and as they’ve moved into new roles, it becomes evident (sometimes painfully so) where their best competencies truly are.

Performance joined to personality tells the story.

What are your feelings about Myers-Briggs and other such approaches? Helpful? Bogus? Share your insights in the comments!

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