Training & Development:
As a subject specialist on training and development, combined with his ability to simplify complex issues, Jan can best be described as a “professional” trainer.
You might ask if there is a difference between trainer and a subject specialist.
The difference lies in two areas;
- A subject specialist is highly experienced and knowledgeable about their subject area. They might however not always knowledgeable about adult learning and the development of training material and therefore not necessary a good trainer. If they are able to convey the material, they might not be able to do this in other areas.
- A trainer is knowledgeable and experienced in extracting core subject information and presenting it in the best ways for people to learn. It is therefore less important for them to be subject specialists
Jan has been a trainer researching and presenting courses and workshops for the last 30 years.
His first exposure was with managing and evaluation of training systems. He then developed a good basis in skills based people development – focussing on “how-to” skills, such as computer software courses.
Jan was subsequently trained as master trainer, carrying co-responsibility for the development of training and facilitation skills of more than 600 trainers and facilitators. The focus in developing these trainers was on the how to and why of training. This was supported by a post graduate degree in Training Management.
His focus expanded into supervisory development, where the focus is usually on tools or techniques that work. The natural progression was then to Management development where the focus is on understanding the pros and cons of subjects and techniques.
Subsequently, in Executive development, the focus of training was very much on clarifying fundamentals and interrelationships of concepts and issues for buy-in. His move to management and Executive development was supported by his MBA.
Process Facilitation / Consulting:
Process consulting is often understood to have two distinct meanings
- Consulting on how to set up or improve business processes. E.g. receiving tender documents, the flow of a manufacturing facility or, setting up an accounting system.
- Facilitating, or consulting on, people driven issues. Examples could include anything from conflict resolution or interpersonal dynamics to facilitating problem solving.
The majority of situations where process consulting is utilised involves disagreements between participants where there is seemingly no solution. In these situations, it usually helps to have a neutral facilitator that allows all perspectives to be aired and considered.
Process consulting can also be used for strategic planning. This is then not a formalised process of completing multiple exercises, but the strategy is created through group discussions and interaction.
Utilising his in depth knowledge of - and experience in - both Total Quality Management and Business Process Engineering as well as various other techniques such as meditative learning and T-groups, Jan has facilitated many sessions in various forms of process consulting.
Training Material Development:
Every situation and need is different. Although we ensure correctness, comprehensiveness and transferability of information when developing training material, we do not work from a ones-size-fits-all development perspective. Even if the student material might look similar, the material is designed for delivery in ways that best suit the needs of the situation and group.
As it is extremely difficult to list all materials developed over the past 30 years we will list only a few of the subjects that Jan has developed material on to date. Please note that the list is not exhaustive and was compiled to give an idea of the breadth of subjects we are able to assist with.
- IT: (e.g. MS Excel, MS Projects, Email and Email Etiquette, Introduction to personal computing)
- Training Trainers: (e.g. Instructional Skills, Developing Training Materials and Creativity in learning)
- Supervisory and Leadership: (e.g. Communication, Fundamentals of leadership and Team leadership, Introduction to management)
- Management: (e.g. Human Resources -, Marketing -, Project -, Strategic -, Operations -, Knowledge Management, Fundamentals of business and Understanding the business environment)
- Change: (e.g. Organisation Development, Change transformation and re-engineering, Fundamentals of change management, Total Quality Management and Developing employee surveys)
- Governance: (Fundamentals and working with boards)
Please feel free to contact us to discuss any training needs your organisation might have.
Jan has more than 20 years of experience in Organisation Development - starting from on-the-job based experiential learning to lecturing on Change and Organisation Transformation to MBA level. His experience ranges from transactional changes such as team building and team problem solving, to organisation wide transformational change.
Working with people means that Organisation Development – or people based change - cannot be planned in minute detail. This makes Organizational Development a prime example of process facilitation that can probably best compared to sailing a boat to a specific harbour in constantly adjusting winds. This affects all departments and all levels of employees, from entry level to executive management and the board, becoming intricately involved and affected.
External consultants are usually brought in to coordinate and facilitate change processes in line with key people management concepts. Ultimately change processes must be implemented in a way that, at the end, all involved can say “we did it”. Care must be taken that the consultants do not arrive with pre-set ideas or programmes, as there is no one size fits all approach to organisation development.
Successful change cannot be achieved by a third party implementing pre-packaged processes for and on behalf of an organisation. Successful change requires the buy-in and participation of all members of staff, with special emphasis on the executive management of a company. Returning to the analogy of sailing a boat, there is no time for sitting on the deck when the winds change. This is specifically true when working with transformational or large scale change.
Having raised a word of caution about pre-packaged approaches, Jan approaches change interventions with a pre-assessment of the organisation culture. The same process can again be followed post change to monitor the success of interventions.
Organisational Surveys & Culture Assessment:
“Develop your senses- especially learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.” (Leonardo da Vinci)
Jan has facilitated strategic planning sessions for numerous organisations ranging from for-profit -, semi-government -, and not-for-profit organisations. He also facilitates training sessions on the fundamentals of strategic management and has been involved in the audit of health plans at district government level.
A fundamental principle of strategic management is to be able to anticipate, consolidate and be proactive, while maintaining the ability to live with ambiguity and understand that what is planned today might tomorrow be wrong and will need to be changed.
When crafting a strategy, it is easy to fall into a trap of focussing on exercises, models, or techniques, while it requires the development of systems - and complexity thinking and the ability to “see” strategically. Without strategic thinking, the use of techniques and approaches become mechanistic and often reduce the planning to operational or, at best, tactical plans.
Strategic management is also not a one day a year exercise ,but a day-to-day process of awareness, consideration, participation and review, involving staff at all levels in an organisation.
It is from this perspective that Jan has developed different courses for different employee groups.
Program & Process Evaluation:
From pre- and post-testing to impact assessment evaluation should be well planned and executed with transparency and due diligence.
Since starting his training career, Jan has developed evaluation systems for, and evaluated, numerous trainings. By combining his training knowledge, his experience in academic evaluation and his ability to see patterns and relationships, Jan has evaluated numerous business systems. These range from productivity and performance analysis to probability based and inter departmental comparative evaluations.
One example of non-training evaluations done include a comparative analysis of strategic planning documents – over a period of time - across various functions within a government department. A second example required research and the ultimate development of a probability model to predict equipment failure. A third example involved the development of a communication evaluation system – including a survey - and subsequent inter-departmental analysis to identify possible areas of improvement.