Recently, nearly 50 of you answered a survey question in an effort to determine how we can best train our commercial trainers (in the biopharma industry) for their future success.
I appreciate all the interest and participation. Here are your results:
The clear winner is: Communication Skills, which makes sense when you think about it. There is no question that in every current and future role, our team members need to practice clarity in communications. Everything else – collaboration, coaching, strategy, project management, etc. – depends on making ourselves clear.
This was closely followed by Collaboration Skills. These two skills, of course, are highly inter-related, and there is no question that in every current and future role, our team members need to be effective in influencing and reaching alignment with others.
There was also a second strata, approaching a 50% selection rate: Project Management, Coaching and Feedback, Business/Organizational Acumen, and Strategic Thinking. The leaders of tomorrow definitely need to shine in these areas, whether they end up in field management, marketing, operations, or executive leadership.
(I decided to treat Project Management as its own category, even though the case could be made that it is actually a subset of Collaboration Skills)
This was an interesting set of results. Any surprises for you? What skills do you wish had been imparted to you as you began your tenure in L&D?
Here are some of the perspectives and questions that come to my mind. You probably have some of your own:
- How broad an impact can we have by helping our people communicate (presenting, writing, leading meetings, one-on-ones) more effectively?
- Are our current developmental approaches scattershot, or can some of these skills be taught in a more systematic (yearly) fashion?
- What is the best way to upskill our people – outside classes? Inside team learning experiences?
- How can/should Commercial L&D be collaborating with HR on some of these development opportunities?
- Are there new angles here for better structuring an Emerging Leaders program? And can some of these same skill training offerings be offered to a wider audience (not just our trainers)?
When I first started Impactiviti 13 years ago, workshops were not really at the center of my radar screen. That changed quickly when I realized how commonly we still use workshops in our industry. But, over time, it seemed to me that many of our workshops were geared toward “others” (reps, DMs, KAMs, etc.) and maybe the trainers were so busy delivering classes and workshops for others that we weren’t taking enough time to develop them. That’s why I started developing specialized workshops, and also we did this survey.
LTEN (Life Sciences Trainers and Educators Network) has a series of well-received live (and on-line) workshops that address targeted training skills, but I’ve been increasingly drawn to the corporate/business/life skills that we need for every professional role. Some of my clients are aggressively pursuing this developmental path, and I think it’s long overdue.
If you’re interested in discussing how to power up professional development opportunities for your team, just reach out to me (AskSteve@impactiviti.com) and we’ll set up a time to talk. My hope is to increasingly discover what is working well among our peers, and to share best practices.
Note: Impactiviti does offer a set of tailored workshops on a number of the themes identified above (Communications Clarity, Collaboration Clarity, Project Management, Professional Networking). Based on these survey results, I’ve decided to offer a 35% discount on the core, 6-hour Communications Clarity workshop through the end of 2019. Reach out if you’d like to discuss: AskSteve@impactiviti.com
Here is a download outline of how we partner with our life sciences clients for developmental workshops:
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