Organizational Behavior (OB) & Its Impact on Trainers

  • Print

Key Notes:

  • Organizational Behavior (OB) & Its Impact on Trainers, or simply “Orbit” is the space in which trainers maneuver
  • In order to be an effective trainer, one has to understand the respective audience
  • This article shall help trainers teaching in larger corporations to get the customer buy-in by corporate insights

For effective organizations, three things have to fall in place: people, people and people. ‘Organizational behavior management’, known as OBM, is therefore ‘people management’, which is exactly what trainers do!

In order to manage organizational behavior effectively, one has to consider five echelons within the respective environment, as also depicted in above small picture on the right:

  1. Get complete understanding of individuals and theirbehaviors
  2. Consider groups of individuals and their dynamics
  3. Design an effective goal congruent organization, balancing cooperation and competitions between formal and informal groups
  4. Manage the organization through leading by example
  5. Develop the organization towards effectiveness

Hence, managers of effective organizations do not need ‘EGO-ism’, they need ‘IGO-ism’, namely

  • Individuals, self-motivated and goal-oriented
  • Groups, effectively organized by efficient individuals
  • Organization, with clearly defined objectives

In order to become a more effective trainer, I suggest the use of the “reverse IGO Model” as preparation for any teaching in larger corporations:

  • Organization:
    Understand its objectives – especially with regards to training and development; roadmaps, products & services, market and customers
  • Groups:
    Understand course participants grouping, be it formal (e.g. by department) or informal (e.g. by table arrangements)
  • Individuals:
    Understand individual motivation to join course

A small check-list shall support our trainers during this preparation process:

1 Organization:
Trainers have to understand the prevailing characteristic defining the
organization and its behavior; e.g.:

  • What are the defined purposes (strategy)?
  • How is the management organized to guide interactions of human and non-human resources towards achieving these purposes and common objectives (formal structure)?
  • Are there insights on friendships, rumors, emotions and networks (informal structure)?
  • Is the organization public or private, profitable or non-profitable
  • Does the organization offer products, services, both or complete solutions
  • What is the leadership style like (traditional, charismatic or legal-rational)?
  • How do people communicate and how does company cope with staff alienation?

In short: Get to know “your” organization!

2. Groups:
All teams are groups and all tasks are group activities. Since group dynamics are NOT the result of simple consolidation of individual behaviors, group performance will be better (or worse) than the individual performance of its members based on the way the group
is being managed. Some thoughts:

  • “1 + 1 = 2 ± dynamics”
  • Be aware of group-feel and group-think
  • Define owners for main team roles

In short: Understand the group composition to maximize group learning.

3. Individuals:
Individual Performance is mainly driven by the three aspects willingness (or motivation), ability and capability. Hence, individual development is management task enabled by

  • creating a learning culture
  • installing a conducive environment
  • encouraging creativity and seeking continuously for knowledge
  • benchmarking constantly own practices against best practices outside own boundaries

In conclusion:

1. Do your homework and get to know your IGO; before YOU GO for your next training, learn about your customer’s

  • organizational strategies
  • group dynamics
  • individual performance and motivation

2. Use IGO to increase your Trainer Orbit, e.g. for

  • Follow-up training courses (e.g. create a “Part II” or “Advanced …” course)
  • Training needs analysis
  • Etc.

With this, I wish you happy orbiting …