Sunday 27 July 2014

Training ROI – Taboo topic for L&D and Business?

When business requests L&D team for a training program to up skill their process members or a specific team to enhance productivity or to address a challenging business need, it is a common practice to automatically conclude – just in case the desired change/ process outcome is not achieved post the training workshop - that possibly training content or methodology need to be refined better for the right impact. On the other hand, L&D team’s repository of decent feedback scores from participants, sign off from business leaders regarding the content and methodology is counter defense mechanism to reflect program’s likeability and effectiveness – another natural conclusion that it is the scope of business leaders to ensure the participants apply the learnt skill and behavior.

In most companies neither business nor training team is ready to rock the boat, which makes training a prolonged entertainment for participants, with no measurement model, year after year - particularly the behavioral and leadership trainings. Measurement is limited to attendance count and feedback form scores and the corporate communication just reflect those numbers.

BECKON is a model to measure learning in terms of outcomes and translate it to revenue. We own training end to end from design, delivery to deliverable. The ownership of impacting business outcomes will not shift from project lead to learning team/ trainers or vice versa, we gradually make it the participant’s responsibility while the L&D acts as assessors at regular intervals and Project Lead as drivers.

Our Training Design and Delivery charges are based on outcomes agreed which also means we bill our clients based on the revenue they could generate post our training – Out come based fee. Terms and conditions do apply.

We will have a series of conference calls for a thorough training need analysis or validate requirement / recommendation, not just with target audience who are to be trained but also Management, Finance, Marketing for a holistic view before we design the module, build a model to measure learning and impact business outcomes, across functions. We will engage industry experts, if required at no additional cost to our client for a structured training need analysis.

The upfront fee to conduct Training Demand Analysis or to validate the leader’s recommendation of training need specifics will range anywhere between INR 70000 to INR 150000 depending upon the size of the organization and the number of hours invested to gather inputs and consult with various teams on target based strategy.

If CFOs think, it is time to assess ROI for training as multiple costs are attached to training – salary costs, external facilitator costs, learning portals annual membership cost, logistics, monetary value (revenue loss) of time invested by participants who undergo training - Let us start with ROE first – Return on Expectations using BECKON model. Contact us, when you are ready to rock the boat.

For more details contact

Friday 18 July 2014

Team Building etc.

This is a regular program conducted by many training institutes which cover:

-What is a team?
-Who constitutes a team?
-How many different types of team members?
-Belbin's Theory
-How do you build a team?
-What are the different stages of team development?
-What are the roles and responsibilities of different team members?
-What are the advantages of having a team?
-What is in for you, if you are part of a team?

A couple of role plays, a few activities, one video or an audio and the workshop is concluded.

As an attendee, you receive new insights sitting in one of those cozy chairs in an air conditioned training room, without as much as lifting a finger to type 'Team Building' in Google search. You are happy to be spoon fed or ladle fed whatever. Great! Like you were a dinosaur before the training and did not know how to pick up a book and read about it. The facilitator must have researched and collated those inputs for the program. You do not need a doctorate or be a ranker in school to be able to do that. It is within the capacity of every sane person who knows to identify his eyes and his ears, can differentiate his arms from his legs and can read.

BECKON's approach to the same theme is different. The participants, who attend the workshop work as a team, define their roles and responsibilities; allocate tasks for research,  content designing to facilitate this session to the consultant. BECKON consultant trusts their intelligence and brings them back on track in case they deviate from the subject. After all teaching is two times learning.

A practical demonstration is the surest learning experience. The workshop is just the beginning, post that at regular intervals for a stipulated time, aligned assessors would keep track of each participant's team building abilities - in different situations.

Team Building holds a completely different meaning for entry level resources and senior professionals. The need for building a team varies depending on the purpose, direction and expected end result.

Cross Functional Teams
Multiple stakeholders working as a team for a specific project
Resolution of team conflicts
The leader and player
Depending on the complexity of the project,  there is a responsibility matrix chalked out for risk mitigation and audit compliance
Leveraged Team who have defined primary and secondary functions.

While practically team building is in progress in a training environment,  it is interesting to observe how they do it, without knowing other team members and their strengths, just based on limited notion and assumptions. The little flaws that occur in the final presentation are because of that approach - to build a team for a particular task by being clueless of each other's abilities.

As BECKON model drives outcomes, if Team Building has to be coupled with an understanding of each member, that becomes the primary learning and key takeaway of the workshop.

Just incase the participants wonder after the workshop - Why exactly do we charge them a fee, if they are the ones who research, design content, format and finally present the module to the facilitator? Here is the clarity on that - The  fee is not for 'Team Building' but to teach you how to rely on yourself to learn.

For more details contact

Monday 14 July 2014

Just Placements?

Average colleges reckon placement percentages as their success criteria to attract  more students. Premium institutes  highlight the highest salary offered to their students.

Have any of the colleges ever aimed for 100% placement as their success criteria?  Top 15% serious, focused and studious students will either ways get placed regardless of which college they belong. A certain percentage will pursue higher studies, few get married, some join their family business, and a handful would like to start their own business - ecommerce,  IT Solution or whatever. The rest are left alone to fend for themselves, and even if they get placed after multiple rejections, their confidence to perform in the newfound job environment has to be rebuilt.

The  placement leads train the students on how to handle specific questions related to salary, industry, their qualifications, what new will they bring to the table, what posture to maintain during interview etc. The project during  internship exposed them to senior leaders, important meetings, critical decisions and different functions. The corporate leader or industry experts invited as guest lecturers share their views and perspectives.

In any of the above are the participants prepared for any real business situation or crisis beyond internship scope - to handle a client escalation, a control freak or prejudiced boss, a difficult non cooperative team member, to prepare win themes for a  bid conversion, to present a report to management with analytics, to underplay their intelligence at times to respect an experienced senior, to effectively project his performance during appraisal, to build their own brand that distinguishes them from others?

In order to  have a competitive edge and be ahead of contemporaries, if any of the following is in an educational institute's future road map, BECKON model can build that edge.

Performance beyond placements
Institute's credibility through quality placements
Student's wellbeing
Industry ready global workforce
Encourage enterpreneurial vision
Aim for 100% placement

A standard module cannot suit an audience with different mental caliber, needs and aspirations.  Introducing  BECKON model in the first  year to an interesting and odd mix of students based on extensive evaluations, could be a highly effective tool not just for placements, performance in their jobs but also for the next examination that is knocking.   As BECKON is a discipline that ensures learning through an intersection of participant's personal desire and determination that culminates into a habit over a period of time. It is not limited to training content or duration but a much wider practice of intent and impact.

For more details contact

Sunday 13 July 2014

Beyond Testimonials and Training Feedback Scores

There is a myth around testimonials and training feedback scores.They are almost always positive.

As a facilitator, if one conducts a program keeping this as their end result that they should gather positive feedback scores and great testimonials, the training structure will obviously meet just that - content designed for a charged full on session.

The participants just love  the training program, the audios, videos, role plays, the trainer's hair cut, his blazer, his attitude which makes training day so different from other college or corporate days and they love all of it. The trainer scores a five out of five and the program something close. 'The training was a great learning experience.' The reports show all the right figures - great attendance, great scores,  great testimonials.

Thought experiment is a powerful technique in presentations - So here, let us imagine another consultant meets the same audience a year later to carry forward the learning experience minus the fancy stuff this time. "So what was your key learning last time?" he asks to set expectations that his program revolves around assignments, will measure learning and quantify results.  This consultant can even disengage a participant from a workshop on the grounds that he remembers nothing from the last training session,  zero interest in learning derived from assessments and can be absorbed only in future workshops provided he has an outcome to achieve. If a resource does not have any clarity on what changes he wants in his behavior or what goals he intends to achieve,  there can be no training agenda for such a participant.

For individuals BECKON Program is spread across two days with a gap of 10 business days to cover and capture personality traits and then align appropriate training. The preliminary tests and questionnaire will reveal if the participant is an introvert or an extrovert, visual,  auditory or kinesthetic learner, individual or group learner, self aware or self absorbed, retarded skill wise or will wise, left or right brained,  logical, analytic or creative and to enable him to reach his true potential,  is it training or coaching,  mentoring or motivating that is required?

BECKON Consultants do not measure their success based on how many attended the program,  how many clients,  how many great feedback scores,  how many testimonials,  how many recommendations or how many references. The only measure of our success is how many achieved their desired outcomes following BECKON model - The outcome can literally be anything - Weight loss or cracking in GMAT, a promotion or performance,  a placement or an enterpreneurial effort,  a certification or learning a new language or just finding yourself back like you were before. BECKON establishes that will to leverage your inherent and acquired skills.

BECKON is the way to lead you to your outcome. Your success is BECKON's testimonial and those who are positively impacted by your success is BECKON's true feedback scores.

To know more details please contact

Tuesday 8 July 2014

Make Your Own Lane: Mid Career Crisis?

You first begin to ponder if the crisis of joblessness is a short lived catastrophe or is it true that there are always jobs for those who have talent and want to work?

The reality bite is after your resume is through the initial screening of HR and business leaders on the basis of content alone  with almost zero hint at your real capability, after you have effectively handled the wrong age, too experienced, too qualified, too junior bias in interviews, after letting a software scan your personality traits mechanically, after multiple psychological  tests to assess your ability to perform, your options aren't plenty.

You deal with many other perceptions and myths too, if you have not handled a project relevant to your domain for six months, you probably lost that edge, need retraining to build your competence. 

It matters little that you have executed several other projects that required new skills.  In that case your wide range of skills is a serious threat to stability.

Each time there is a slightest hint of M&A, a probable sale of company stake or a technology innovation, an internal job transfer filling the post that you worked so hard for or another round of restructuring and job cuts to match profit targets, that poses threat to your cozy corporate cocoon -  you update your profile.

You begin exploiting your connects and job portals, knowing well, it would be a huge compromise driven by a sense of security for a pay check. After all the years of hard work,  promotions and all the learning towards an aspired goal, it is back to new insecurities.

Even if you lose your job  for no fault of yours,  the naked truth that it is the Management's failure will not be in the interviewer's radar. It is not about company's sustenance anymore but its very existence that is at stake. So the interviewer is already tilted mentally to the company's side almost stamping their decision as justified. The victim mentality is just not hire-able.

There are a dozen things one needs to unlearn to learn one new thing in a new environment, all the more so, when it comes to cultural fitness,  new hierarchy structure,  new responsibilities and deliverables that come with the new role, new management and dynamic business needs. That will most certainly require a new "You".

BECKON learning model works on the basic framework that key behavioral traits are always transferable based on which new skills are easily acquired. While we know anybody is expendable, we also know anyone can fill a generalist role, irrespective of industry or domain,  with right amount of mental mapping and ability alignment.

The prevalent practice of hiring on the basis of exact match with the job description instead of hiring on the basis of ability to do the job often leaves potential talent out. BECKON is an infant step to bridge that gap for more job creation and leveraged capacities.

Losing job might not be in your control always however losing employ-ability due to inability to mentally align to a new profile in an alternative domain, is very much in your scope to influence.

For more details contact

Monday 7 July 2014

Learning: You are not just a role!

A participant after attending one of my training sessions  walks up to me to  hand over the feedback form. She stood there waiting till the rest of them left the class room. She obviously had something to say. I looked at her questioningly. She said, 

"I wanted to be a facilitator like you and train people"

During the session I had observed she was very restless, agile and temperamental - at times loud and dominating. Even before I ask more, she continued saying that she had missed an opportunity to be a trainer and the feedback given to her was she was overbearing. She admitted that she was aware about that personality defect in her. Now I asked, 

" What did you do about it?"

'Realization is the  first step to rectification' 

As I said nothing to contradict the earlier feedback, she was now doubly sure the exact areas she needed work on and she did. A few months later,  she met me to inform that she had become a trainer and confidently trains new hires.

BECKON was not conceptualized then as this happened a few years back. Her intention was to be a trainer and  she became one, however her colleagues, I am told, even then found her overbearing.  Though the role was achieved, the defects still remained.

BECKON is a learning model that ensures overall personality development not just sharpens the skills for a particular role. 

A thorough assessment reveals the symptoms only, example for a trainer's role - stage fright, confidence, grip on domain, presentation issues, incapability to hold audience's attention for too long, time management etc. There are a dozen programs and books to address that.

BECKON is beyond just identifying symptoms,  and proposing cure - it is the entire way we go with the participant till we see the outcome within a prescribed time frame - And the outcome is not just people without the symptoms,  people healed, people in their desired roles but people better in more than one dimension than what they were before BECKON.

People learn that if BECKON can be applied for one new learning,  it is applicable for every other learning they want to follow themselves,  going forward.

For more details contact

Sunday 6 July 2014

Learning: Cynically yours,

'Every fired, tired and retired person is a trainer today. 

Every middle manager who could not make it to the top or even if he did, could not stick there for too long or did a career mistake is a consultant. Every under performer who was part of a behavioral or disciplinary action plan quit to massage his  bruised ego and begin freelancing in the name of being your own boss.'

Indeed that is the cynical 'You'  speaking.

'It is his sycophancy that  got him the promotion, not quantifiable results. I am more hardworking than he ever was, more sincere, more open to learning, more flexible and yet he gets the limelight.'

That is because he is not too busy thinking about you, but his own work scope. He is not saturated about what all he is good at, he knows the areas he needs to work on and improve rather than regard his one time super performance over another person's consistency and potential.  That itself is a behavior worth promoting, regardless of how he slipped in a particular project or ill managed a client escalation with minor impact.  The very  fact that he sees the reality the way it is and not the way he  wants to, is good enough reason to set him apart  from the rest of the clan.

What seems sycophancy to you is actually that person's very nature that he cannot be critical and often ends up looking at a person's or situation's positive attributes and most often appreciates it wholeheartedly.  

Who can escape a genuine appreciation? 

No wonder people automatically drift towards him.  

How can you ignore that talent in people to see through a person's bright spot hidden in layers of negative energies? 

That is a  learning and it is not natural always. It  has to be nurtured to perfection so that it is as good as your nature. 

Seriously,  that never happens overnight.  It takes years to polish that art. Just that for the young chap who got the promotion,  limelight, reward or whatever, that very art of giving simple  dozes of genuine appreciation comes to him naturally, effortlessly which only adds to his own personal brand and credibility.

'He is never on his chair, never speaks a word in the meetings, never shares an idea and never contradicts his boss.' 

Is this about him anymore? It is all about you that you miss reality most of the time due to your tunnel vision and unfortunately you are yet to know that.

BECKON is a learning and coaching framework that allows you to bring that much needed clarity not just in thinking but in your belief system.

The only qualifying criterion after preliminary assessments is your interest in your own professional and personal well being, independent of your bias, prejudices and conditioning.  A person can be exceptionally bright in work and happy with what he does,  provided that little shift in paradigm or belief is consciously done. BECKON with its 21 day rule and agreed nesting period assists in that inward journey.

For more details contact

Career Kit: Tell Me Something About Yourself

How often have you faced this innocent line in an interview,  which is supposed to be a question and intended to  explore your strengths and weaknesses, achievements and wins? And how often have  you answered that with  utmost sincerity while the interviewers pick just two words.  Which two words? That actually depends on what you spoke.

That gives you a nagging feeling, while you are so well prepared for the interview,  the guy on the other side of the table, either just had a bad client meeting or a dressing down from his senior or whatever be the reason for his wandering  mind, had gone through your  resume weeks back when the HR had forwarded it to him, liked some aspects of it, asked the HR executive to arrange a face to face and then forgot everything about the candidature.

So that 'Tell me something about yourself' is at times more to do with him, than you - revive his amnesia than assess your abilities. So keep it short, just enough to wake him up. Human memory is short, do give him that benefit of doubt. Once you  grab his attention,  the questions that follow will be critical.

In response, as a fresher,  one probably might not have much to say and they rave about school achievements, college debates, how he was awarded the best intern, how he fared in a group discussion with leaders recently, how many followers he has for his blogs and how so very much he is open to learning.  

However, an experienced person really has so much more to say-quantify his achievements, substantiate his tall claims in his multiple roles and in various capacities. The risk is when you go on and on with your stretched monologue, their attention spills over to your mannerisms, eye contact, pace, non verbal clues and along with your verbal content, something quite else gets communicated to the interviewer, which might not be favorable. So regardless of experience,  the brevity in response to this line could well prepare both parties for a structured interview session.

Every time a case study or a situational analysis or problem scenario is shared in the elimination rounds, it is not  necessarily about right or wrong interpretations. It is to gauge your thinking pattern - logical, reasoning, creative,  left brain-er or right brain-er.

Group Discussion is  not always about how informed you are, how well you communicate, how articulate you are, how you influence others,  how you relate or negotiate,  what leadership qualities you display - it could be all of these or a particular trait that the interviewers are seeking to see in their new hires.  It could as well be just to identify your natural instincts and reactions.

BECKON is an outcome based learning model preparing students and freshers not just for any placement but a calling of their choice. The model is designed not only to assess the student's caliber but also align a program to achieve signed off outcomes, as mutually agreed. 

So BECKON goes one step ahead of placement - Performance!

For more  details contact


Saturday 5 July 2014

Learning: The Tiger Is Never Red

Most writers become motivational speakers; many middle managers become free lancers; the senior professionals naturally drift to become consultants; people with brief stints in multiple roles automatically believe they are entrepreneur material as they know all aspects in Corporate environment and after a year, dive back to a job - as they learn knowing all aspects of business and knowing sales alone are two different abilities.

Many housewives almost all their waking hours plan to open a creche, day care, unisex salon, preschool, a boutique; many young MBA grads from  premium business school always have Mark Z or Steve Jobs playing hell in their mind and sneer at every corporate job they get in campus drives; many finish their engineering first before they decide what to do with their lives next?

What is this rambling all about?  A Cheetah is known for its spots, not stripes and a tiger is never red. Some qualities are natural and some nurtured.  Our acquired knowledge from a degree or certification is very limiting and what we do  is often subject to our mental conditioning. 

If people begin drawing their energies towards a more realistic professional goal - some thing that wil support their journey from net worth to self worth, to assess what they are without their labels and align with their natural preferences - their level of commitment and satisfaction is bound to be much more.

It is not just a combination of skills and competencies that always count for success and happiness, it is the extent your work is  close to what you always wanted to do.

A dentist in BPO sales, an engineer taking calls in a call center,  an MBBS as a senior  corporate leader - Aren't their degrees an individual and national waste? Is it just survival strategy?  For some it takes a few years and for others it takes decades to realize what their true calling is.

BECKON with its rigorous assessments coupled with relevant training which is not pre-designed but created based on evaluation not only highlights  your natural preferences but also the required scope of being nurtured to achieve,  enjoy and impact- through what you do.

BECKON is assessment based training agenda. We meet our prospects with a clean slate, not with a pre conceived notion or a ready made power point presentation. We spend considerable time in knowing our prospect before we propose what is required - coaching, mentoring, motivating, training or just time. If our assessment indicates, it is just phase or state of mind and will improve without our involvement,  we build a fruitful relationship with you, not by assisting you or offering you our services but restoring your faith to access your own resources till you achieve your desired outcomes.

BECKON's end result is learning to impact.

For more details contact