The number one thing I am hearing from clients lately regarding their training and in particular their safety training is “Its currently in review”. That in itself is a good thing right, we should continually be reviewing our training and ensuring we’re delivering the most appropriate and up to date information to our staff and visitors.

Unfortunately, this is nearly always followed with something like “we have been for the past 12 months, but just can’t seem to find the time to finish it”.

This is a REAL problem, but even more scary its a REAL concern.

Safety training (and any training for that matter) is never finished. No sooner do you get it perfected and you upgrade a piece of machinery, update a policy or process, or legislation or customer requirements change which means the project you just put the finishing touches on, is once again outdated and needs more work.

But thats the point. It is never finished, and it will always need more work, so don’t let the pursuit of perfection prevent you from actually getting something done.

When it comes to training, having anything is almost always better than having the perfect solution - on the shelf.

Colin Powell the former US Secretary of State has a formula for the "Probability of Success". He believes,  P = 40 - 70% or the Probability of Success lays between 40 and 70% of  the total information range. That is, if you have between 40 and 70% of the required information, use your gut and make a decision. Less that 40% and you dont have enough details and if you wait until you have 100%, you’ll have already missed your opportunity.

I think this formula applies equally as well to training and organisational development. Now you probably want a little more than 40% as your base line, but given that your never going to achieve 100% anyway, why wait. Just launch with what you have. Of course, you'll need to do updates and incremental improvements, but make THIS part of your strategy.

According the Colin Powells’ theory, procrastination in the name of reducing risk, may actually increases risk. We know this to be true when it comes to safety. Imagine if the automotive industry didn't install the seatbelt because they were waiting to add the airbag!!

So grab your iPhone, Flip Camera, power point deck or note book, or what ever other device you use to deliver your training, and get on the floor and update your training material - do it today, and get it live.

Each time you realise that something has changed, or a message is missing, get out there an add it. 

Sure it wont be perfect, you might forget something, the video might have bad lighting, and there may be too much background noise, but something 40-70% complete and implimented is always going to be better than something 95% complete and waiting to be finished.

Build your training program around something simple (like in house video or a ppt deck) where the cost and technology requirements are minimal (check out for more ideas on this) and get started today. We have a client who does exactly this with his video camera.

He runs a large, high risk operation, with a lot of people. Each time there is an injury or a near miss on site, he grabs his camera and makes a quick training video, outlining the correct and safe way to do the role. He then makes all the staff working in that area or role, watch the new video. All future staff are required to watch it as part of their on boarding and training for that role. Sure its quality is poor, but the content is excellent. 

Over the past 2 years he has built quite a large library of content, and has nearly every imaginable role and function in the organisation on DVD, and each employee trained as per the video. And he managed to achieve this himself, whilst running several farming operations in two countries. To my knowledge, he has never allocated a full day to address his safety and training requirements. He doesn't need to. He just adds to it, a few minutes at a time.

The World According to Shane - don't wait for perfection, just get on with it. Do something today.

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