Why It’s Always a Bad Time for Training, And Why That Doesn’t Matter

Hundreds of teams train with Market Motive, and they’ve all had one thing in common: every team has trained at a bad time.

Want to know why?

It’s always a bad time for training.

What sets successful companies or agencies apart, though, is they have a powerful long-term vision that minimizes short-term obstacles.

In other words, if there’s a fire in the cockpit, put out the fire, but don’t forget to fly the plane.

Best selling author Stephen Covey offers a well-known time management matrix in his book 7 Habits for Highly Effective People. The Y-axis is importance, the X-axis is urgency, and the four quadrants represent the different ways we spend our time.


Avoid Quadrants Three and Four

Any successful company knows not to spend their time in Quadrant 4 (Not Urgent & Not Important).

Even Quadrant 3 (Urgent & Not Important) can be easily restricted with a little awareness that not every ringing phone needs to be answered, and not every email needs an immediate reply.

Understand The Difference Between Quadrants One and Two

What sets the companies that consistently excel apart from bottle-rocket companies that have quick success but high turnover and high stress is how they differentiate between Quadrant 1 (Important & Urgent) and Quadrant 2 (Important & Not Urgent).

Quadrant 1 companies always chase the next best thing and ultimately sacrifice restoration for progress, direction for speed, and passion for profit.

Quadrant 2 companies deal with the obstacles that arise and are aware of their business’ bottom line, but their primary focus is the bigger picture and what ensures long term success.

Rise Interactive

Rise Interactive, for example, is a Quadrant 2 agency. The agency has an internal Employee Services team that is dedicated to making Rise a positive place to work by ensuring the employees are well supported, trained, and prepared.

Of course it’s a goal to generate sales,” says Rise’s Director of Marketing, Brad Messinger. “But employees are critical to the long-term success of the company.”

As a result of their Quadrant 2 focus, Rise Interactive has won multiple awards for work culture as well and client results. In just eight years, the originally self-funded $10,000 company has grown to a multi-million dollar business.

Home Depot

Similarly, Home Depot has overlooked current obstacles in favor of future success. The SEO team was self-described as overburdened and understaffed when they started their Market Motive training. They knew, though, that they didn’t need to sacrifice their current responsibilities for the future success – it was a matter of time management and prioritization.

They have X, Y, and Z on their plate that are prioritized one, two, and three,” shared Sean Kainec, Head of SEO & Senior Manager. “Training came fourth, but I still made it an important priority. I held them accountable. It wasn’t something that they could get by. [. . . ] Training was important, we were paying for it, and that’s why I wanted them to get it done.”

Despite the time crunch and heavy work load, the twelve person team went through thirty-six certification courses combined, expanded their capabilities, raised the team’s level of competence, and placed in Market Motive’s Top Digital Marketing Teams for 2013. All while successfully maintaining the SEO for Home Depot, which is no small feat.

With Luck, You’re In Quadrant Two

We hope your that your training is not urgent. We hope that you haven’t hit some sort of rock-bottom that made you realize your marketing team is ill-equipped for the quickly changing industry. We hope (for your sake!) that we are a Quadrant 2 priority.

We hope (also for your sake and the future of your company) that you focus on the second quadrant.

It will never be a good time to train. There will always be urgencies that seem to be pressing – a big account that’s going to close, a new product that’s coming out, a reorganization that’s about to happen, a reorganization that just happened. But the bottom line is, the timing will always be bad, so bad timing doesn’t matter.

Here’s The Right Question

The right question isn’t, “Is today a convenient time to train my team?”

We’ll answer that for you: Probably not. (But if it is, great! Seize the moment!)

The right question is, “Is tomorrow a convenient time for my team to lack skills?”

. . . Probably not.

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