Individualizing Education Planning and Training

Much of our work at Family and Business Success (FABS) empowers our clients by providing new information and processes that support their existing systems. From a very young age, I told anyone who listened that I wanted to grow up to be a teacher or a lawyer; well, I did both. Education is the business of my family of origin. Both of my parents, and multiple aunts and uncles, are in the business of education, and law was my journey into the development of my own identity. I graduated with a degree in secondary education in 1989 and with a Juris Prudes in law in 1992, acquiring the perfect combination of both sets of skills in family business advising, and I love it!

In the last two years, I have been exploring the creation of individualized education programs for our clients. Historically owners send their executives, managers, and staff to external learning programs. I believe owners should make uniquely tailored learning and training programs for internal education that supplements outside education opportunities. Individualized educational programs for their entire business systems will accelerate their learning objectives, create a unified vision for the plans, allow for team enhancement, and initiate bonding opportunities.

Although privately held businesses planning for the transition of ownership and management can benefit from external educational programs, all businesses can greatly benefit from tailored leadership guidelines, expectations, and educational programs to ensure and accelerate employee growth throughout the organization. The concepts listed below support all business systems, regardless of leadership style:

  • Leadership skills
  • Business financial accruement
  • Negotiation skills
  • Interpersonal communication skills
  • Industry awareness
  • Developing emotional intelligence
  • Governance abilities
  • Role awareness
  • Brand awareness
  • Values
  • Ethics
  • Establishing and nurturing relationships

When creating an educational process, the first step in the design process is determining the learning objectives. We encourage our clients to envision what skills would enhance their business by asking questions like what skills are the minimum required?  What are envisioned skills for the growth and continued improvement of all business cycles, and what will emerging leadership need that previous generation or owner did not? We then ask our clients what they do not want to see, which can also help shape learning objectives.

Once we have established the learning objectives, we explore creating a unique learning methodology for each employee to create a tailored approach for everyone. We don’t believe in a “one size fits all” model. We’ll design a method that works for every kind of learner to maximize success. The different styles of learners are:

  • Visual
  • Auditory
  • Print (think note-takers)
  • Tactile (hands-on)
  • Interactive (group projects)
  • Kinesthetic (must move to learn)

Our consultants then lend their expertise and knowledge surrounding the needs and requirements for learning these objectives. Most adult learners need to explore the subjects and concepts alone and in their own space before having group learning, and often need to know the why behind the exploration and education experience. Adult learners need to connect past experiences and expertise to the new topic to retain and own the new concepts.  We then need to have opportunities to apply concepts repeatedly to create new habits.

Once we understand our learning objectives and the type of learners we are interacting with, we then can create our lesson plans. Then we discuss what each business desires and needs to introduce the business and ownership developmental goals that are appropriate for the client group. Why should you and how should you bring in the next generation up and equip them with the proper leadership tools and expectations is a collaborative and individualized process. At FBCG, we believe every business has unique characteristics but common pain points that can be reduced or eliminated through education and system support.

Finally, we deliver our opportunities. When designing this section of the learning, we will explore pacing, creating platforms that allow for individual reading and exploration, what to provide remotely, and concepts that should be delivered through live in-person learning. Whether you are part of a partnership, closely held corporation or a multi-generational family owned business or an independent business owner, businesses of all types can significantly benefit from uniquely tailored, in-house educational programs to teach invaluable leadership traits and roles that will not only create a unified vision for the success of the company, but for employees as well.


An Interview with Amy Wirtz
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