My formal education was first in German literature and then later in business administration. What I know about training design, development and delivery I’ve learned through on-the-job practice and self study. I’ve gone to lots of seminars, designed hundreds of classes and workshops, and helped to implement effective training here at Zingerman’s. Along the way I’ve read many, many books. One of the most influential has been The Learning Alliance, co-authored by Ann Arbor consultant (and regular Zingerman’s customer) Stephen Gill. The ideas advanced in that book, which emphasizes that employee learning should be integrated into all aspects of the organization not just delegated to the “training department,” formed the basis for Bottom-Line Training™, Zingerman’s approach to training.
Ian Gurfield, Co-Founder of Ian's Pizza, is a long-time client and dear friend of ZingTrain.
Below, he shares how he came to learn about Visioning, what the process of writing his first Vision was like and the impact it's had on his business. And be sure to scroll down to to the end of this post to see his January 2018 Vision realized... it involves delicious Italian pizza!
Check it out below and prepared to be inspired!
Ask any Ann Arborite where to find a pair of shoes that are as comfortable as they are stylish, complete with a truly enjoyable shopping experience, and it’s more-than-likely that you’ll be guided to MAST Shoes.
OK. How many of you are willing to admit that you’ve experienced this scenario: You needed someone to train a new hire, automatically chose the person who was the best performer in the job that needed to be trained—and then were disappointed with the results? Unfortunately, it's likely that we’ve all done that at one time or another.
How do you welcome new hires into your organization? Do you hand them a uniform and point them in the general direction of the front counter? Do you have them attend several days of classroom training before they ever talk to a customer? Do they learn about your organization’s history and vision from someone in leadership? Or do they get their information from the disgruntled employees out on the back dock?
Back in 2007, when Zingerman’s wrote Zingerman’s 2020 Vision describing what the business would look like in the year 2020, we wrote that “we [Zingerman’s] have successfully quantified fun, measured fun, and improved our fun factor by at least 380% since 2007. We actively teach people how to have fun at work. We have games to increase the volume of fun we experience and reward ourselves with added fun.”
When business owners run into challenges that they’re not sure how to address—or know they can’t resolve on their own—they often start looking outside their organizations for expertise and resources. Two common places to look are consultants and trainers.