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Training Binders Suck (And The New Laws of Learning)

I was just touring a restaurant with a manager the other day and she said to me, “...And here’s our training manual! Ta Da! Look it’s all complete and perfect and we’ve got everything highlighted.” She handed me a binder that weighed about 11 pounds, which is coincidentally the same weight of my chips and salsa intake at any Mexican Restaurant I go to...but I digress. I said “Well it certainly is a very heavy binder." I cracked it open and I swear to you it creaked like the rusty door of a haunted house, or the door to your bedroom when you’re trying to sneak out without waking your wife because the Ben and Jerry’s Heath Bar Crunch is calling your name. Perhaps I should stop writing these blogs when I’m hungry. Anyhoo, the cover creaked because it hadn’t been used. She said, "Well we never usually have time for them to do everything, so I just print off copies of the stuff they get to keep or that has to be turned in. That way I don’t have to print off the whole book because it’s too expensive."

Once inside the binder itself, I couldn’t help but feel like I was being inundated with words. They were everywhere. No graphics. No exercises. Just page after page of text. So I began an immediate intervention and politely explained why training binders suck. No offense intended to the binder companies who may hire me one day. In this particular scenario though, they just do. So over the next couple of weeks I will be introducing my New Laws of Learning and explaining why binders suck. Notice I don’t say why I think binders suck. That’s because that would be an opinion when in actuality, it is a universal fact that training binders do indeed suck. They are bulky. They are chock full of things that no one needs but a lawyer included in order to cover their you-know-what. They are usually read aloud to you as you try not to doze off. If not, they are often given to you without any instruction or hints on how to use them. They are unnecessarily expensive and here's the real kicker. The types of employees we are hiring today, yes the dreaded Millennial word, in general, are not into reading large text-heavy binders full of information, some of which they may or may not ever use. Learning a new job and what you need to succeed early is hard enough without putting a bunch of pressure on day one. “Welcome aboard! Here’s your big @$$ binder! Have this memorized by tomorrow. There will be a quiz. We're glad you're here!" If at this point you've ever had anyone run screaming out of the building, now you know why.

So over the next couple of weeks I will be doing a multi-part series of The New Laws of Learning and we will continue our conversation about the sucktitude of all things binder. I am sure that’s a word.

As a preview, here are my New Laws of Learning:

1. Law of Blend.

2. Law of Repetition.

3. Law of Brevity.

4. Law of Desire.

5. Law of Fun.

6. Law of Last Seen.

7. Law of Real-World.

8. Law of Break The Rules.

So there they are in all their glory. Johns 8 New Laws of Learning. They can be applied no matter what business you are in and they can be added to fit to your company's current system as well. So my next blog topic will be, "The Law of Blend," where we take a look at how the blended approach to learning can still be an effective one if you blend correctly and with the right pieces. If you want some help on making your training binder, or any other programs, not suck, because they should not suck, feel free to drop me a line and we will talk about scheduling and logistics. Until then, I hope you have a great day and make it count.

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