We often hear the term “Think outside the box.” If you have heard me speak or read the previous post on this topic you know that I am not a fan of ‘thinking outside the box’.
You live in a box world. Budgets, the law, policy, training standards, etc create boxes for you. Boxes provide both a structure and a framework within which you organize content.
You do however need to:
- Clean out the box to get rid of all the old and outdated crap.
- Get a bigger damn box.
I recently read a quote from Linda Resnick that made me think about this issue in a slightly different way. Resnick said, “Think inside the box. The answer to the problem lies within the problem itself.” What a great quote in so many ways.
For trainers the boxes are your course training standards, your lessons plans, policy, procedures, budgets, facilities, time and your own teaching style.
Is your tendency to look outside the box if your officers are not performing the way you would like them to? Be honest with yourself here. If so, what outside the box factors are are you blaming?
When you find yourself falling into this trap I challenge you to take a step back and ask yourself what inside the box solutions can might be available to you?
Training standards are often the focus of blame, and offer an easy out for trainers who say “we are restricted by the training standards”. Training standards are critical and form the foundation for the creation on lesson plans. Training standards generally determine curriculum while allowing for flexibility in delivery.
By looking inside the box you may discover you can change the delivery method or timing of the material and change your outcomes while still meeting the standards. It has been my experience that problems are most often caused by delivery, not content. The question then is how can you use the contents of the box differently? How can you deliver the contents of the box differently? How can you rearrange the order of the items in the box differently? We you look inside the box for the solution you might just be surprised at the results.