I just got results back from two pilots with the goal of evaluating
the same, 15 hour training program.
In one pilot, the program sponsor cajoled a bunch of colleagues
into doing the program. He oversold the fun aspects of it, and
undersold the real work and time requirement required. Literally
less than 20% into the program, the coach had to (appropriately)
push on the participants for not doing any of the self-paced work,
the participants revolted, the pilot failed, and the program
sponsor lost credibility with peers.
In another pilot done during the same period, the program sponsor
found real people who would really benefit from the program, and
most matched the profiles of future students. The sponsor did a pre
360 on all of the participants, did the 15 hour program, and then
did a post 360's to evaluate the program. What they found was
incredible. The participants who went through the program went from
a pre-test of a "3" to a post-test of "4". That was an entire
standard deviation increase, and relatively unheard of for such a
program. The participants ranked it as one of their most important
growth experience in their professional life. The sponsor gained
incredible credibility with his managers, and the program is
I would say that all of our competencies, learning how to pilot may
be the most important, and most lacking.