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How do you view deferring important training to future dates?


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

How do you view deferring important training to future dates?​

  • Totally unacceptable: When there’s a skill gap, fill it immediately.: 14%
  • Not a good idea: Only defer training if there’s a critical reason.: 80%
  • Not a big deal: It’s OK if it’s deferred. We’ll get to it eventually:  2%
  • Totally fine: Training is pretty low priority: 2%
  • Who cares? Training is just a waste of time: 1%

Waiting causes issues. If there’s a skill gap in your organization, it’s clear the consensus is to fill it and conduct the necessary training. While many of you believe that, in my 12+ years of providing training programs, all too often I’ve seen folks not walk this talk. Budgets, “I’m busy,” and other arbitrary metrics get in the way and cause delays on a consistent basis. The next time you’re facing a deferral of training, think hard about how suffering with the skill gap your facing for another three to six months will impact your organization. Ask yourself if it’s worth the wait. If not, go to bat for holding the training and resolving the skill shortfall sooner rather than later. I’ve pushed this point in the past and some leaders have gotten the message. Unfortunately there are many others who bow to the pressures of delaying required training.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. His is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He’s the author of three leadership books: “One Piece of Paper,” “Lead Inside the Box,” and “The Elegant Pitch.”