Knowledge Center

Three Keys to Consider for a Successful Global Training Initiative

By Andrea McOwen

When companies decide to do training and development, most of them decide to do it globally, and in our experience, we've noticed that there are three really key things that you need to consider if you're going to do a successful global training initiative. The first one is get local input, and when I say that, I mean get input from people who really understand the audience. When you look at the needs of a sales force, for example, in the United States, it could be very different than a sales force in Asia or another part of the world. So get local input, and talk to people on your team who really know the needs of the audience so that you can tailor that training specifically to them.

Susan Hall: 00:01  You know, Andrea, I think that is so critical. I can't tell you how many times I've seen organizations just frustrated. Having a bad, past experience trying to deploy globally and it's typically an American company that takes an American program and just figures, “Well we've got people, maybe English isn't their native language, but they speak English, so we're just going to deliver this, and we'll have a global program,” and what they've done is, they've taken an American program, and they've just kind of plopped it into different regions, and then they wonder why people aren't engaged and it doesn't stick. So, it's so critical to involve those different regions and involve them early on in the process so that they're engaged, and they have an opportunity to shape the solution as well.

Bob Parks: 01:39  It's also really important to, once you decide to move forward to make sure that you have identified local facilitators and understand the local language because, in so many countries there might be three or four different local languages, and you need to be sure that whoever is teaching it, understands the language and understands the culture. I can't reinforce anymore, the whole idea that you need to get the other regions involved, and you need to get them involved early. So when you are starting to plan, before you develop your program, you need to get people on your team from other regions, so that it truly has the effect of being a global program and not an American program that we're sending around the world.

Andrea McOwen: 02:25  One of the things I think I hear a lot of companies say is, "Well, all of our people speak English," and that's true, I'm sure. However, language can be a barrier, and if you want to remove that barrier, so that the learning really happens, do it in the local language so that they don't have to overcome one barrier in terms of language.

Joane Ramsey: 02:44  I think it's also important to take into consideration culture because cultures are very different across the globe. Sometimes we tend to be comfortable in our own skin, and we think that things are moving along, and we have directives, and we forget that in different regions things are done differently. Being a native of Brazil, I recall moving here and having to adapt to the way Americans did business. It was very different. So I think that's very important as well.

Andrea McOwen: 03:13  I think so too. I had some recent conversations with some clients who were getting ready to do a global rollout, and one was in the UK and one was in Asia. One of the very first things I said to them was, "I want you to understand that we're not going to do this class in English. We're not going to send a facilitator from the United States over there to teach the class." It was a phone conversation, but I could actually hear the sigh of relief, "Oh, thank you," because they're so used to that happening, and it's refreshing when you do it the right way.

Susan Hall: 03:43  I think it's respectful and it sends a message to those different regions that you're not outliers, "You are an important part of our organization," and that's such a powerful message to send.

Andrea McOwen: 03:58  It is. Well, so I think we have our three points, just to wrap things up, is make sure you get local input so that you really understand the needs of your specific audiences in different parts of the world, early on. Secondly, local language, local facilitator, we can't say that enough. And then finally, culturally adapt, make sure it fits your audience and their business environments and if you do that, you'll have a successful global roll-out.

Best of luck and let me know how I can help you achieve more effective training!

Published: June 8, 2018


Andrea McOwen


Andrea McOwen has over 30 years of business experience and has been with Strategic Enhancement Group for 28 years. As the President of Strategic Enhancement Group she is leading the day to day and future direction of the company. Andrea manages the business relationships with Strategic Enhancement Group’s international business partners and coordinates the appropriate resources needed around the world to meet our global clients’ needs. Andrea has managed large global implementations for many diverse global clients and is experienced managing projects in 36 countries in every region of the world. Andrea has a strong foundation in sales, service and management. Andrea’s ability to quickly demonstrate an understanding of organizational issues, needs and priorities has gained her the confidence and trust of customers and employees alike. Andrea graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a B.S. degree in fashion merchandising/interior design with a minor in business administration. Prior to joining SEG she worked with a merchandise wholesaler in sales and marketing and was a General Manager in retail.

Recent Posts

Monthly Tips and Insights to Help Develop Your Best Sales Talent

Join over 1,100 professionals for the Strategic Insights Newsletter
Copyright Strategic Enhancement Group 2006-2023 All Rights Reserved
Site by Neuvocreate