Monday, June 1, 2020

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SimplicityMy recent quest for simplicity and conservation in my personal life turned my thoughts toward how we can achieve more with less in our business, as well.

When trying to trim the fat, how do you choose what gets your time and other resources?

Read on to learn how we employ the Kirkpatrick Model to help us make these decisions.


Over the last year, I have inadvertently found myself gravitating towards a theme of conservation and simplicity. Perhaps because we are inundated with so much every day, I was seeking a shelter from the unending noise.


After reading
The Zero Waste Home, I got a Bobble to replace disposable water bottles, started composting our kitchen scraps with an electric composter, and much to the amusement of many local restaurants, started to bring our own washable, reusable to-go boxes for leftovers after a meal out with Jim. Further inspired by the best-seller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I cleaned out the house and donated a few big boxes of items we really do not need to local charities.

This got me thinking about what I might do to similarly clean up our business and our daily work. If you speak with Jim, he'll tell you that I have actually been doing this ever since we started Kirkpatrick Partners. Because we are a small company, we don't have a lot of resources, and we have many demands on our time. Employing the Kirkpatrick Model to our work and our lives helps us to make better, more purposeful decisions for ourselves and our business. We do believe that less is more, but only if you choose the right items.

Here is how we go about deciding what gets our time each day.

Level 4 Results: What are you really trying to accomplish?

We keep our purpose and mission top of mind when we decide how to spend our time. Our company Level 4 is to assist as many training professionals and the organizations they serve to accomplish their goals, and we do that through the products, programs and services we provide.

We are approached literally daily by people who want us to write an article, deliver a webinar, share ideas, contribute to their product, develop a new product….the list goes on and on. We consider these opportunities by thinking through what positive impact these projects could have on all of you. How many people would it really help? Will more people find out about the Kirkpatrick Model and come to us for guidance in implementing it? Will this cost money or make money in the short term and the long term? These factors help us to make good decisions with our limited resources.

We have found that people in training have hearts of gold; most of them have chosen the field because they want to help people. We have also seen that many training professionals help others at the cost of their own time, and sometimes even their own health. No one wants to be the person who says no. I encourage you this year to give it a try, but in a purposeful way.

When you are approached to create a new program, participate in a task force or otherwise add something to your already full plate, consider how it will contribute to the highest-level goals you and your organization are trying to accomplish. If the proposed project doesn’t make the cut, it is easier to say no and save your time for something more purposeful.

Action point: Identify the true Level 4 Result for your organization (not just your role, or your training department).

Next week, we will provide tips on how to determine if you can handle a given project or program within the available resources. 

Join the Discussion

How do you make important decisions about which projects get your time? We'd love to hear your ideas. Here are some ways to join the conversation:

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Additional Resources

Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program - Bronze Level

Training on Trial

How Do You Respond When Someone Asks You to Jump?

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