Blog: Thomas Meloche

Thomas Meloche has been an entrepreneur for as long as he can remember. A native Detroiter and UofM grad, he co-founded, managed, and sold nine different start-ups in Michigan over 20 years, including the professional service firm, Menlo Innovations LLC. He is currently President of Procuit (pronounced Pro-Q-It) Inc.

Thomas will be writing about untapped Michigan potential, and more importantly, how to tap it!

Post No. 4

Training Budgets Waste or Total Waste?

If Michigan is interested in learning how to truly compete on a global scale, then we have to get dramatically smarter, about getting smarter.

Why is it that whenever the auto industry has a down-turn the first budget slashed is training? One week we want everyone to attend all of these important training seminars and the next week almost ALL of it is canceled. Why?

I have my own theory as to why training budgets are cut in this way. I propose this theory in the manner of a confession. You see, for most of the past 20 years I've been involved in some form of professional training. I have seen first hand what companies intuitively know, which is that a great deal of the money, time, and energy spent in professional training total is a TOTAL WASTE.

There, I said it, I feel better already.

Unfortunately, this also applies to most on-line training courses. The big difference between on-line training and live training in terms of results is simply that you waste less money with on-line training because you spend less for the course. Not a big win.

Here is a simple test to see how effective your training has been.

List, from memory, five facts you learned at your last all-day training course.

Thirty days after you take that on-line computer training lesson, do you remember even two things you learned?

I doubt it.

Research dating back to Ebbinghaus in 1885 shows us why. The reality is, we are great at forgetting. Perhaps it is time we start applying this research? Or, here's an idea, perhaps we can apply some of the additional research done in human cognition and memory that has been performed since 1885. We do have an additional 122 years of research we could be using. Have you ever read any of it? When I look at most professional training it is certainly clear that your trainers haven't!

Remarkably, whether teaching in schools or training in business, for the the most part, we ignore 122 years of research. We use old and wasteful training methods. Hey Detroit! Interested in learning how to slash your training budgets while achieving dramatically better training results? Want to ensure your employees actually gain and retain the skills and knowledge required to compete in the 21st century? Here is a hint.


Please stop doing that, it just makes me sick. In case you didn't notice, most people are BORED TO DEATH by PowerPoint presentations. Why do you think putting them on the Internet will suddenly make them more interesting?

There is a dramatically better way to provide training and education. Information worth learning should be properly reinforced so that it is retained and recalled long-term. Here is a thought, if you do training right, you should ACTUALLY REMEMBER WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED.

Oh, and an additional benefit of doing training right - if you change your tools and approach, most training sessions should not cost more than $10. Think Charles Shaw training: if you are paying more than $10 a bottle of training, you are paying too much. If your vendors are charging you more than that, get new vendors, or demand that they implement a better system, a system based on 122 years of research.

If Michigan is going to be competitive in the 21st Century we are going to have to have some of the most effective training and education programs on the planet. We can do this. First we have to be willing to admit that what we are currently doing is not good enough. Next, we have to change. The tools are ready. The time is right. The secrets are ready to be revealed.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you the secrets to dramatically reforming our education and training systems, including exactly what needs to change, how to change it, and where you can begin.