Dale Carnegie is the only global training company that has received the ISO 9001 certification. The company engages with governments around the world, to understand the specific challenges that government employees face and provides solutions that deliver results. BusinessDay spoke with Patrick Nwakogo the Country Managing Director of Dale Carnegie Training Nigeria…excerpts.
How were you able to convince Dale Carnegie Training to come to Nigeria?
I would say a lot of factors made that happen. The company was already expanding its tentacles to new frontiers, and when I proposed to work with them to establish the Nigeria office, they were willing to engage in preliminary discussions, more so that all that the company does were well within my forte. If they had any doubts, those dissipated after they saw the business plan I drew up for the country. My presentation to the Leadership Team in New York must have been compelling, because a decision to hand me the right to establish the Nigeria office was made about one week after that. But then again, I know God had a hand in it.
What makes Dale Carnegie Training a unique training and management consulting firm
Dale Carnegie is the only global training company that has received the ISO 9001 certification, implying the highest and uniform quality in our processes and programme delivery across the globe. Our programmes are accredited by the American Accrediting Council for Continuing Education, listed in the Council for Higher Education, recommended by the American Council for Education for college credits and endorsed by so many other professional associations in the United States. We have a strong heritage – 100 plus years history. What we do works, that’s why we’ve lasted this long. The value we bring to clients has enabled us to maintain a very strong presence across the world over these years. We work with over 2800 Dale Carnegie certified trainers, in 30 languages, in almost 90 countries and over 180 locations and Additionally, global companies can develop their dispersed workforce by choosing from over 200 courses delivered Live Online, or blend online and classroom delivery.
Who are your typical clients
We work with forward-looking organisations, teams and individuals as well as governments. Our clients have included over 400 of the Fortune 500 companies as well as the world’s top educational institutions such Harvard Business School and London Business School. In all, more than 8 million people have attended our programmes, including some of the most successful and famous people in the world, such as billionaire investor Warren Buffet, former US President Lyndon Johnson and former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca, as well as some of Nigeria’s most successful individuals. A vast majority of professionals around the world also find our courses and certificate programmes to be a useful way of personally developing themselves and boosting their careers.
What do you have in the offering to position Dale Carnegie Training Nigeria ahead of the competition
Our focus here is more on bringing real value to the Nigerian people and organisations who have waited this long for Dale Carnegie to come to Nigeria rather than beating the competition. The value we bring is in our propriety delivery methodology that brings about permanent performance improvement in those who experience our programmes. However, part of the positioning you mentioned would include the fact that participants can attend some of our programmes here in Nigeria and receive certificates jointly from us and some US universities because of the alliances we have with those universities. Secondly, our presence in almost 90 countries around the world gives our clients the opportunity to attend our progammes in any of those countries if they miss training opportunities here in Nigeria or if they choose to add overseas experience to their training.
What are the areas of training that Dale Carnegie will focus on to benefit the Nigerian businesses and business owners
We cover many of the different areas of need in the workplace, more specifically 6 curriculum areas, including leadership development, sales effectiveness, customer service, team member engagement, presentation effectiveness and process improvement, all of which are necessary for business success. We also have our flagship programme, “The Dale Carnegie Course” that is the cornerstone of our success. Our assessment tools give us the advantage of being able to uncover and clarify the organisation, performance, and competency gaps our clients may have, which in turn enable us to customise effective solutions for those businesses. When we discover the business needs of a particular client cuts across two or three of those curriculum areas, we can often times customise programmes to reflect that.
What benefits do you foresee the organisation having on the Nigerian economy, especially as regards the workplace
There are several but I will mention just one. At Dale Carnegie, we help our clients “ignite workplace enthusiasm.” How do I mean? Our research shows that over 70% of people in the workplace are not fully engaged in their work. By this I mean they are not emotionally and psychologically invested in their jobs. The result is $11 billion dollars in lost revenues in US alone due to employee turnover, arising from people changing jobs because they were not engaged in their previous places of work. If the figures are this bad in US in spite of their sophistication, one can only imagine the situation here in Nigeria. Through our interventions, we show and help our clients reduce the percentage of their employees that are disengaged or only partially engaged at work. The impact can be massive when you consider the fact that companies with engaged employees outperform others by up to 202%. One can only imagine the increase in productivity levels in companies once we begin to deploy our expertise in this regard, and I am extremely excited about the prospects.
What does Dale Carnegie have to offer Nigeria’s Civil Service
Our progammes are not relevant only to businesses. Dale Carnegie engages with governments around the world, including civil servants. Dale Carnegie understands the specific challenges that government employees face and provides solutions that deliver results. I have been here long enough to know that some of the major issues confronting the civil service in Nigeria include how to attract the kind of people the sector needs to go to the next level and how to motivate those that are in there already. While the first doesn’t exactly fall within our immediate purview, we are well equipped to help deal with the second. We have been igniting workplace enthusiasm for over 100 years around the world. What we do for governments in the United States and elsewhere work and I see no reason why we cannot get the same results here in Nigeria. We are looking to work with ministers and other public officers that are looking to transform their ministries and agencies.
Many workers seek extra training as a way to cushion the shortcoming of our educational system. How far can this go in addressing the dearth of skills in the workplace
Unfortunately that approach is simply not a sustainable way to grow an economy. We must have a systematic approach to talent and intellectual development in the country, which will come by some sort of educational system overhaul, driven and supported by the government. What we have at the moment is the industrial-era type educational system that is now out-dated and grossly corrupted. But while we are waiting for the government to lead that system overhaul by setting appropriate policy guidelines, a few workers have taken the initiative to cushion the gap in knowledge through self-efforts. While I commend them for this, it is not the way we want to go as a country. We need to be more systematic than that. A key index of economic development is the quality of a country’s education, and in fact, education puts a cap on how much the economy develops.
In what other ways will DCT be adding value to the Nigeria economy
We will be setting up the DCT Academy, a “finishing school” project that will enable us partner with governments and relevant agencies, as a platform to boost the employability of their people. Companies that do not have academies of their own will also find ours to be a veritable platform to develop their people. The Academy graduates at end of their time at the DCT Academy will come off with world-class education, prepared for the workplace, with their certificates coming jointly from Dale Carnegie Training and partner universities in the United States. The more quality people we groom under this platform, the more they can contribute to the organisations they work for, and by extension the Nigerian economy.