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Training with a Twist

31st August 2008

By Smriti Daniel, Pix by M.A Pushpa Kumara

Training programmes come in all shapes and sizes. Brace yourself though, because this one won’t have you rowing for dear life in the white waters off Kithulgala, or holding hands with the guy you hate from accounts; there will be no ‘feedback’ to fake for your immediate superior, and unfortunately, no breaks for weak tea and sandwiches. What there will be, however, is laughter and some very handy lessons – or so say 3rd wave consulting, whose M.D Stefan Moraes is collaborating with playwright Indu Dharmasena and trainer/lecturer Sanjeev Jayaratnam to bring you Fast Track.

It’s easy to confuse the programme with a play – which it is most emphatically is not, says Stefan, it’s just a training program delivered through a new medium. For their first performance, the team has come up with a novel way of teaching us all the benefits of time management. A play, written and directed by Indu will be used to illustrate the mistakes we most often make, and some of the steps we can take to rectify them. Sanjeev and Stefan will play the facilitators to Indu’s team of hapless incompetents in this round of Management theatre. Sanjeev and Stefan have plenty of experience in corporate training and it is after the first play that their expertise will be on display in an interactive forum session. Explaining that the evening will end with a re-enactment of the event, Sanjeev says the second time around will be different because things will be done right. The creators hope that this particular format will allow audiences to witness firsthand the practical difference time management principles can make to their day.

The event – which will last 3 hours – represents a dramatic transformation in the way 3rd wave consulting approaches training. In fact, this type of Management theatre is not only a first for Sri Lanka, it may very well be a first in the world, says Stefan. With this, their emphasis shifts from waiting for companies to fund employee training, to handing over the reins to the employees themselves.

It’s a tempting proposition, particularly in these times of doom and gloom, where even large companies seem to be cutting corners wherever they can. The program’s easy accessibility is designed to empower ambitious employees. In fact, the appeal is pretty much universal. You may be a student, a young entrepreneur or a manager in a large company, with a correspondingly different job description, and still find something that you can apply to your work, says Sanjeev, adding that the tickets have been carefully priced, with an emphasis on affordability.

The outstanding advantage of these training programs, however, may very well be that they are rooted firmly in a Sri Lankan context. Home grown, they have a distinct advantage over programs shipped in from India or Europe. As always, Indu, who is known for his wicked sense of humour, and ability to satirize our most secret foibles, can be trusted to pick up on the nitty gritty of intra-office politics and inefficiency. And though you may laugh, he’s hopes to make sure that you learn as well.

The new program comes with a plethora of little benefits. Participants will be provided a training pack containing key information covered in the programme. Afterwards, you will be provided with a synopsis of the entire program. The whole thing is customizable on request for your organisation, and specially discounted tickets can be bought in bulk. It saves you time! Instead of spending a day yawning into your notes, you need only attend one 3 hour training session.

If you have time management down pat, keep an eye out because Fast Track intends to address a new area of concern each time. Whenever you choose to attend, you will probably become familiar with Sanjeev’s new jingle (incidentally he is also the leader of the choir The Revelations) composed especially for Fast Track. Somewhat less novel but offering much in the way of convenience is the company’s new ‘hotlines’ that run 24/7 and are open to those who have questions both before and after the program.

Assisting the three creators of the event, are Shameera Leitan, Huzeifa Adamally and Arshad Ahmed; and enacting the play itself are a cast of experienced actors that includes Michelle Herft, Sanwada Abeysirigunawardena, Priyanka Holsinger, and Rajeev Ponweera.

Fast Track: Time Management will be on at the Lionel Wendt on the September 4–5 from 6pm onwards. Tickets are currently available at the Wendt and are priced at Rs3,500/-, Rs2,500/-, and Rs1000/-. Sponsors for the event: EFM (Electronic Media Partner) and Z World (Official Viral Marketer). The print media sponsors for the event are the Daily Mirror and The Sunday Times.

For details of reservations and other information contact Arshad – +94 77 354 0000 and Roshan – +94 71 481 1878. There are Parking facilities available at the Women’s International Club.

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