Putting together the Intraternship team

The last three emails have discussed how the average rate of staff turnover can have a major impact on corporate memory (link) and how this memory can be retained and improved through emulation that encourages innovation from all participants in the Intraternship programme.   The final email introduced the EXCHANGE methodology, a recognised train-the-trainer process.

The following story highlights this process.

A toothpaste factory faced a recurring issue: shipping boxes without toothpaste inside. This problem was affecting their relationship with customers and their overall brand reputation.

The company’s leadership decided to tackle this by investing in a high-tech solution involving precision scales that would detect the weight of each box. After several strategy sessions and board meetings, a costly, elaborate system was set up to alert staff to discrepancies, halting production until the issue was resolved.

Six months and several millions later, the system was in place, initially catching many empty boxes. The CEO was pleased; the investment was already paying dividends. However, a few weeks into the operation, the number of alerts suddenly dropped to zero – an unexpected perfection that puzzled everyone. Upon visiting the factory, the CEO found the solution wasn’t the multi-million-dollar system, but a simple $20 desk fan set up by a young maintenance worker.  The employee had gotten tired of getting up to remove each empty container whenever the bell rang, so they had positioned the fan to blow any empty boxes off the conveyor before they even reached the expensive new scale!

A simple yet effective solution that highlights an essential lesson: great ideas can come from anywhere within your organisation.

In this case, the CEO has learned something from a junior staff member who developed a simple solution to what was perceived as a complex problem. 

It seems that if the Intraternship only looks at training people that fall down the hierarchy then it’s not fulfilling its ultimate role as a distributor of innovations. Suppose you consider that a CEO/executive person will only spend four years in their position then their involvement in this programme as an Intratern is vital.  By taking part the CEO will gain valuable knowledge about the company.

Who are the best Intraterns to be trained by the trainer?

  1. Reports to the trainer
  2. Co-workers on the same level whose function is linked to the trainer’s function
  3. Salespeople
  4. People above the trainer in the corporate hierarchy

We have found that the total number of Intraterns on an Intraternship can be no more than 20 people.  People can be on more than one Intraternship at a time.

If you find this email interesting and can think of anyone else who might find the content relevant please forward it to them.  If you want more relevant content, please register on the RISE Training website.

Rudolf Rautenbach
Rudolf Rautenbach
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