The Case for the Training Enterprise Many corporations have transformed their meeting planning departments from cost centers to profit centers, with event planners in effect selling their services to the departments that need them. Running Training Like a Business (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 1999) argues for a similar transformation of the traditional training and development department.

The authors, David van Adelsberg and Edward Trolley, executives at Boston-based Forum Corp., believe an in-house training department is more effective and efficient if it is run as a business rather than as a function because then it "adopts the values of its customers and eliminates the ambiguities that have clouded its mission. Training's mission becomes unashamedly economic. ... Business education is a means to business results, not an end in itself."

The 210-page book first makes the case for pulling training into the mainstream business environment and then lays out a strategy for making that transformation. A lengthy questionnaire in an appendix is there to help companies assess the state of their training and development.