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October 10, 2011 / davebirss

An open letter to freeloaders

Over the last couple of months I’ve had quite a few enquiries from people interested in workshops and talks through Additive. That’s great news! I’m always delighted to hear from companies who are interested in education and training. I’m pretty passionate about it, you see.

But many of these enquiries had one thing in common. The enquirers were expecting us to provide our services for free. And that’s not a price I’m very fond of.

So here’s a letter to those tight-arsed companies:

Dear Freeloader,

Thank you for your interest in using Additive to provide training for your organisation. Like you, we believe that education is absolutely vital if our industry is to remain relevant and effective in the world of business. However, it seems that we disagree over the actual value of it.

You see, the training we provide is designed to make an impact across your entire business. It gives you the skills to do more relevant work that will benefit your clients. It gives you the opportunity to pick up briefs beyond your current skillset. It helps you retain clients who are starting to look elsewhere for fresh approaches. It helps you hold on to restless but talented employees. So the idea of doing it for ‘free’ is not something we’re entirely comfortable with.

“It’s only a couple of hours of your time”, I hear you say. “We’ll even provide free coffee and biscuits for you while you’re here.”


“Well then, let us try you out first and we’ll pay you for any other sessions we book you for.”


“How about a few of us pop along to a talk you’re doing elsewhere?”

I’m sorry, but if you don’t put any value in training up front, the training won’t have any value. Education isn’t a dip-your-toe-in-the-water kinda thing. You either go for it or you don’t. Us teaching you stuff is just half the game – you acting on it is the other half. And if you lack this much commitment right now, I don’t see you having the commitment to put anything into practice.

May I suggest you start your own education with ‘Management for Dummies’.

Many thanks,


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