Training Industry Quarterly - Fall 2008 - (Page 3)

AT THE EDITOR’S DESK | ED COHEN COMPANIES THAT TREAT THEIR PEOPLE WELL, EVEN DURING DIFFICULT TIMES, WILL BE THE LONG-TERM WINNERS. WEATHER THIS STORM, PREPARE FOR THE NEXT W e are faced with what is being described as an economic downturn, although some see it more as a free fall with no idea how close to the ground the parachute will open. One thing history tells us is that the parachute will open. Rest assured, this economic cycle, as all in the past have, will come to an end. The survivors will pick up, then innovate their way up the value chain and economic stability will again emerge. We have seen this cycle many times. The Great Depression of 1929, Black Monday, Oct. 19, 1987, the Asian financial crisis of 1997, as well as the period post-Sept. 11, 2001. Each time the world’s economy has fallen followed by a steady rise as industries consolidated along with new industries born. Learning leaders are going to face some difficult times ahead with pressure to cut back on learning investments and potential for freezes on spending including travel. This means we will have to innovate like never before, maximizing technology and other means of delivering learning while helping to salvage the bottom line. Throughout this period of economic uncertainly, there will be many distractions, Be warned, there is another storm waiting, brewing, growing, right as the economic storm passes. This storm has been brewing for years and has the potential to derail businesses around the world. Some are calling it the “perfect storm,” the convergence of multiple storms that when they collide, cause massive amounts of destruction and damage. Retirements of the baby boomers in developed countries, aging populations worldwide because of declining birth rates, longer average life spans, a widening skills gap and insufficient numbers of people entering the workforce are all factors that, when combined, are leading to this “perfect storm.” This storm will threaten every type of industry and employee group. We are receiving many such storm warnings from all over the world. The question is, will global leaders heed these warnings, or will they ignore them the same ways we’ve seen before? Our current economic crisis may slow the impact of the “perfect storm” but will not stop it. We will be faced with a skill gap never seen before, a leadership gap due to retirements and an entry skilled worker gap — all of which will occur simultaneously. This Month’s Guest Editor Ed Cohen is chief learning officer for Satyam Computer Services in Hyderabad, India and author of Leadership Without Borders, published 2007, by John Wiley and Sons. Ed has been directing organizational, training and employee development services for almost a quarter century, continuously exploring and developing new methodologies and programs in tune with customer expectations. Prior to Satyam, Ed was eight years with Booz Allen Hamilton, where he was founder and strategic leader of its corporate university. E-mail Ed at Know someone who’d make an outstanding guest editor? Interested in becoming one yourself? Contact us at Here are a few thoughts to consider as we mitigate the damages from the current storm while continuing to prepare for the even larger “perfect storm.” ■ Eliminate the word “outsourcing” from your vocabulary. Instead, call it “global sourcing.” Companies will find stability in having work done where skilled labor is available. It is not about taking jobs from one to give to another, it is about utilizing knowledge workers from around the world. ■ Even though hiring is slowed and there may be layoffs, companies need to continue to “do the right thing” to emerge or remain an employer of choice. ■ Companies wishing to attract and retain talent should assess how they currently treat their employees. Companies that treat their people well, even during difficult times, will be the long term winners. Companies that treat their people poorly during tough economic times will lose their best people to the winners as soon as the parachute opens. 3 Training Industry Quarterly, Fall 2008 / A Training Industry, Inc. ezine /

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Quarterly - Fall 2008

Training Industry Quarterly - Fall 2008
At the Editor's Desk
Ezine Email
Winning Organizations Through People
Before You Buy...
Learning Technologies
Informal Learning: Embracing Web 2.0
Leveraging Cutting-Edge Technologies for Learning
Reshaping the Learning Function to Think and Act Globally
The Importance and Growth of Customer Training
Meet Josh Blair
Meet Bob Dean
Meet Mark Myette
Training America's High-Flying Heroes
Closing Arguments

Training Industry Quarterly - Fall 2008