Training Industry Quarterly - Fall 2008 - (Page 45)

CLOSING ARGUMENTS | TIM SOSBE PRACTICALLY SPEAKING, WITHOUT SOME SORT OF INTERNAL GUIDANCE MECHANISM, YOU WOULDN’T STILL BE NAVIGATING THE CORPORATE WATERS. DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOU’RE GOING TO? O nce again, it’s my happy job to pull together the thoughts in this issue into some sort of message that makes the random seem planned, the loose item seem part of a grand collection, the thread of an idea resemble a comfy quilt. And this issue, it all starts with a quote. “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” Take a moment to do a quick Google search if you’d like, and you’ll see that familiar quote attributed to a wide variety of authors, from Lewis Carroll to Mark Twain, and to a variety of sources, from “The Wizard of Oz” to the Koran. But really, when a quote’s that good, does it truly matter who said it first? Training Industry recently wrapped its fifth annual Managed Learning Services conference, and that quote became the unofficial core of many presentations since it was first cited by opening keynote speaker Steve Uzell, a former National Geographic photographer. Several additional speakers picked up on the thought, and adapted it to their subsequent messages. As it turns out, that thought fits this issue of Training Industry Quarterly as well. Start back at the beginning of the book, and see how guest editor Ed Cohen cites the increasing globalization mandated by increasing economic troubles. If you don’t know where you’re going in hard financial times, guess where you’ll be when conditions level off? The thought continued in our features, spotlighting the promise of new technologies, the value of informal learning and the need to carefully align and orchestrate resources. If you don’t know where you’re going in a brave new world of tools, how can you build anything lasting? You can even see that special thought in this issue’s Focal Point column, focusing this time on customer training’s role in raising satisfaction and retention. Look at it this way: If you don’t know where – or why – your customers are going, don’t be surprised if your training dollars follow them to a new location. It’s funny that a National Geographic photographer sparked that shared thought at our conference, because the learning profession requires so many skills one would associate with that preeminent travel and culture magazine. First, learning leaders have to be cartographers, able to map the business landscape, and connect it with the civilization beyond the corporate borders. Second, they must be explorers, charting new territories, seeking out new ideas, discovering potential and creating opportunity. And, of course, learning leaders must be scientists, historians, conservationists and creators. You can also get a nice sense of direction in this issue's Casebook article, spotlighting in part the role that technology-enabled learning, specifically simulations, play in aviation training for the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard. In that instance, technology doesn't just enable flight training, it saves lives and cuts costs in spectacular fashion. If you don't know where you're going while in a cockpit, the flight simulator becomes a really good idea. For better or worse, we’re heading into new territory. It may not exactly be uncharted, it may even be just a variation on the same theme educators dealt with back when the new and exciting learning tools were colorful pigments dashed onto cave walls. But it’s a journey nonetheless. Naturally, the answer to this column’s headline question is yes, you do know where you’re going. Practically speaking, without some sort of internal guidance mechanism, you wouldn’t still be navigating the corporate waters. But the alternate reality is you don’t know what’s around the next bend in the river, or even when that bend will become visible on the horizon. Business, like life, thrives on the unexpected, the next big thing, the looming battle, the temporary victory. Want a little homework to complete this geography lesson? Take a moment to reflect on where you’ve been, where you think you’re going and where you could be headed. When you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. When you do know where you’re going, roads are just one option. Happy trails, like Roy Rogers said, until we meet again. Tim Sosbe is editor of Training Industry Quarterly ezine and general manager of webinars for Training Industry, Inc. E-mail Tim at 45 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