Training Industry Quarterly - Spring 2009 - (Page 36)

CLOSING ARGUMENTS | TIM SOSBE THE BRIGHTNESS AND OPTIMISM OF THE LEARNING DEPARTMENT CAN LEAD THE WAY TO A RE-ENERGIZED ORGANIZATION. VISUALIZING A BRIGHTER FUTURE Y ou may be one of those geographically lucky people, the types who’ve been watering flowers for weeks and already waking to the somehow-pleasant intrusion of a lawnmower on Saturday morning. But if you’re like me, chances are your area is just coming out of the long winter’s nap. Spring isn’t quite in town where I am, but it’s definitely on the bus headed this way. This is always a great time, isn’t it? But despite those summery thoughts, I’m not talking about sunny days and singing birds and packing away the parka. I’m talking about our professional worlds, and the sense of awakening we can see each spring in our professional lives. Am I wrong, or do you see it too? Do your learners come into the classroom with a certain bounce in their steps and an energy in their attitudes? Are the discussions in your online presentations livelier? Are you seeing more traffic on social networking sites or corporate university course lists? There’s just something in the air this time of year that makes learning more electric. Is it attitude? Is it instinct? Is it just the joy of trading in those earth tones for more vibrant colors? This year, with the grim economic news never seeming to end, we might expect a different level of Spring-like attitude. Some will be a little more reserved, a little more cautious. Others will embrace it more fervently, knowing that every day brings us one day closer to the inevitable recovery. So in that spirit of embracing the small gifts and focusing on the blessings in front of us, let’s “Think Spring.” Let’s all vow to look around our organizations, and let in a bit of light. At home, that process frequently starts with a good springcleaning. The doors and windows get thrown open and wiped down, the dust of winter gets shaken out, everything gets a fresh coat of whatever, and pretty soon, the old place is looking good again. The training department’s version of spring cleaning starts with the inventory and ends with innovation. That’s your mission for this season, should you choose to accept it. First, the inventory. Take some time with your team, and take a fresh look at your department, from top to bottom. Is your course list complete? Is everything as current as it should be? Are 36 there cost-savings opportunities in there that might not have been apparent a year ago (technology marches on, often in useful directions!)? Now factor in your team. What resources have you gained in the past year? What have you lost? How can you do more with what’s already in place? Remember that necessity is the mother of invention, and the manager who can bring new efficiencies to play becomes MVP material. Now comes the hard part. You know where you are, you know where you want to go. You know your resources and you know your perceived limitations. So now you have to marry those needs, those desires with your budget, your staffing, your potential. Writing once on the subject of courage, Eleanor Roosevelt penned deceptively simple advice: “You must do that which you think you cannot do.” Years later, some copywriter would take home a free pair of Nikes for shortening that to “Just do it.” Not to sound too Norman Vincent Peale-like, but positive change starts with visualized outcomes. Dream this Spring, and dream big. Tell yourself the only recession is the one the media is using to scare-monger up ratings and revenues. Set a goal that before summer, you’ll make your boss say “wow.” Just like the sparkling house can make everything seem possible, the brightness and optimism of the learning department can lead the way to a re-energized organization. All of this, of course, is easier said than done. But just like a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single footstep, the trip to a brighter future begins with the belief that such a wonderland does exist. And seriously, what’s the risk? If you plan for good times that never materialize, you’ll be better off having had the dream anyway. It’s like the old joke about the doctor prescribing ice cream for a backache: Will that help? It might, but it sure can’t hurt. Tim Sosbe is editor of Training Industry Quarterly ezine and general manager of webinars for Training Industry, Inc. E-mail Tim at Training Industry Quarterly, Spring 2009 / A Training Industry, Inc. ezine /

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Quarterly - Spring 2009

Training Industry Quarterly - Spring 2009
The American Heart Association: Learn and Live
Winning Organizations Through People
The Business of Learning
Learning Technologies
Best Practices for Certification Training
7 Strategies for Employee Self-Development
Learning Today: Collaborative, Social and Learner-Driven
Driving Corporate Performance through Learning Partnerships
Meet Dale Towery
Meet Milynda Weis
The American Heart Association: Learn and Live
Closing Arguments

Training Industry Quarterly - Spring 2009