Training Industry Quarterly - Summer 2009 - (Page 36)

CLOSING ARGUMENTS | TIM SOSBE THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT WAYS TO REACH A DESIRED GOAL THE ART OF COMMUNICATION There is more than one way to skin a cat. Animal cruelty aside, that sentiment is an easily understood idiom, a cliché way to state a simple truth: There are many different ways to reach a desired goal. That’s a message trainers know all too well, a lesson that explains different learning styles, new technologies and the need for multiple modalities. In the business world, where ideas get run up flagpoles, budgets get squeezed as tight as pennies get pinched and products fly off shelves, the cliché is a prime means of communication. But in the spirit of “don’t believe everything you hear,” let me point out a few cliché ideas that learning professionals should be a little cautious of: ■ You can’t teach old dogs new tricks. Baloney. Dogs experience a lifetime of learning, just like humans do, and any learner is capable of learning any lesson. Wait until you get a Twitter message from your parents. ■ If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. I used to agree with this one, but then I remembered how e-mail made communications quicker, even though the phone worked fine. Preserve what needs preserving in your office, but don’t forget that better mousetraps do get discovered. ■ Too many cooks spoil the broth. This is another one to take with a grain of salt (I’m not even sure what that means). While it’s true there needs to be order and accountability in any process, remember the lesson of “Horton Hears a Who”— even the smallest voice has something to 36 contribute. A lot of people call this brainstorming, or just good business. ■ Don’t cry over spilt milk. I’ll agree with this one to a point. What’s done is done, of course, and you can’t make the river run backward. But if crying a little bit helps you to remember the metaphorical milk you’ve spilt, you’ll end up keeping a firmer grip on the carton next time you’re pouring. ■ It’s not the quality, it’s the quantity. Let’s hit that word again: Baloney. I’ll fight this cliché with another: Measure twice, cut once. Or put it this way: Would you rather your learners go through one great class that contributes to the business, or an entire catalog of courses that offer nothing? Of course, there are clichés that are worth keeping in mind too. When it comes to making decisions, you better shop around. When things do go wrong, it’s true that every cloud has a silver lining. When you fail to plan, you better plan to fail. And despite your best efforts, Mama did say there’d be days like this. Roll with the punches, live and learn, try, try again, and never say never. Whatever. It’s all good. Tim Sosbe is editorial director of Training Industry Quarterly and general manager of webinars for Training Industry, Inc. You can e-mail Tim at Training Industry Quarterly, Summer 2009 / A Training Industry, Inc. ezine /

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

Training Industry Quarterly - Summer 2009
From Where I Sit
At the Editor’s Desk
Winning Organizations Through People
Learning Technologies
Performance & Productivity
What Lies Ahead: The Next Evolution of Learning Leaders
Publish or Perish: The Crucial Component of Communication
The Strategic Value of Customer Training
Newell Rubbermaid: A Fresh Approach to Learning
Four Keys to Developing Great Content
Closing Arguments

Training Industry Quarterly - Summer 2009