Monday, November 20, 2006

Gold in the Rubble: Building an Effective Learning Environment for Business

I've been hearing complaints from many colleagues and clients about the lack of corporate training within their organizations. Sometimes they complain about the quality. Regardless, degree programs are being slashed, new hires are made project managers with no word on what to do, and even receptionists are not taught to answer the phone politely (forget helpfully).

Believe it or not, this could turn out to be very good news.

Stop Training and Start Teaching

I'm working with a colleague on a new ways of training that bypasses particular skill issues and get to the root of these challenges. If you need our services, by all means, get in touch.

However, lest this seem like shameless marketing, I'd like to encourage the competition just as strongly as potential clients. if you also are in the business of helping companies function properly, now is the time to move beyond a focus on particular skills to the roots of how people learn. And to change the experience of working everywhere.

One Solution

A colleague in Australia told me his company has already begun. At some point a few months ago, I suggested an induction program that rewards outside interests for new hires to ensure that they retain and develop resources from outside their jobs. Lasting and valued Networks as well as ideas tend to emerge rather than be organized conciously. Learning is associative, and so the more disparate interests one has, the more data points there are to combine for innovation. Also highly engaged people are more effective in the workplace (as well as happier in life, research shows).

My colleague's company rewards managers for supporting outside interests of those who work for them and make time for the latter to engage and develop their passions.

Make no mistake, this is not an groovy kind of community -- the people are all engineers, bent on proving things, focused on how things work.

Something in the Air?

With business leaders' despair about the range of inadequacy -- from ordinary skills to that of high-level innnovation, both, there is room now to experiment. Perhaps it's the spirit of the Web -- making the new capabilities of the Web work for you financially demandsd informed experimentation. We're in new territory and one that is seen as demanding personal engagement to run effectively.

Perhaps it's just that there is an empty space to fill, and new ideas are rising when before there were too many people crowding the room with the same old solutions.

Whatever it is, there is a lot of room for new ways of thinking. Now is the time to learn about what's possible.

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