January 22, 2014

“He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.” (Harold Wilson, former British prime minister)

“Successful businesses have always adapted readily to change, but at no time in living memory — and likely at no point in history — has adaptability been a more desirable business trait than it is today.

Given our recent economic difficulties, in combination with accelerating technological sophistication, change occurs almost daily — whether we want it to or not.

The greatest obstacle to necessary change is a reluctance to modify or abandon procedures that have become familiar and comforting. But a flexible, agile organization has no choice but to change in the face of reality.” (‘Outgrowing the Old’ by Laura Stack, TLNT, The Business of HR)

In Training & Development we are seeing change coming in the form of technology learning solutions. Today, with the emergence of e-Learning, business is making significant investments in the many advantages offered by multi-sensory training.

Yes, there are still some “covered wagon” holdouts — organizations that stubbornly hold onto the old lecture/workbook classroom instruction. Fortunately, there are fewer and fewer of those organizations that remain blind to the fact that close to half of our workforce cannot comprehend anything written beyond a 4th grade reading level.

So, what force separates the winners from the losers?

The same force that has shaped survivors throughout history — change!

Since the beginning of time, it has been those who have learned to adapt to change who have prospered.

A successful company needs managers and planners who can see the potential of the changes taking place around the organization — and, then, be able to utilize that potential for meeting company goals.

And, a successful company needs skilled employees at many levels to implement change, operate new technologies, and keep systems operating.

There is no longer a question of whether to train. Today, the question is how to provide training that is both effective and efficient. And, all the answers point toward the use of multi-sensory learning (built around full-motion video and optional word-for-word audio) as the centerpiece in effective instruction.

Training should be results-oriented. It starts with a company’s goals and works through the organization to define and construct a system that delivers the desired results.

Selecting a quality training program requires both a familiarity with content and an understanding of how to communicate that content to a workforce that has grown up in a media-based learning culture. If it’s not multi-sensory based, you’re missing the window of opportunity.

And as we noted earlier, technology training has evolved and the result has been a renewed focus on learning rather than on an insistence to remain wedded to the old lecture/reading classroom instruction. What works now is dramatically different than what most of us encountered when we began our own education many years ago.

You need to stay alert. A failure to recognize change and/or a failure to successfully adapt to change can be an organization’s undoing.

More on Monday – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder
ITC Learning (Mondays & Wednesdays)