Step away from the desk…
I spent an fruitful few hours with a colleague from another organization yesterday. I met her at a gathering of the Piedmont ASTD. When I asked to see some samples of her organization’s eLearning, she graciously invited me to her workplace to check out their authoring software and LMS.Seeing their work with an older version of Captivate interesting; we have considered purchasing it in the past and it was nice to see how real people in a similarly-sized organization are using. But the best part was having a free-ranging discussion about the training function in our organizations – organization, oversight, challenges. Our organizations have almost opposite structures for training, but very similar challenges. How do we get the biggest bang for the training buck? How do we meaningfully evaluate training? How do we get SMEs to take the training design, development and evaluation process seriously? How to do you find a balance between the cost-effectiveness of eLearning with the richness of classroom training?
We both had techniques, ideas and processes to deal with these challenges, but neither of us has the complete answer. Honestly, I don’t think anyone does. Each of the challenges are moving targets as the organization and technology change. But we both came away some with new ideas and tools. I don’t know about my colleague, but I also came away feeling invigorated and more excited about my work. It was clear that there are ways in which her organization is ahead of ours, but we’re also doing some good and great things, too.
And this is why it is good to step away from desk every once in a while, network with some folks outside of your organization, and take an opportunity to see your work through someone else’s eyes.