In all of the formal learning industries, including training and
education, we have to teach the basic stuff, and we have to put out
fires. We have to teach people how to use a portal, or create
adequate footnotes. We have to get them their new password. A new
compliance law pops up and we have to develop content to deal with
But what amazes me is how many people think that is enough. We have
gone from tolerating the minutia on the way to greatness to
relishing in the minutia.
We have metaphorically inherited our parent's business, and our
satisfied with stripping away the vision, the R&D, the
new projects, the passion, and prop up the cash cows as they slowly
dwindle away. Then we complain that we are not respected, or
influential, or growing. We grab onto hot trends, not because we
have any urge to implement them, but because we can talk about them
with ourselves and customers to keep their interest for a week. "I
discuss n technology, but really all customers want is n-1" one
vendor told me. What he was really delivering was n-10.
For 90% of the people I meet in this industry, my dominant question
really is, what is your excuse for mediocrity? Budgets? Not enough
support? Love the small stuff? You're new here? Don't want to take
risks? Worry that you will fail? Hate doing pilots? Don't know how
to evaluate results? Always working on something else that doesn't
help anyone but has to get done? That is the job of the
other training group? No one will return your calls? Think
the biggest skill based problem in your organization really is
using the advanced features in PowerPoint? The meanies over in IT
won't let you touch anything? Too busy to do your job because you
are doing other people's job?
By the way, for the other 10% of the industry, with whom many I
have had the pleasure of working, thank you so, so much. I deeply
respect all of you, and remain your humble servant.