by Michael Allen, CEO, Allen Interactions
I don’t think you often see a turning point as you work through it; rather, it appears certain only in retrospect. But I think I’m beginning to see that we have turned onto a new path in e-learning. And that turning point may have happened as recently as in 2009.
The new path I think we’re on is actually turning to e-learning not just as a cost-saving measure, but as a strategic tool to accomplish competitive corporate objectives. Fantastic!
It’s not that there haven’t been articulate advocates. Many years ago, my esteemed friend and industry colleague, Clark Aldrich, delivered a conference keynote presentation that was as insightful as it was entertaining. He pointed out that few training directors become CEO’s. Training hasn’t been the path to the top. Rather than having “a seat at the corporate table”, training has been considered an inconvenient necessity and expense to be conveniently cut in bad economic periods. Many followed Clark’s admonishment that in order to have influence, trainers need to talk not in training terms but in financial and strategic corporate language just to be heard.
Training budgets have traditionally been the first budgets to be cut as we would have expected to see again during these frightful economic disasters, but as we look back at the year—a year of opportunities with many major new clients and exciting strategic e-learning projects, we see corporate leaders actually beginning to talk our language: behavioral change, content mastery, collaborative learning, informal learning, and performance enhancement. Wow! Are we seeing training budgets actually increase in order to meet important challenges and goals? It appears so!
Was 2009 the year that training finally became a member of corporate leadership, not just an unfortunate expense? I guess we’ll see in 2010. Keep your fingers crossed!
I wish everyone a healthy and profitable 2010! It’s looking like an exciting year, indeed!