Friday, April 3, 2009

The changing face of the trainer

I was recently reading Jay Cross's article on the Chief Learning Officer on Getting Rid of the Training Department, followed by his post on New Roles for former trainers.

The following quote summarizes the whole thing quite nicely:

When my colleagues and I advocate cutting back on workshops and classes, we don’t suggest firing the instructors. Rather, we recommend redeploying them as connectors, wiki gardeners, internal publicists, news anchors, and performance consultants.


I agree that training, old style training, is mostly dead. Old style training was based on the fact that all learners come in with the same basic knowledge. This may still be true when new products are deployed and people need training on those new products, however most types of training that I've seen have been more along the lines of boutique-style-training (I think I invented the term a few years back when I started as a formal trainer).

Most people don't start from point A in their knowledge of subject X. Some people are more advanced, and some are at the beginning. One size fits all training doesn't cut it. In addition, in a work environment, people seek training in order to accomplish a task, for example someone wants to learn Access or Filemaker (or Bento) to be able to streamline some process in their department.

In my line of work I've also become an (informal) social media consultant. A lot of people are curious because their heard twitter-this, or Ning-that, but they don't know much about the topic and what it can do for them. In other cases people have a need for a solution but don't know how to tackle it. Training is one aspect of it, but if you don't know you need training in X, how will you seek help?

What do you think?

Shall we change our titles from Trainers to Personal Learning Consultants? :-)
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