Wednesday, March 21

I'm a little verklempt!

Well in the spirit of community building and the voice of Jay Cross in my head ("just post it to the blog") I'm asking the community what happened this month with The Big Question. For the first five months of The Big Question we've averaged 24 post per month. Currently, March stands at 7 posts.

Help Tony and I examine the situation so we can make The Big Question as vibrant as possible. Did everyone just get busy with other things at the same time? Did you forget about TBQ this month? Did we forget to remind you? Was the question just not of interest to you? Did the Blogger "spam blog" snafu and resulting delay at the beginning of the month throw you off? Are those of you in northern climes suffering from seasonal duldrums (he asks from Palm Springs)?

I'd love to get feedback from as many of you as possible - whether you've contributed to TBQ in the past or not. TBQ has been a great feature to this point and this March sag may just be a blip. But why not discuss it. Process is a part of community building after all.

So in the words of Linda Richmond, "Alright, I'll will give you a topic. The March Big Question: Came in like a Lion and out like a Lamb. What's up with that? Talk amongst yourselves."


Harold Jarche said...

Yes, I'm busy but more importantly, the question was not of interest. And now I have to look up "verklempt" ...

Donald Clark said...

From what I have seen of various training industry reports, managers already get about 25% of the training budget. When you add on the approximately 15% that the executives get, then that means the leadership team is already sucking up close to half of the training budget. And I don't know of any organization that comes even close to that percentage of their staff being composed of the leadership team.

Thus personally, I did not think the question held that much relevance due to them already getting more than their fair share of the training resources. I know that their role is important, but with all the talk about their employees being the most important asset and organizational charts being turned upside down to put their employees on top. . .

Tony Karrer said...

First - let me say that I'm not as worried about the number of responses to the question, we are very likely to have some hits and misses. Nature of the beast. At the same time, I'm a bit surprised that there's not more response on this question.

Do people really think that there's not a lot we could be doing better with new manager training, development, support?

Harold - this question really spawns from what I thought was a great question at your session with Jay. Someone asked how informal learning might apply to new managers. I thought - wow, this is going to be great. Lots of good ideas will come out. And instead, we went onto something else. Does that mean that informal learning doesn't apply to new manager training? Or are we powerless to help make informal learning happen? What's the deal? Where's the answer?

Donald - that's a really interesting comment that I hadn't anticipated. I was hoping that there was pent up feelings that some of the 25% budget should be getting used for more effective solutions for managers. In other words, do you think that people are making smart choices of where to put that 25%.

This is getting me fired up again. :)

Anonymous said...

Just a very boring question really. Why not ask something more controversial like: “Does the proven effectiveness, relative low cost and clear market acceptance of Do It Yourself eLearning mean the end of the need for instructional designers?” That should get them fired up!

jay said...

One data point does not make a trend.

Tony Karrer said...

Anonymous - I like the question - but curious where you get - "proven effectiveness" and "clear market acceptance"?

Jay - what data point and what trend?

Tom Haskins said...

The more the subscribers to the LCB blog function as a value network, the less that community can be administered by individuals or accomplish objectives with centralized command & controls

The more the content of this blog depends on personal initiatives, the more open-sourced (leaderless, long tailed, Web 2.0) the structure is required to sustain those initiatives

The more the contributors to monthly Big Questions experience becoming democratized, the more we will expect to vote and exercise our rights.

The more the subscribers to this blog choose to subscribe to the blogs of the numerous contributors, the less significant the LCB Big Question will be -- in the ongoing conversations, explorations and other questions.

The more a topic gets talked out by blogging, the more we will be inclined to take action in the world with this new clarity, focus and intentionality -- and thus to blog less intensely.

Dave Lee said...

Awesome comments. Thanks everyone.

Jay: Absolutely, one data point does not make a trend. In my mind, this was the natural follow-up question to this month's question and responses. I'm not worried about a trend, just curious to see what's on peoples minds.

Donald: Thank you for the impassioned response. I think it is a legitimate response to The Big Question as well. Disagreeing with the basis of the question is always a fair line of debate.

Tom: it took me a read or two of your comment, but I agree with you. Oh to put metrics on the future of LCB. NOW I'm getting a little verklempt!

Harold, Donald, & Anonymous: thank you for you honesty that the question just wasn't of personal interest. While I agree with Tony that we can't please all the people, all the time. Lack of feedback like yours can lead us to the false perception that we are.

Harold: Verklempt = yiddish word meaning overcome with emotion. Probably an overstatement. But it opened the door for the Linda Richmond motif.

More feedback is a good thing!

Donald Clark said...

Hi Tony,
It looks as if there are about three different things being asked. The original attendee wanted to know how to blend the training. The Big Question was about supporting new managers. And now you are saying that there is a pent-up feeling to make management training more effective.

My original comment only applied to the "Big Question." And to blend something effectively, I believe you have to know many of the particulars. I don't really believe there is a "pent-up demand" (at least in general) to make management training more effective simply because of the high-percentage of resources that it already absorbs.

But if you really want to make it more effective, then concentrate on coaching and team training. I'm going to break management training into four layers - executive, upper-management, management, and supervisors. While you want to give all four levels both coaching and team training, you want to do it at different portions or ratios. The top levels should get the most coaching, while the lower levels should get the most team training.

And as far as team training -- the most effective team training is "cross training." And in the case of managers, it should be done with other departments so that they can effectively and efficiently learn how to make the products and services "flow" across the various system and process levels.

Anonymous said...

Someone was curious where I got- "proven effectiveness" and "clear market acceptance" from. Well I could say just one word to answer that: "google"... But really I just wrote it to inspire debate and generate more feed back. A "troll's" art to be sure...

Anonymous said...

What's the big deal with new managers? What about new CEOs? Or new technicians? Or new presidents of countries? Are they crippled that they need support? If it's learning that we are talking about, the responsibility lies with the one who wants to learn. And those who are interested in learning will learn in whichever environment through whatever means. But if it's teaching that we are talking about (or the management self-interest to arm them with a certain type of knowledge), then that's a different question.

Michele Eby said...

Some of the articles I write for my company's blog are geared toward new trainers, so that's the approach I took when I wrote a response this month (to be posted soon).

Not a controversial question. Perhaps even a bit basic. But, valuable nonetheless.

Not all questions will appeal to everyone all of the time, and that's okay. And, I too agree with Jay... one data point does not make a trend.

Eric said...

all blog

Anonymous said...

The question didn't really speak to me. I don't feel that I really have anything to offer as a good response to this month's question.

I know there is a whole industry that creates training related to project management, team building, leadership and communication. The only problem is finding a series that fits with the corporate values. I have taken a few of the courses, but have not been involved in developing or delivering courses for project managers.


Geetha Krishnan said...

There's one significant reason I did not respond: So far we've had "what" questions; now we have a "how to" question here. A bit too specific and narrow in focus perhaps.

Tony Karrer said...

Some good input on this. Just as an FYI - I'm not claiming by this question that this is a particular area that we should focus our attention - rather it is a topic that likely would cut across many different kinds of organizations and would allow us to consider how we would allocate our time and dollars.

The lack of interest in this topic is interesting itself. I guess I was hoping to hear all these great ideas on informal learning, DIY learning, etc. that could apply to this. But, I guess we believe that what we are doing today roughly is the right mix.

Donald - you are definitely right that it's hard to answer this kind of question without a lot of details.

Tom - I'm not sure I understand your comments. We have a wide variety of ways to spark discussion in the blogosphere. Some comes natural as a result of posts. Others come through this kind of hub and personal/group initiative. I'd love to hear ideas on how to help spark interesting discussions.

See also:

Types of Blog Discussions

Gary H said...

I'm new to this blog, so this is the first question I've seen. Frankly, it didn't interest me. I develop customer focused training, not internal training. I'm looking forward to that April question because even though March's didn't appeal to me, I like the dialog.

Anonymous said...

"To support new managers" is pretty broad, as Don pointed out with his stratification. There's also the question of what you mean by "new" -- new to the industry? To the organization? To the particular location? To the role of managing others?

Not to mention "managers of whom" and "managers of what?" I'm doing work for a large corporation's manufacturing arm; the products are regulated, and so manufacturing is inundated with standard operating procedures, quality checks and rechecks, accountability and form-retention that'd knock DIYer's socks off. It's a different world from, say, business-to-business electronic commerce, or federal financial oversight, or passenger rail.

GE is famous for its so-called Crotonville courses, a range of offerings intended to introduce supervisors and managers to ideas and individuals from across the corporation. One fringe benefit of the face-to-face collaboration is that you can begin building a network of people in situations like yours and unlike yours.

Like one of those virtual communities, with a built-in common denominator.

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