I recently met with someone who asked my what inspired me to start Power Hour, and why I charge such a small fee for (in his words) high-end materials. My response was instant: I don't see why people should be denied training due to lack of funds.
In the current climate, training and marketing budgets are still being squeezed. Marketers have quickly realised that social media offers many of the benefits of traditional marketing for a fraction of the cost. How come training hasn't adapted the same way? Informal learning is taking off with some groups (notably those driven individuals who have a clear career goal), but for the vast majority of people who want 'to do a fair days work for a fair days pay', what is there?
Much training is still 'ego-led' by those trainers (who I refer to as the shiny-shoe brigade), who can talk for hours about how wonderful they are, and are gracious enough to share a few morsels of their experience for a substantial fee. Other training requires a significant commitment of time (by the employee), money AND time (for qualification-based courses) or technology (by the firm), which even large firms simply can't afford these days.
The problem is, that you can't just stop training either. Ok, you can put it on hold for a short while, but if you stop, your best people will start looking around for jobs in companies that will invest in them. And we all know that it costs more to recruit than to retain. If your people don't leave, standards will start to slip and your company will begin to look very second-rate compared to your competitors, and soon those 'savings' made on training are translating into loss of business.
So, Power Hour was designed to fill a need, and provide a choice to companies who thought there might not be one. Think where we would be if the only clothes we could buy were individually designed and tailored clothes from a top fashion designer? Many people whould only have one outfit, and half of us would be going around naked! Thank goodness for Matalan, Primark and George. We can all be clothed, at a reasonable cost, and still 'treat' ourselves to the odd designer outfit when we can justify it.
Thank goodness for Power Hour, that allows us to keep training in the tough times until we can get that eutopia of bespoke, accredditted, fully-funding training.