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Training - Fashionable or Functional?

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Ahh, the summer’s here. Everyone tells us so. The supermarket magazines, the ‘seasonal’ TV programmes and of course, the high street. Clothes shops are full of shorts, vests, sandals, bikinis, strappy sundresses and t-shirts. Except, that’s not what we need right now is it?

The awful weather means that our winter wardrobe is still very much needed…but what if (like) us, you need to replenish stocks? My husband wanted a couple of new long-sleeve ruby shirts to replace ones that had worn through. My daughter needed a coat, and my son required some new jumpers. Could we find them on high street? No, despite hours of looking, we couldn’t.

The problem is, what we NEEDED isn’t FASHIONABLE at the moment…and this made us very frustrated!

The same may be true in training. If you believe all the talk on social media, in the professional magazines and latest text books, organisations are only interested in mobile learning, learning apps, engagement and innovation. This is not true. It IS true however that this is what is fashionable.

I started working with a new (national) client recently whose branches don’t even have computers in them. Mobile learning is still the stuff of science fiction as far as they are concerned. For other businesses (even large ones), innovation and engagement are a pipe dream as they just need to make a profit. These businesses still need ‘basic’ training in how to manage performance, how to have a coaching conversation and how to manager their time and how specify what exactly is expected of people in specific roles.

I’m quite proud that my business has never been a fashion victim. Yes, we keep abreast of what’s happening, but the business isn’t run for me…it’s run for other businesses who need training basics first and foremost to meet THEIR needs, not conform to the latest big thing.

We eventually found our much needed ‘winter’ clothes in an outlet shop. Thank goodness some shops look at what’s happening around them and what the public actually need, rather than being influenced by the catwalks of Paris and Milan!

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  1. Joy Wilson

    Great article, and I agree completly lots of what is fashionable fails to deliver basics or lasting results

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