Training Resources: They're Closer Than You ThinkCED Magazine November 2005
Article Date: 11-01-2005
Copyright(C) 2008 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.
Training can make the difference between great success and mediocrity - or even success and failure.
No question about it: you and your people need to stay abreast of current trends in your industry, as well as advances in management and technology. But how do you keep current with the whirl of constantly changing knowledge? While there's no single right answer, a greater variety of educational resources are available to you than ever before.
Professional Trainers - Every major metropolitan area in North America features a host of training consultants, ranging from freelancers who focus on highly specialized subjects to large corporations that provide a broad range of customized training. Advantages: Easy availability, widespread training options, on-site training.
Colleges and Universities - In addition to a wealth of credit classes typically attended by students pursuing degrees, many higher education institutions sponsor a variety of special courses geared toward the needs of the business community. These courses usually do not offer credit and are offered at times and places convenient to business people. Advantages: Proximity, expertise.
Web-Based Training - The Web is slowly coming into its own as a true educational resource. Online courses, as well as general training resources, are found all over the Web these days. Some sites, such as www.worldwidelearn.com and www.firstseminar.com offer information and links to a variety of resources.
Industry-specific training is available online through AED University's Learning Management System at www.aednet.org. In addition to allowing you to access training, the LMS helps supervisors and employees plan, select, coordinate and track their educational experiences. Advantages: Convenience, ever-expanding offerings, opportunity to sample courses.
CD - Commercially produced CDs feature packaged instructional material on many popular subjects, particularly computer-oriented topics. Advantages: Low cost, easy access.
Allied Business Firms - A small, but growing, number of managers send their people to training events sponsored by companies in fields other than their own. Or, they create informal consortia to sponsor training events for several firms. Advantages: Affordable cost, personal interaction among participants.
Audits - Many managers use fiscal, social or operational audits as opportunities to learn more about best practices in their industries. Beyond that, many managers contract with auditing firms to provide reports
and analysis of issues specific to the business.
Good examples are AED's Cost of Doing Business and Sales Compensa-tion reports, which allow you to benchmark your data and provide analysis for improving performance. Advantages: Highly specific advice.
Trade Associations - Associations typically offer outstanding seminars at convention time, as well as highly informative publications. Some associations even offer regular coursework and online workshops. Advantages: Low cost, relevance to your industry.
Conventions - A special word on these dynamic annual events. Besides seminars, they offer participants the opportunity to learn from vendors, peers (either through networking or at informal "roundtable" discussions), and speakers (who are often accessible after their talks or seminars).
Training opportunities abound at AED's Annual Meeting & CONDEX (The 2006 convention is January 26-28 in San Diego) and the 2006 Managers Conference (January 27-28, also in San Diego) for executives and parts, sales, service and rental managers. For more information, visit www.aednet.org/am. Advantages: In-depth learning opportunities, an incredible array of ideas.
Consultants - Accomplished peers who are not in direct competition are often available to visit a business for a day or two. The visit can encompass formal training, as well as informal coaching and guidance throughout the workplace. Advantages: Wide-spread participation, low cost.
Retired Executives - Executives that have retired from your industry offer a wealth of wisdom, and are
often available to spend training and consultation time at reasonable rates. The Service Corps of Retired Executives, www.score.org, may be able to provide an individual to volunteer as a trainer, coach or mentor. Advantages: Knowledge of industry, easy accessibility.
Chambers of Commerce - Your local Chamber of Commerce may provide business seminars, as well as valuable business publications and networking opportunities. Aside from chambers, many communities have other business development organizations and training consortia that can provide valuable educational services. Advantages: Low cost, proximity to local trainers.
Internal Experts - Many organizations have one or two internal experts that can serve as unofficial trainers or mentors to other employees. Advantages: Easy access, flexibility, hands-on expertise.
Internal Roundtables - Informal discussion groups can meet over lunch or during the workday to review and discuss hot subjects in the industry and emerging business trends. The discussion raises the insight and knowledge of employees at all levels. Advantages: Low cost, easy set up.
[ TOP ]