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Training Directors Forum E-Net Newsletter – 25 August 1999


A discussion-driven e-mail newsletter for training managers
Wednesday, Aug. 25, 1999 Vol. 1, No. 23


1. Fleeing leaders? But what's a leader?
2. Half want career change -- and training pays
3. Training managers SLOW!?!
4. Challenge du jour: Busting no-shows and more
5. Web check: Health, safety, multicasting



Organizations say they're already hard put to find qualified
leaders -- and now leaders emerging in the ranks say they
aren't necessarily planning to stick around.

This lends some urgency to questions such as: Can leadership
be taught? And what makes a good leader, anyway?

The latest finding in leadership crisis came last week from
Development Dimensions International
of Bridgeville, PA. DDI's study of 2,400 workers in 52 big U.S.
companies says that:

o 74% of the businesses have trouble finding qualified

o 70% of current leaders in those companies seek
development as leaders in order to make themselves more
marketable for other jobs, not necessarily in their own

Neither number is surprising, observes former U.S. Navy
leadership trainer Fred Nickols ([email protected]), who now
is executive director in research administration for
Educational Testing Service in Princeton, NJ.

Organizations have long had trouble finding leaders, says
Nickols. As for the other finding -- leader candidates are
looking beyond their own organizations -- the unspoken
lifetime-employment understanding between corporation and
employee fell into shambles with the continuing layoff wave
of the past decade.

The kicker: Corporations hard put to find good leaders may
not be looking for the right set of qualifications. Indeed:
"They wouldn't know it if they saw it," Nickols snips.

"What organizations typically look for are smooth-talking,
fast-walking politicians," assesses Nickols. "People who
communicate persuasively the company line, who would not
break ranks. This is the kind of leader the corporations are
having trouble finding.

So what's a real leader? "My experience is that leaders don't
set out to lead," says Nickols. "They set out to do something
else, and other people join the parade.

"When somebody is leading, others are following -- not
following because the leader is a good leader per se, but
because that person is up to something, and the followers
want to be a part of it."

So what's leadership? Nickols paraphrases management guru
Peter Drucker: Whenever anything is accomplished, it's
accomplished by a monomaniac with a mission.


Q Is your organization having trouble finding and keeping
qualified leaders?

Q What should training managers do about it?

Q Can leadership be taught? How?

Send your response to [email protected]. Please
include your name, title, organization, where it is, what it
does, and a phone number at which we can reach you to confirm
information. Your subject line: Fleeing Leaders?

AND TDF E-NET NOTES: Drucker, the patriarch of management
science, will deliver a keynote address at OnLine Learning
'99/Performance Support '99 in Los Angeles on Monday morning,
Oct. 18. Register for the concurrent Oct. 17-20 shows at



Half of working Americans would consider changing their
career, and nearly 25% are planning a career change in the
next 12 months. Only three percent of working adults say they
are satisfied with their current job.

So suggests a just-out survey of 682 working adults from
Career Education Corp., a Hoffman Estates, IL, for-profit
postsecondary education provider.

Other findings:

o 30% rank more money as the top reason for changing
careers, with happiness second at 24%. Far behind are job
satisfaction at 6.5% and better hours at 3.6%.

o Career changers who get more training or education make
more money. Among the 54% of survey respondents who have
already changed careers, 60% picked up more education or
training in the transition -- and 76% now earn more.
Earnings at least doubled for 15%.

o Only two percent said they were afraid to learn new
technology to start a new career.



We asked whether training managers were in fact slower to
adopt tech-delivered training than, say, sales managers.

"Sure, for lots of reasons," responds Kim Ridgway
([email protected]), who manages training and organization
development for Timken Co.'s bearing-business unit in Canton,

His reasons:

o Job loss. "Let's give everyone in the business the idea
they can get all they want from a computer," he says,
"and we can save lots of dollars outsourcing the training

o Changing technology. "We have tried satellite broadcasts
with a couple different vendors," Ridgway says. Neither
is still offering the service..

o Quality of instruction. "Trainers know what good training
is -- interaction, application, practice and feedback,"
says Ridgway. "Technology still struggles to do this.
Most online learning I have looked at is 'pretty,' but is
still one-way information delivery. Interaction consists
of hitting the Enter key. Most of what I have seen does
very little to engage the learner. Many vendors seem more
interested in quantity of courses than quality of
courses. Giving courses fancy animation doesn't improve
the instructional design and content."

o Concentrated groups of learners. "For many of us who have
3,000-5,000 learners sitting in one site," he says, "it's
easier to deliver good, engaging classroom learning.

"Don't get me wrong," Ridgway concludes. "There is also lots
of bad classroom learning that takes place in companies.
Where I see technology having a real role is with some of our
small outlying offices or overseas plants who do not have
adequate access to resources."



If you have an idea how to help, send your suggestion to
[email protected].

Please include your name, title, organization, what it does,
where it is, and a phone number at which we can reach you
to confirm information.

Please use the appropriate subject line (e.g., Busting No-Shows).


"We do not have any type of incentive available for
encouraging people to attend classes that they sign up for.
As a result, we are often left with cancellations and no-
shows that result in financial and time expenses on our part.
Our training customers are all internal to the company, and
our training is offered as a part of a customer-support
group. I am looking for examples of how other companies
handle these challenges, without charging cancellation fees."

TDF E-NET SAYS: Training Directors' Forum Newsletter, this publication's
print alter ego, relayed an idea earlier this year: Mike
Grakowsky ([email protected]), training manager
with Chase-Pitkin Home & Garden Co. of Rochester, NY, uses
peer pressure among managers to minimize training no-shows.

Grakowsky tracks no-show trainees by department, and reports
the figures regularly to all unit managers and their bosses.
And training no-shows are a regular subject in managers'
performance appraisals.

"No manager wants to have the highest number of no-shows,"
Grakowsky told TDF Newsletter. "In a competitive retail
environment like ours, with young, aggressive managers, peer
pressure exists whether top management fosters it or not."


"I am searching for some research that supports the idea that
one of the best ways to insure transfer of learning from the
classroom/training event into the workplace is by using an
on-the-job follow-up program. Does anyone know of a specific
research study that I can reference?"


"My challenge has been to seek out a tele-sales training
program which covers relationship building and closing
methods, and which also includes industry-specific expertise
in high tech. We are looking for a program that will offer a
process that will work on multiple customers and offers
checklists and resource tools. It should be a proven
methodology for tele-sales people selling database business


Are you stuck? Maybe your peers have some ideas on how to get
you out of a tough training-management spot. E-mail
[email protected] with an account of your challenge.
We'll post it here, without your name, and invite readers to
offer their thoughts. Please use a distinctive subject line.



HEALTH AND SAFETY COURSES. Asymetrix Learning Systems Inc. of
Bellevue, WA, says it will add 40 environmental, health,
safety, and human-resources courses in September to its training portal. The content, from
RunZebra.Com Inc. of San Diego, will cost about $75 per course.

VIDEO MULTICASTING. VirtuaLinc Corp. of Dallas says
it beta-tested its Internet-based training network by
delivering a training program for Carlson Companies Inc.'s
Radisson Hotels. VirtuaLinc says it uses VCON Inc.'s
MeetingPoint 4.0 to multicast both streaming and interactive
video. The network will be available publicly, typically from
hotel conference rooms, for $29 per hour per endpoint.



Go! OnLine Learning '99/Performance Support '99 in Los Angeles
Oct. 17-20. See

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Copyright 1999
Bill Communications Inc. (Lakewood Publications Inc.)

Distributed by MessageMedia Inc.


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