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October 03, 2006

Fresh Thinking on How, Not Just What, to Train

By Amy Peeler

20060911_creatingsuccess_trI recently read a quote which really resonated with me from a new book by Michael Allen, Creating Successful E-Learning. He wrote, “We need not only fresh ways of thinking about learning, but also fresh ways of making it happen.” (Read the review on Training Magazine).

A fresh idea we’re pushing is webcasting to deliver training information from our corporate headquarters to both local employees and those throughout the world. We are first identifying the basic information that needs to be captured. The need is great, so we’re looking to start small with things like new employee orientation, benefits and legal updates. Next we’ll bite off sales training and then training for our channel partners. Getting people comfortable with a new way of delivering information is an important part of launching this new initiative successfully.

It’s easy to get caught up in the “what” of training: what people need to know, what outcomes we want to achieve, what will enhance our productivity and culture. Allen challenges us to place equal consideration on the “how” which is good advice, since it not just what you say, but how you say it.

Amy Peeler is director of human resources and training at Sonic Foundry, a provider of high performance rich media technology with locations in Madison, Wisc., and Pittsburgh. Visit www.sonicfoundry.com for more information.


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