Edward Gordon voiced the question everyone has been silently wondering about. "What is more important? Cutting costs or increased learning?" We'd all like to say "increased learning." But as Mother always told us, "Actions speak louder than words," and we all know how most companies responded this year: cutting costs.
For some it was a matter of survival. For others it was immobility brought on by fear of the unknown. But at some level we all know that we cannot continue to operate this way. There is a great deal more to learn, and it is incumbent upon us, the torchbearers of learning, to demand that we start providing the training our employees deserve—not the amount that budgets dictate.
So who will be the first to step up in their organization, to challenge the leadership, or lack thereof as the case may be? Who will be the first to say "enough already," and recognize training as the indispensable business tool we all know it to be?
It won't be long before we all start working on 2004 budgets. How will you justify your development budgets? One tool for you to use is to benchmark yourself against the Training Top 100 companies (Training, March 2003). These companies faced the same economic crunch as everyone else but maintained their training programs—even expanded and improved them—by ensuring that every initiative was tied to real business issues facing their organization.
Another group to turn to for help in building your budget are the members of the 2004 Top 100 Leadership Alliance. This group of leading vendors shares your dedication and commitment to helping people and business succeed; they, too, are torchbearers of learning. They continue to invest in making their products and services better for you. By joining the Leadership Alliance they are saying that they value and believe in YOU, and that you, the training professional, deserve recognition for the terrific job you do. Isn't that the mindset of vendors you would prefer to do business with?
The 2004 Training Top 100 Leadership Alliance members:
Jones International University, Denver, is the first fully online university to be accredited and is a recipient of two of Training magazine's 2003 APX Awards in the categories of Degree-Granting Online Education and Professional Development, as selected by you, our readers. JIU offers 28 degree programs, including eight MBA programs, six Master of Education in Learning programs, and more than 50 professional and executive certificates.
WebEx, San Jose, Calif., is a leading provider of multimedia communications technology that allows organizations to conduct live, interactive training using only a browser at the desktop. WebEx also serves as our official Collaboration Partner, providing the technology for Training magazine's series of Web seminars. WebEx also earned recognition in two categories of the 2003 APX Awards: Collaboration Software and Conference/Meeting/Distance Learning Tools.
LearnKey, St. George, Utah, has been a premier provider of e-learning technology, online learning solutions and self-paced training courses for corporate, education, government and individual clients for more than 15 years. LearnKey is also the recipient of two 2003 APX Awards in the categories of Certification Education and Computer Applications Training.
CPP, Palo Alto, Calif., is perhaps best known for its Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). For more than 45 years, the company has provided unique solutions to millions of people in more than 50 countries to improve performance. CPP is also the recipient of two 2003 APX Awards in the categories of Skills Gap Analysis and Assessment.
Acclivus, Dallas, is a performance consulting and professional development company that works exclusively with sales, support and service organizations. Over the past three decades, Acclivus has been a pioneer in the training industry. Today the company delivers measurable improvements to clients' top and bottom lines by creating programs for sales and service teams to work more collaboratively with their clients and customers.