People who follow me on Twitter, or know me personally, will be aware that my husband has a very demanding job, which includes him being on call one week out of every three. As we have no family around us, this means that one week out of three my movements are very restricted as our kids aren’t yet old enough to be left by themselves.
Sometimes I hear myself moaning about all the things that we CAN’T do, because of the restrictions we have. It’s very easy to notice all the things that we are missing out on. However, even taking account ‘obligatory’ activities, this does mean that generally 3 out of 6 weekend days we CAN do things.
Last weekend, we were restricted, and I really felt trapped. So this weekend, we’ve been to the indoor ski centre, out for a county walk, AND to our local pub for a meal! Some of my friends, family and colleagues don’t have the restrictions we do, but they take this freedom for granted and squander the time they have. It’s too easy to keep putting things off, saying ‘maybe next weekend’, and finding that by Sunday night, they’ve done very little with two free days. For us it’s often a case of “if we don’t do it this weekend, we can’t for another month!”, so we get on and do it!
I wonder how many managers (and training departments) focus on what they CAN’T do and keep putting put things off. It’s easy to moan about the fact that the training budget has been cut, that there are fewer technical trainers, or that the business won’t pay for day release or qualifications any more. Instead, the challenge for 2013 will be to focus on the opportunities you DO have, and what you CAN do.
- No luxury of technical trainers? – Train managers and allow them time (formally) to train their own staff.
- Can’t afford off-site workshops? – Consider bite-size sessions or technology based learning instead.
- Can’t justify external trainers? – Run internal ‘Ask the expert’ sessions instead.
- No budget for day release qualifications? – Use coaches and mentors to help people complete bespoke ILM programmes as part of their everyday work.
- Too time consuming to run roadshows to keep people informed? – Get user friendly documentation out there (in paper or electronic format), and make it interesting!