As I was editing this issue’s cover story on non-traditional Learning and Development (L&D) teams ("Creating an L&D A-Team"), I realized Training magazine’s small team is a case in point of the strength varied backgrounds and professional experience bring to the table. While our day jobs focus on editing/ writing, communicating, selling, marketing, designing/producing events, and more, members of our team possess a wealth of other talents they bring from past positions, second jobs, or passionate hobbies. Think carpenter, musician, actress, singer, military pilot, farm manager, and more (while I wish I could claim the singer appellation, I ruefully admit to being unable to carry a tune to save my life).
L&D teams likewise can benefit from team members who boast backgrounds other than training, especially in this age of constantly evolving technology and just-in-time answers. A little creativity and out-of-the box thinking can go a long way these days.
Diversity in teams may require some additional organizational support. New research conducted by Training magazine and The Ken Blanchard Companies polled 1,300 employees and managers and found that while people spend more than half of their time working in teams, significant gaps exist between what people want and what they are experiencing in terms of clarity, accountability, and leadership practices. The survey identified a perceived lack of accountability among team members as the No. 1 obstacle to team performance (see "Work Team Training and Performance Gaps").
Coaching can help to improve both team and individual performance, but companies often struggle to quantify the return on investment for the time and money required. See "Determining Coaching ROI" to see how four Training Top 125ers are ensuring coaching delivers results. Additional coaching advice can be found in “Tips for Coaching Millennials…and Everyone Else.”
One of the best pieces of coaching advice I ever received was “make time to think.” Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the minutia of editing and e-mail that I lose sight of the big picture—or worse yet, underestimate the importance of dedicating time to contemplate the next big thing in the big picture. You can read more about “being a thought leader at work” and learn more about available industry experts and resources in the 2017 ISA Directory of Learning Providers.
In the meantime, I look forward to learning more about your organization’s employee training and development—please consider submitting a 2018 Training Top 125 application this fall. The application is available for download at www.trainingmag.com and is due September 18.
Also on our Website, you’ll find our Training Insights podcast series (https://trainingmag.com/podcasts)—now at seven episodes. Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to suggest interviews with fascinating people in the L&D world.
Speaking of fascinating L&D professionals, you’re sure to meet up with some at our Online Learning Conference in New Orleans September 25-27. Visit www.onlinelearningconference.com to register today. We’ll be kicking off the event with our very own Second Line Parade—you don’t want to miss it!