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Training Renaissance

October 20, 2010

Fall is here! Other than much welcomed cooler weather here in South Texas and football season, there is another reason this time of year has my inner geek even more “geeked-out” than usual; the Renaissance Festival! Costumed characters everywhere, ninety nine percent of all food conveniently provided on a stick and the ability to purchase items you would normally never purchase and have you asking later, “Why in the world did I purchase a battle axe?”

I attended the Renaissance Festival this past weekend and as I was enjoying the sights, sounds and more than my share of the previously mentioned food-on-a-stick goodies, I began to think about the renaissance period itself. The time when the revival of humanism, cultural achievements in art, music and thought itself underwent a rebirth. Of course it wasn’t long before my renaissance geek began making comparisons to my training and technology geek (my movie geek was sitting this one out).

How many of us are currently experiencing a “training renaissance” in one form or another? By simple definition the word “renaissance” itself means rebirth or reconstruction. The economic down-turn of the last few years had put a great deal of our training programs in the dark ages as it were. When budget cuts are required, training and personnel development often feel those cuts first. It isn’t long after we begin to feel the effect of languishing in those dark times. Software and hardware updates, new software implementations along with changes to operating procedures, a swell in support calls, not to mention new employee hires will have even the most resourceful of us clamoring for training enlightenment.

When employees are spending more and more time on support calls trying to figure out where the latest software update placed their custom templates or rebooting their computers three times a day to “fix the problem”, it’s time for a training renaissance. A well-instituted training program with a variety of learning and support resources can go a long way in reducing total operating costs for a firm, and in my experience keep you from reaching for that battle axe.

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