Technology is revolutionising every industry, and the training world is no exception. From artificial intelligence (check out my latest AI post on Medium) to automated systems, training professionals are finding new technology and new ways to grow their businesses in an increasingly competitive landscape.
Bringing fresh tech into the workplace is incredibly exciting – ‘Imagine all the limitless possibilities’, we think to ourselves. But embracing new technologies, and using them to their fullest, requires a very different set of skills for leaders in the training industry.
Technology is constantly shifting; it’s such a ridiculously fast-paced sector that email will probably be replaced by telekinesis by the end of this sentence. The ability to change your mind-set and working habits depending on your tasks is always an important factor for achieving success; being highly adaptable is even more critical when dealing with new training technologies.
While it’s easy to fall into a nigh-on unchangeable routine, the trick is to actively avoid getting set in your ways.
Sure, they may call you the Spreadsheet Master, but at a time when the industry is creeping towards dedicated training management software, those skills are going to become increasingly limited within the industry.
The founding principle of the internet is sharing – that’s pretty much why it was invented in the first place. That means, if you’re deploying new or upgraded connected technology within your business, you need to be pretty confident in your collaboration skills; they don’t lend themselves to autocracy.
Thankfully, a lot of training-focused tech is built for collaborative work. By maintaining all information within a single hub instead of across multiple systems, it allows real-time data to be shared across departments and team members (which also, handily, eliminates data duplication). The result being, employees can take true ownership over their work. However, perhaps the biggest reason for refining your collaborative skills is in ensuring internal buy-in from those resistant to change. Without listening to, and confidently addressing, employee concerns, you can’t hope for a successful roll-out.
Implementing large-scale technologies across a business is a massive undertaking, the size of which many under-estimate, thinking there’s little difference between implementing a new system and setting up a desktop computer or deciding that they’ll figure out how to use the software when they use it. Of course, you’re smart enough to not make that mistake, but others can and will and do – all too frequently.
Training technologies make a company-wide impact. Ensuring a smooth roll-out requires real strategic thinking during the initial stages, considering not just how best to implement the system, but what changes and challenges each department will face and overcome.
Data-driven isn’t just an alliterative business buzzword – key metrics have always played a major factor in deciding new company strategies, but now new technologies offer us unrivalled insights into our customers and their habits. Today’s strongly accessible data means you can deep-dive into your customers like never before. Who they are, what they like, how they found you and how they navigate your website… And that’s just the beginning.
This opens up new ways to grow your business, understand where performance improvements are required, or enhance course offerings based on hard facts. To fit in in this brave, new world, it’s imperative that we can not only see data, but to understand it and extrapolate information based upon it.
It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that technology plays by its own rules. If you want to go left, sooner or later, technology will pull right. Even tech giants like Google and Microsoft face intense pressure at times – whether it’s server down-time or a simple screen-freeze. That means you’re going to hone those problem-solving skills, while remaining calm in the face of stubborn adversity.
Understanding what’s causing problems and delivering solutions is vital (even if it means trying to turn it off and on again). Researching and training on your chosen course management system will put you in good stead for identifying potential issues. Don’t be afraid to employ lateral or creative thinking – a bit of imagination may well lead to the solution you need.
Equipped with these skills, you’ll find it far easier to work with training technologies – and, more importantly, make training technologies work for you.