It seems like forever since I received one of the Lord of Darkness' training catalogues. This actually makes sense since it has been a long time since any big organization (and they don't come much bigger than Global Evil Inc. LLC) did any training at all.
Now there's a backlog of people who desperately need the skills to cope with the "New Normal". This looks a lot like the "old normal" except no one even bothers to pretend there's any permanence left to our jobs and we know we're one bad day on the stock market from becoming an unemployment statistic (or as the US Department of Labor likes to call them, "underutilized independent contractors"). No wonder there are some terrific new learning opportunities here:
1. New Skills for Today's Training Professional
What you'll learn: when was the last time anyone in the training department actually did any training themselves? Exactly, you are now administrators with a whole new set of skills to learn. You'll learn the skills necessary to survive in a job that looks nothing like you were hired to do. In this four-hour workshop (delivered online so you don't have to stop doing email) you'll learn:
Evaluate 3 vendors to choose who you use already. A simple assessment tool lets you save money and time picking a vendor whose classes you'll only have to cancel repeatedly.
Learn a formula to prove return on investment without making the investment. This is the same skill used by the Clinton administration to prove Welfare reform. Especially useful is the phrase "We quit sending people to training so we are no longer losing money on training".
Conduct critical conversations with vendors. Through role plays, you'll learn valuable phrases like, "since it's online can we put 100 people in a class?" and "this is normally a 2- day class, you can do it in an hour, right?"
2. Conducting Performance Reviews on People You've Never Met
What you'll learn: In today's dispersed, 24/7 workplace you often have the responsibility for managing people you never see, didn't hire, don't have any history with and probably will never have to look in the eye. This creates a whole new set of opportunities to appease HR while maintaining control of your budget by not granting merit raises. Learning objectives for this one-day program include:
HQ-centric time management. It might be 4 the morning where they are but it's the middle of the day here at headquarters and you need answers. Why don't they answer your IMs? Recognize how not responding in a "timely manner" negatively impacts their ranking on "responds to the needs of teammates" and how that helps you avoid merit raises.
Reduce the time spent planning and conducting the performance review. You'll learn plenty of tips to spend less time on embarrassing conversations. Handy phrases include "sorry I'm in an airport going somewhere more important than to see you"
Use webcams to avoid having to look them in the eye. Technology makes it harder to completely avoid having to see the other person. Simple tricks like leaving all your applications open to suck up bandwidth and looking at the monitor rather than the camera you can still avoid the constructive eye contact necessary to real communication and give you a valid reason to avoid deep meaningful discussions
3. IT-style customer service
What you'll learn: 50% of capital expenditures are now spent on IT rather than machinery and facilities, they must be doing something right. Learn the techniques of successful IT departments. These include:
Use the RFP process to avoid actually complying with demands. Learn how "if I do it for you I have to do it for the entire company" can save you time and budget.
Prioritize by volume. Successful IT departments understand better than most that it's the person who screams the loudest gets service. Please note that volume in this case is measured in decibels, not number of complaints.
Look competent by outsourcing all the hard stuff. The hardest part of any job is dealing with customers directly. Learn to find every job that might involve contact with frustrated, angry people and give those jobs to people elsewhere.
Attending any of these programs is contingent upon approval from your manager. Let me know how that works out for you.