I saw some brilliant football the other week. Being a QPR fan means this doesn’t happen often; the football I’m referring to was my son’s team, whilst in a training session. At this age (under 13) their training is about learning the fundamental skills of playing together and improving the core skills of control. They’re all talented kids with a desire to play football that is infectious. What they don’t always do is play well as a team and rely on individual brilliance to get them out of problem situations. These sessions are fundamentally training; it’s about new skills and relationships. What was great to see was how they translated it onto the pitch for the next game.
I saw more great teamwork over the last few weeks at the Learning Pool Live events in Sheffield, Cardiff and London. The team visibly grew from event to event as they understood the nuances in the way they worked, what likely issues might come up and how they’d be overcome.
Both activities are developmental but very different in how they’re facilitated. My son’s team’s practice is, for the most, part a blend of training and coaching. The conference events are a blend of coaching and real world practice.
I wrote last time about how I didn’t think there was always a need for formal training. Some of the comments were clear – training will always be required. Examples of the medical profession were referenced, and, as Costas suggested, a trained doctor will always be preferable to an untrained one. However, the advancements in technology are exponential across all industries and improved accessibility to this technology will drive future change.
I liked Martin Cousins comment about being inspired by a facilitator on a training course and I agree, our access to a diverse range of inspiring people was limited in the past. However, I can now access 1500+ inspiring people talking about inspiring things at the click of a button. I can now share these with my organisation using Yammer, with a PLN, using Twitter or a blog, or with a wider audience on the site or LinkedIn.
My biggest concern is that we assume a training course should be the default position. For a technical skill such as controlling a football, there are clear benefits in being facilitated in a safe environment. But for learning how to manage? I asked Lisa at Learning Pool which of the LP team had attended courses or qualified in event management to be able to run such brilliant events. The result? None. They have qualified in associated activities, eg marketing and practiced the events by running them previously.
And there lies the rub – if we continue to assume a training course is the first point of call for learning activity we’ll price ourselves out of a profession. Nick Shackleton-Jones references this in a blog post.
It is, indeed a tragedy.
Please comment, discussion is how we can move this on.