Monday, April 19, 2010

Time to Virtualize Your Global Training?

Some of you may know that global travel was a huge part of my former life as a manager and early business owner. The recent air travel chaos caused by the Volcanic eruption in Iceland, has had me thinking on a number of different levels regarding the impact - to communities, as well as to learning.

My first thoughts took me back to my work asa project manager for several development projects in the Caribbean island of Montserrat. The volcano has been active in Montserrat since the mid-1990s and I know first hand how destructive volcanic ash can be for everything - humans, animals, agriculture and even buildings. In recent days there has been a lot of focus on the impact on travel because of the volcano, but how about the impact to the geography and communities affected in Iceland?

My second thought was what about the thousands of professionals stranded on either side of the Atlantic. Many of us, myself included, still take forgranted the ability to cross the ocean swiftly and be able to attend to business, or lead training the next day. A few months ago as I passed through Paris on my way to Senegal, I had fleeting thoughts about what if we are delayed? What will happen to our training?

The volcano is another indication of how quickly events can take over business as usual, and how it is an opportunity to look proactively at how we can more effectively bring together global professionals for training.

Virtual Training - by phone and web - is becoming an increasingly popular modality, and even the standard in many global organizations. It may never replace the impact of face to face environments, but used effectively can enable ongoing learning and dialogue amongst dispersed groups. Virtual training has been a keen interest area of mine since 2005 when the arrival of my son pushed me to virtualize most of my training programs. Over the last 5 years, I've seen more and more organizations embrace virtual training, as well as more and more facilitators learn to adapt their skills for the virtual environment. One of the chapters in my book, Effective Group Coaching, addresses the issue of virtual program delivery for facilitators, tips and ideas, as well as a check list to help you identify whether you are ready to lead training programs virtually. If you are a facilitator, I'll also invite you to check out my Group Coaching blog at which has lots of other tips and tricks for facilitators.

On Wednesday last week I met again with the team in West Africa - this time luckily by web. If not, I might have been one of the thousands stranded in Paris for the weekend. Yes, there could be worse places to be stranded, but it sure was nice to spend the weekend with my family.

Have a great start to the week!


Jennifer Britton, PCC
Potentials Realized
Phone: 416.996.TEAM (8326)
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

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