“For that one fraction of a second, you were open to options you had never considered. That is the exploration that awaits you. Not mapping stars and studying nebulae, but charting the unknown possibilities of existence.” -Q, Star Trek: The Next Generation

Just the other day, I received an email from McBassi and Company. They were a consulting firm whose members researched the relationship between stock performance and corporate training investments. In fact, the CEO, Laurie Bassi first noticed the relationship when she was one of the governing members of ASTD.

Now they’re a management consulting company helping executives select, train, and groom talent for their organizations. This is something organizations need to do continuously if they want to being ongoing concern, regardless of the economy.

Anyway, here is the text of the message, along with an invitation to join a webinar at the end:

Learning to Recover

Recent economic data suggests that the economy has turned a corner and is moving into a recovery stage. Although the unemployment rate may continue to increase, unemployment is a “lagging indicator” and historically has often continued to rise even long after a recession has officially ended.

By all accounts, this recovery will be a “jobless” one for the foreseeable future. This will require that employers squeeze more productivity from their existing workforce. Just how will they go about doing that? There are really only three options: require people to work longer hours, get people to work harder (perhaps by using fear-based tactics – implicit or explicit), or help people to work “smarter.”

In addition to being distasteful, the first two tactics are likely to be unsustainable. The third option – helping employees to work smarter – seems like the only sustainable path forward. But in order to work smarter, employees and their organizations need opportunities to learn something new. This doesn’t happen out of thin air (or it already would have happened). Effective learning investments require time, money, or (most realistically) both time and money.

Organizations that have taken the path of least resistance and cut their training and development budgets are the ones that will find it most difficult to recover. [See our recent white paper, Training Investments as a Predictor of Banks’ Subsequent Stock Market Performance for some startling evidence on this point.]

But having already shot yourself in one foot is not a good reason to shoot yourself in the other. If you work in an organization that has already made significant cuts in its investments in developing people, our advice is to argue long and loud to get that mistake reversed as soon as possible. Your organization’s very future may depend on it.

Want to Know More?

McBassi & Company can help. We have the benchmarking databases, as well as the research base linking human capital investment to future performance, to help you build the business case for investing in developing people.

Upcoming Laurie Bassi Webinar

Our CEO, Dr. Laurie Bassi, will be delivering a free webinar for Learn.com later this month. The subject will be “Beyond Employee Engagement: Creating Actionable Business Intelligence for Improving Your Return on People.”

Please submit your free registration and join us for the webinar on October 29, 2009. Registration is free – just click here.

About McBassi & Company

McBassi is a survey firm that helps organizations improve their performance through more effective management and development of people. We have proprietary research-based measurement methods, the analytic know-how, and a proven track record in serving as a catalyst for change and generating win-win results.

You can download a brochure describing McBassi and our services, or visit us on the web.

Contact us toll-free at 866.345.5730 or info at mcbassi.com.

Training for Unknown Possibilities into the Jobless Economic Recovery

Now as I look at their statement about a “jobless” economic recovery I begin to feel a little queasy. We have new areas that we need to explore, like the “Green Economy”. Or the rash of internet collaboration tools that make communication much easier now.

If we only look at job sectors like manufacturing and service, then yes, this will be an ugly jobless recovery.

But there is a lot of futuristic stuff in the works. To make that stuff happen, there needs to be people who can turn it into something real and workable. That requires training.

They also mention in that jobless-recovery paragraph that employers will need to squeeze more productivity from an already shrunken workforce.

They outline three ways to do this. But I have to tell you, I’m not a big fan of working more hours or working harder. I’ve done both. And believe me when I say neither one really works over the long haul.

So the only option left is to work smarter. This means means you’ll have to get trained, collaborate more, discover what you don’t know, and leverage other people’s experience. But if you are going to get training, make sure that the training is an investment in your future.

Make sure that your training turns you into a personal ongoing concern. Turn your training into an investment in yourself, not just a method for getting your job done faster. Look beyond the job at hand towards your future path.

Anyway, this sounds like it will be an interesting webinar. I don’t know about you but I plan on being there. I hope you are, too.