By Mickey Woods, Technology Consultant, Ingram Micro
During my years in the workforce, I’ve had many teachers and the privilege of listening to outstanding motivational speakers like John C. Maxwell. he talked about avoiding “destination disease,” where students view success as a “place of arrival.”
It’s important to understand that acquiring new skills shouldn’t have boundaries—and that continuous learning is a rewarding part of the journey. The rate of change in our connected world is staggering, and keeping up with emerging technologies requires the retention and review of foundational training. As I look back on my career, the most influential people in my life understood their priorities, worked hard to reach the highest level of achievement and cultivated the sharing of knowledge in order to benefit from partner engagements.
Having an edge in business can mean the difference between success and failure. As consumers, we’re bombarded by new terms and abbreviations that attempt to explain how technology works and why it’s important. Sorting through all the jargon will require an understanding of the core technologies that currently run our collaborated world: networking, server, storage, virtualization, security, wireless and cloud. Remember that your conversations with decision makers can be brief, and having the ability to decipher buzzwords for the latest industry trend will help get you that follow-up meeting. Executives today have little time or tolerance for teaching—as they hurry to complete those strategic projects against which they’ll be measured. If you stumble in the conference room or as you walk to the elevator with your CIO, you may not get a second chance to introduce cutting-edge technology that can really make a difference.
Don’t let knowledge gaps prevent your selling teams from hitting their goals, and keeping an open mind regarding education will help them explore new possibilities. During the last century, evaluating team metrics and performance gave organizations the ability to gain advantages in the marketplace. But not all American businesses were willing to embrace change and, as a result, foreign competition raced past well-established companies.
Renowned quality control pioneer, Dr. W. Edwards Deming, once said, “There is no substitute for knowledge.” It will be important for leaders to identify a training resource that can increase technical acumen for workers and establish credibility with executives when purchase orders need to be signed. Accreditations and certifications can go a long way in helping meet your aggressive revenue targets.
Finding the appropriate teaching tools has never been more critical as workers are challenged to identify upsell opportunities, accurately forecast expectations and close business. When equipped with timely and cost-effective training, the ability to influence customers will have a profound impact in your efforts to solve today’s business problems. Remember that success breeds confidence, can illuminate your reputation among peers and help you penetrate new markets like never before. And when change drives company realignment or employee turnover, make sure you leverage an expert training staff that can augment your education services when limited resources make it difficult to execute.
In a world where the only constant is change, graduation is no longer the finish line—but a fun new starting point where continuing education becomes a trusted companion along the road to success.