GLOBALINX CORP. International Training Consultants
Newsletter - Winter 2012
◆Happy New Year - Philip Deane May I take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support and wish you all a very happy and prosperous year of the dragon. I know that many of us will be happy to see the back of 2011, it was an awful year for many Japanese people. For the victims of the earthquake and tsunami, 2012 will be about rebuilding lives and communities, and recovering businesses and industries. Therefore, I’d also like to take this opportunity to wish the people of the Tohoku region the very best of luck for 2012.
So what are the trends and influence in the training and development industry that we need to be ready for in 2012? There will of course be the continued globalization of business and the need for effective training and development of employee’s skills to meet the challenges of working in multicultural environments. The traditional process and methods of pre-departure training programs and skill development seminars will no doubt continue, however, I believe that there will be a shift towards the implementation of new technologies to provide a more flexible and individual learning environment. Actually, I’ve been predicting this for some time, in 1998 Globalinx held its first open seminar setsumeikai introducing
the benefits and opportunities of new learning technologies called e-learning. At that time we developed a new learning system called SMILE – Self-Managed Interactive Learning Environment, which at the time we thought was pretty cool and would revolutionize the training industry. We were wrong, nobody was interested and nothing really changed. So here I am 14 years later saying the same thing again. However, a lot has changed in the last 14 years. The technology and infrastructure that supports e-learning has developed beyond all recognition, and there are several other factors that have also changed that has resulted in the need for a more flexible and individualized learning environment. So what’s changed over the last 14 years? Quite a lot actually, however, there are three major developments that have influenced how we learn; new technologies, social platforms, and the internet search engine. The search engine has become a ubiquitous tool for resolving information challenges large and small. For many businesspeople the Internet has become the first option as they take greater responsibility for their own learning needs. As training professionals we need to adjust to this new era by creating personal learning environments aimed at assisting employee’s learning and supporting strategic business needs. This means re-evaluating traditional learning systems and implementing new learning systems that can provide flexible, individual learning environments that are strategically aligned with
the business needs. In the next newsletter (Spring 2012) I’ll talk about using social media for learning and development. The trends for learning and development in 2012 are likely to be the evolution and application of ‘webinars’ and more acceptance of social media for the purposes of learning and development. Of course I may be wrong, I was 14 years ago. However, we are taking no chances; we have been waiting for this opportunity for a long time and are ready to support you with training and consulting services to smoothly implement these new technologies and learning tools in to your training and development curriculum. All the very best for 2012 Phil Deane President Globalinx Corp.
☆Proposals from the consultants☆ Training dispersed workforces - Philip Deane Situation To meet the training and development needs of a globally dispersed workforce, HR and training managers must start to consider implementing webbased learning programs that will save money and increase the breadth of organizational learning. A globally dispersed workforce needs a combination of formal and informal learning with an emphasis on collaboration, knowledge sharing and coaching. Solution Due to the rapid development of web-based learning and meeting software, high quality training solutions can now be provided to a globally dispersed workforce at relatively low cost. These technologies enable companies to conduct a wide range of live events ranging from informal discussion and knowledge sharing meetings to elaborate virtual classroom training sessions (Webinars) attended by participants from all over the world. These technologies can be implemented relatively quickly and provide secure, high-impact multi-media training sessions that can be recorded and archived for future access from any geographical location. They are primarily designed to meet the needs of global businesses clamoring for convenient, secure and cost-effective alternatives to in-person gatherings. However, another key driver is the increased emphasis on “informal” learning, which comprises most of the corporate knowledge transfer www.globalinx.co.jp
within many organizations. For example, one of our clients needed to provide company administration training to over 2000 multinational overseas staff located in 20 different countries. Using web-based learning and meeting software, we were able to propose a relatively low cost solution saving the client thousands of dollars whilst increasing the effectiveness and quality of the training. New learning models will feature short and tightly focused instruction sessions (Webinars) delivered to globally dispersed individuals or groups that need it at precisely the right times. Results are measured not by the
number of courses delivered and employee satisfaction levels, but by the achievement of key performance benchmarks and bottom line impact. It is nothing less than a paradigm shift from training to performance, made possible largely by advances in web-based learning and meeting software.
International Training Consultants
☆Proposals from the consultants☆ Global readiness - Mark Beresford Situation Globalization is possibly the hottest word in business today. And yet, does anyone really know what is involved in going global? And if your company has decided to become a global player, do you really have what it takes to compete on the global stage? The answer is probably “NO.” In fact, most mid-sized companies are completely unprepared to pursue a globalization strategy. Global readiness is not just about having the right products, services, or go-to-market plan. You also need to think about your organization’s ability to simultaneously support existing and new market organizations without burdening either with costly or unresponsive operations or procedures. Complications While the opportunities presented by a global expansion are potentially huge, so are the risks and barriers. Some of these include: • The company’s firm specific advantages and core competencies may not be transferable to the target market • Economic, political and regulatory risk can wipe out profits overnight • Cost advantages in labor, raw materials, capital, etc. are usually short lived as competitors quickly catch up, and can be outweighed by increased coordination costs • Globalization plans are often poorly considered, communicated, misunderstood, and sometimes sabotaged by internal resistance • Inability to collaborate with foreign counterparts limits innovation and consumes profit and time
Solution For globalization to proceed with minimum risk and maximum return the strategy needs to be resilient and to be a realistic fit to the organization expected to deliver on it. Strategic Alignment: What we do begins with assessing the firm’s globalization strategy from the top down to identify risks and make recommendations. Once the strategy is strong, we then work with the organization to ensure that it is ready to deliver on the plan. This includes defining the new global competency requirements, assessing the current competency level of the department or business unit, design of the new organization, aligning and re-designing the hiring and selection, learning and development, performance management, and compensation strategies to support the global strategy. The result is an organization that is more performance oriented, that
rewards risk taking and entrepreneurialism, and that feels accountable for producing sustainable business results.
☆Proposals from the consultants☆ Communication skills training for the masses - Joseph Hull
Recently, we were asked by a large Japanese company if we could provide business communication skills training for around 800 employees. The main requirements were: -Time - As quickly as possible Completed in twelve months program -Cost - As cheap as possible 25,000 yen budget per employee for each skill developed -Impact - As effective as possible -Measurable - significant and clearly measurable improvement in each skill area -Quality - As high as possible -All - every students should receive a consistent high level of training
These criteria presented us with some unique challenges, especially considering the variation in language and communication ability of the target employees. Several years ago, Globalinx developed a new software program using the Microsoft Windows platform, to provide pre and post support for students participating in our business communication skills seminars. The program proved to be very successful, not only helping students to effectively prepare for the seminar but also enabling them to effectively apply the skills and techniques they learned and continue to improve and develop their communication skills. However, the program itself was not enough to meet our client’s needs. So we set about developing the programs by creating a clear self-directed learning path
complete with forms and templates, and incorporated online instructor support to evaluate the student’s work and provide real-time guidance to help each student achieve a significant and measurable improvement. The result is that new program can be completed by all target employees with 12 months. The program is basically a cost effective self-directed program using the Windows software program with support and evaluation from professional business communication skill instructors. All employees are using the same program, which by the way is bilingual (Japanese & English), this means that we could provide the same high impact, high quality program to all employees and maintain a high quality of consistent training.
International Training Consultants
☆Proposals from the consultants☆ The benefits of active listening - Joseph Hull I have recognized that the majority of the participants on our seminars experience difficulty asking appropriate questions and understanding the message their foreign counterpart is trying to communicate to them. Basically, their listening skills are quite poor. Therefore, we spend a lot of time training the participants to develop their active listening skills. This means, asking for clarification where necessary, encouraging the person you’re communicating with to speak freely and express their real concerns and intentions. The Benefits of Active Listening Include: 1. Building stronger relationships. (Trust and respect) 2. Working together to resolve problems. 3. Creating a safe environment to share and discuss different viewpoints and ideas. Some Barriers to Active Listening Include: 1. Anticipating what is going to be said instead of being open to what is being said. 2. Paying too much attention to what is being said, rather, than how it is said. 3. Seeking confirmation of your preconceived ideas, rather than new information. Active listening is an essential skill as it enables the listener to receive and accurately interpret the speaker’s message, so that they can then provide an appropriate and accurate response. Here’s an example from my experience. I have lived in Japan for seven years. My wife is from Tokyo and speaks standard Japanese when she is with me. When I met
her father in Miyagi prefecture for the first time, I couldn’t understand a word he said because his dialect was completely foreign to me. Yet, after a thirty minute conversation, my father-in-law was surprised at my ability to understand every word he said. How did this miracle take place? Well, although I didn’t understand the words he spoke, his body language and tonality revealed his feelings, which quickly changed with each story he told me. So all I did was remain in sync with his feelings by interjecting generic phrases to show I understood. At the appropriate time, I threw in expressions such as, “oh, I see. Really? I understand how you feel. That’s surprising. Oh, that’s interesting.” After my first conversation with my father-in-law, as soon as we left he informed all family members and friends about my excellent fluency, making me a welcomed guest everywhere. The response I received made my communication successful. The response is an integral part of the listening process and can be critical to the success of a negotiation or business meetings.
Tips on improving your active listening skills include: 1. Ask open questions 2. Encourage elaboration 3. Listen empathetically 4. Give feedback to check your understanding 5. Be accepting and non-judgmental 6. Pay attention. Don’t let your mind wander 7. Don’t jump to conclusions 8. Remain open-minded 9. Don’t finish your counterpart’s sentence. 10. Check your understanding by paraphrasing and summarizing your understanding. Think of people as closed treasure chests. It is only by openly engaging with them that they open up. The ability to listen with empathy may be the most important attribute of people who succeed in gaining the trust and cooperation of others. Thank you very much; I look forward working with all of you again this year.
GLOBALINX CORP. International Training Consultants
Consultative Training Approach
Established in 1968, GLOBALINX now provides consulting, training, coaching and online learning services to a wide range of multinational corporation and government agencies. Our services are designed to improve and develop communication skills, workplace management, and leadership capabilities of employees working in global business environments. We develop the true potential of individuals, enhancing their ability to work in multicultural teams, manage global projects, and successfully communicate and implement global business strategies.
TEL: 81-3-5297-8243 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org URL: www.globalinx.co.jp