"Everything Must Change, Nothing Stays the Same"
The sub-title of this blog was inspired by the classic song by the famous guitarist, George Benson. I recently heard it on the radio and not only did it bring back fond memories of my youth but it also caused me to reflect on the relevancy of the lyrics and how it relates today. Change is all around us. We witness it every single day. I began to reflect on how technology and social media has rapidly transformed our world in just ten years. Consider the following:
- Thirteen years ago, Google was a start-up company in a garage.
- Ten years ago, the founder of Facebook was in high school.
- Ten years ago, Apple gave us the iPod, later the iPhone and now the iPad.
- Eight years ago, Linkedin was launched.
- Six years ago, three friends started You Tube.
- Five years ago was the beginning of Twitter.
All of the above have become a major part of our daily lives. Billions of users in the United States and around the world are involved in some way with social media. It has truly changed the way we gather information and how we communicate. It has also had a huge impact on us as training professionals. Social media has given us unlimited ability to share knowledge and information quickly. This is a huge advantage in this new world of globalization. In view of this, demands are being placed on training departments to think outside of the box and think beyond the classroom. This has led companies to consider and to incorporate a blend of training strategies such as e-learning to support classroom-based training.
Sometimes it can all be overwhelming. The challenge that we have as training professionals is finding balance. How do we stay current without throwing the baby out with the bath water? It’s important to be innovative and on the cutting edge and at the same time honoring the traditional strategies that work regardless of how much technology we have.
The biggest challenge goes back to my title of change. Change is known to be the mother of all resistance. It is natural, as human beings, to find comfort in what we know and discomfort with that which is new, different, and unfamiliar; however, as training professionals, we will be unable to have an impact if we are too slow to move and are too far behind the curve. We are living in a new age of iPods, iPhones, and iPads and numerous other gadgets that I couldn’t possibly name. We simply cannot afford to stick our heads in the sand and continue to do what has always been done, particularly if it is not working. We must dare ourselves to think outside of the box and come out of our comfort zones because the winds of change are truly upon us. George Benson sang it best: “Everything must change; nothing stays the same, because that’s the way of time, nothing and no one goes unchanged.”
In part two of this blog, I will examine the impact that social media and technology has had on generational learning.