10 Tips for Surviving and Thriving in Tough Economic Times

Does your organization need to train more people with fewer resources? Here are some tips to help you rise to the challenge. There are many circumstances that can create challenges in a learning organization’s budget. Of course, the economy leads the list of causes, but there are other contributors, such as consolidations, mergers, adding additional charters without commensurate increases in budget, and major shifts in an enterprise’s strategy. In this article, I have gathered ten tips that learning organizations are using to survive and thrive in these challenging times. TIP #1 – CHANGE THE VIRTUAL-TO-CLASSROOM MIX Many organizations suggest that the ideal ratio of virtual and classroom training is 80 percent virtual and 20 percent classroom. There is just no better way to train masses of people, especially when they are spread out over multiple sites. But instead of hiring hundreds of trainers, or maintaining expensive travel budgets, organizations are turning to virtual delivery to deal with declining budgets and expanding needs. Alice Muellerweiss, Dean of the Department of Veterans Affairs Learning University (VALU) described her opening hand of cards this way at the Enterprise Learning! Summit in March 2012: “In January 2010, when I first came over to the V.A. Learning University, I was given a budget, told that I had 16 people, and that I had to train 135,000 people in the first year. And three months were already gone.” After the initial shock, she said her wheels began to turn. “I couldn’t just go build schools and travel people. I had to change the way I thought about delivering education.” In response she turned VALU into an almost completely virtual learning organization. TIP #2 – LEVERAGE OTHER PEOPLE’S COURSEWARE This was a personal favorite of

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