If you believe the Stern Report, then it looks like we should all pull our fingers out to help in the fight against global warming. What might this mean for training and L&D managers?
Many of you will be familiar with a famous 1914 recruitment poster. It featured a young boy and girl looking plaintively at their fatherand asking: “What did you do in the Great War, Daddy?” Today’s equivalent would probably be: “What did you do to combat climate change, biological father/mummy’s current companion for life?”
This is, pace the Stern Report on the dire effects of global warming, one of the great questions of our times. And it prompted me to wonder what training and learning and development departments could do to ensure their organisations use as few of Mummy Earth’s resources as possible. Quite a bit, I think. So I consulted Father Greenmas for some advice, and here it is.
Let’s start with consumables. Classroom-based training is hungry for these. Delegates are often supplied with disposable cups and plates, bottles of still and sparkling mineralwater, flip-chart paper and fibre-tipped pens. Well it’s got to stop.
The disposable cups and plates and mineral water have to go. We live in a land where tap water is portable and almost freely available, so use it. Only use paper that comprises a substantial amount of re-cycled material. And do we really need throw-away fibre-tipped pens and board markers? Einstein didn’t, and neither should we. A combination of coloured pencils, blackboard and chalk will do the job just as well.
Similar rigour must be applied to the electronic aids beloved of trainers. If you have plasma screens, favour back projection over Lite-Pros and ban the use of overhead projectors – they only encourage the creation of more foils which have the degradable qualities of a chav’s jewellery. And they are just so yesterday. Get rid!
Let’s turn to trainers and presenters. Try to use ones who are based locally. Pay them a bonus if they cycle, walk or use public transport. They’d bill you for private car use and parking, anyway. If you want to use a star turn based far away, get them to web-cast their presentation instead.
Consider creating global warming awareness training and distributing it to desktops. Reconsider those team-building days which involve 300-mile round trips to what remains of the countryside. Look for local options.
Finally, put a wind generator next to your training rooms. It might not generate enough electricity to power a LitePro, but it is a powerful symbol of your commitment to the struggle against global warming.
I know that with China opening a new coal-fired power station every day that it may seem a little futile but, as Father Tesco says: “Every little helps.”
Pass the sic bag
Now that the awards season is in full swing, I’d like to name a couple of winners in three overlooked training categories.
Firstly, the winner for the Worst Use of English in a Training Brochure goes to Core Commit of Groningen in the Netherlands, for its change management training literature. Copies of this were scattered like confetti at last month’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development expo at Harrogate.
The brochure lists several personal and organisational values that can be gleaned from Core Commit’s courses.These include: enthousiasm (sic) satifaction (sic) knowlegde (sic) and loyality (sic). It also proves that not everyone in Holland speaks English better than we natives – only most of them.
Secondly, the award for Best Use of Religious Imagery and Dress in a Diversity Training Programmegoes to British Airways for its view that wearing a tiny Christian cross breached its dress code on religious imagery, while obvious manifestations from other religions do not.
Finally, this programme also wins the Best Use of Applied Logic in Training award.