55 and Older Execs Don’t Like Training
Reni: I read an article on The Economist titled: Executive education and the over-55s: Never too old to learn. The focus was about the trend that older executives are shunning corporate training. The reason? To put it bluntly: They are sick and tired of going and sitting in training. Why? Many assume they will not learn anything earth shattering, while others just don’t have the patience/time away from their job. Training has to be “worth it”. The article goes on to discuss what does work, one being sending executives to prestigious schools. They won’t go to internal training, but they will go to external training at reputable institutions. Why? Probably because they feel like they will really learn. So, it is not really that they don’t like learning, rather they don’t like corporate training.
The Generational Lie
Rich: I attended several learning conferences this year, and at each one, I heard some variation on this message: it’s time to get past old school training models, because the generation of 20-somethings entering the work force don’t learn that way. We need social media for the 20-somethings, because that’s how they learn. We need virtual environments for the 20-somethings, because that’s how they learn. And every time, I wanted to scream from the back of the room, “HEY! I’M A 40-SOMETHING, AND I LEARN THAT WAY, TOO!”
Where on earth did we get the notion that because employees of a certain age have greater exposure to “traditional” learning methods that we like it better? Or that we’re somehow resistant or techno-phobic? Every generation has its share of resisters, but most of us like trying new things, and we especially like making good use of our time and being successful.