February 20, 2023
As we near Day 50 of lock down, all of us are breaking our backs- by sitting through numerous Online Training- on rather non-ergonomic chairs. The Online Training is the only industry with "traction" - rest of us have all lost our bearings. I have some serious differences with this narrative. Here we go......
Here are my grouses against Online Training:
SPACE: Unlike the US of A- most Indians (and I can say most of the "developing" world) live in rather small houses- flats as we imaginatively call them. Thus, we do not have the quiet and peace needed for focusing on session at hand. We get a variety of background music- children screeching, the melody of bartans banging, the sweet sound of cooker whistles.... I was once in a session where cows interrupted frequently. Moo to that.
ATTENTION: Any session with 25 people is difficult to coordinate. In fact how does one know if anyone is paying attention. Your question "Any questions?" meets with such an eerie silence you wonder if you were training some departed souls !!
TRAINER: Covid-19 has turned even lizards into trainers. Expressionless, monotonous trainers are thrust upon a suffering audience. Try not to give frank feedback- as your boss has logged in as well to check upon underlings. Worst case- Boss is your trainer !!
TIME PASS: Your really thought corporate training was about transforming the cubicle worker into miracle worker? People attend training for variety of important reasons- travel, food, after training parties etc. Match that, Zoom.
Now, before you take me for a disgruntled "worker", let me reveal that I fall in the "Boss" category and very keen to "Upgrade" levels of over 80 of my underlings.
But here is what you miss in Online Training as a Boss- so used to holding darbar of hapless employees.
BAKRA: In physical world, you can make anyone a Bakra- in corporate jargon we call it "Setting and Example". The Bakra effect works best in front of 20-30 other potential bakras who are happy they survived to tell the tale to their ilk. Online is just not fun !!
EGO TRIP: You are always right. Knowledge that you impart is brahmagyan. You want to see gratefulness in the eyes of your underlings. In a 2cm X 2 cm Zoom picture- you can\'t even make out if it is your employee or his dog on the other side.
SHOUTING GAME: All Bosses are avatars of Lord Shiva. They can open their Trinetra anytime and burn down an underling. Bosses are naturally gifted without a volume control- max always. But in an Online Training you find employee smiling when you are shouting- only to learn that he was actually listening to Amit Trivedi !!
The poor VCs and PEs know all this stuff. But they have to deploy money to get their fees. They are desperate for at least some of their Unicorns not to lose their horn. So they will invest truckloads of money into an industry and put enough spin to convince you that Online Training is the future.
We poor Bosses have to go along as we have to deal with a set of people most susceptible to this spin- call the The Board of Directors !!