Thursday, February 14, 2008

Unable to Learn? Or Unwilling to Learn???

In working with a lot of people in the area of technology, I hear "I'm not tech savvy" or something along those lines an awful lot. Usually it is a very intelligent professional person. Most of them hold advanced degrees in their field.

As an IT Trainer, how do I get them to become tech savvy? Or maybe I should ask how do I get them to want to become tech savvy?

I honestly believe that there are very few of these people that are unable to learn. The issue is how to get them to 'want' to learn. Is it possible that in today's world, they don't know about the benefits of being 'tech savvy'? Do they think it is just too hard? Do they lack the confidence in being able to learn? Are they using this as an excuse to get out of doing work? Are they afraid? If so, of what?

I don't have the answers. I suspect that I'm not even asking the right questions.

It wouldn't be so bad if their ignorance only affected them. In today's world, their ignorance affects everyone around them. Their co-workers waste a lot of time because they are working on projects with them. The organization loses because countless hours and dollars are wasted, knowledge is not being shared and work is being duplicated to name a few ways their ignorance affects others.

I'm working with a team and we'll have a conference call that will last 2 hours. If the team members could/would post their reports to the web (wiki) prior to the conference call, the secretary's job would be much easier (and more accurate) and our conference call would last a fraction as long. We could spend that time addressing the issues for which we need everyone's input.

If the team members were more tech savvy, we could use some web conferencing software and save hundreds of dollars of phone charges, run a much more efficient meeting, show many of the things we'll be talking about and have a recording for those who were unable to attend.

None of these require skills much beyond being able to type into a web page form, use a word processor or plug in a headset.

I'm done ranting for now...
Your comments would be greatly appreciated!