OJT. Those three initials pretty much summarize the training methodology of the vast majority of this industry’s distributors. A recent survey conducted by the ASA Training Council found on-the-job training to be the largest influence on professional development in this industry by a wide margin. In second place was mentor/coach/peer networking, which can also be interpreted as a form of OJT. I’m confident most of you reading this would concur that OJT is the way you acquired most of your work-related knowledge.
This is not a good situation. OJT has its place and is probably indispensable for some things, but it’s a painstaking way to acquire knowledge and out of touch with the fast-paced business world of today. Nor does it have the systematic character that meshes with the career development concerns of today’s generation of talented young people. There has to be a better way, and ASA’s Training Council is a group of distributor personnel that has taken it upon themselves to find better ways.
Last November the Training Council held a meeting at a hotel just a few miles from my office, so I dropped in on one of their sessions. Here are some of the ideas and concerns that came up in the panel presentation I attended.