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Training Versus Learning: Openness to the world

October 20, 2009

My expertise is not in training. Indeed, I must confess that I generally tried to avoid training courses because I found ‘real work’ more interesting. During the course of that ‘real work’, I discovered many fascinating things and people – and I learnt a lot.

Yesterday’s Financial Times carried a supplement on business education. Under a headline ‘Applicants flock to the global village’, it explained that demand for multi-continent Executive MBAs has increased during the current recession – against a backdrop of falling demand for all other EMBA programs.  In interviews, candidates highlighted the importance of learning across cultural and political boundaries. They also described the tremendous value of seeing questions from other perspectives – and how this not only challenges their own views, but often leads to different and better answers.

I was delighted to read this, because it endorsed my view that so much of my learning has come from being open to outside influences and recognizing that good ideas and innovative thoughts come from anywhere, without regard to geographic boundaries. And of course, this is one of the underlying philosophies for IACCM, which has created a true ‘global village’ for those in the world of contracts and relationship management. Through its website, members can network with their peers and counterparts around the world. They can dwell in ‘communities of interest’, to discuss topics of mutual concern. And they can enrol in Global Managed Learning – interactive web-based programs of training that include participation with multi-cultural students from around the world.

Over the years, I have realized that I did not like traditional education and training because it was something that was ‘done to me’. What I did enjoy was participative programming that enabled me to engage with other students with different and distinctive experiences and viewpoints. So I can understand why these multi-continent MBAs would be interesting. And I can see why participants can gain so much from IACCM Managed Learning. Of course, an EMBA combines virtual and physical classes, whereas the IACCM program is entirely virtual. But the IACCM experience costs just 0.75%  (yes, I do mean less than one percent) of the price of the average EMBA – so I guess when it comes to practicality and value, it is not surprising that we too are seeing such strong growth!

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