Training Directors Forum 2004

Training Directors Forum kicked off this evening at the five-star Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa outside of Phoenix. We're in the middle of an Indian Native American Reservation in the Sonora Desert. This enables the hotel to run a casino which is (thankfully) located away from the resort proper. I hitched a ride in with Marc Rosenberg. It's so pleasant to hop into a car with the air conditioning on full blast when it's 100 degrees outside." border="0">

TDF attendance is up 9% over last year. The evening reception was a chance to catch up with old friends and make new acquaintances. (Note to ASTD: The bar here was free. After what you pay to attend one of these events, the cash bar thing is insulting. It's nickel and diming your best customers.) Many familiar faces: IBM's Margaret Driscoll, Nokia's Andreas Forsberg, Julie Groshens (who's training to run a marathon!), Deborah Stone (we go back decades), Saul Carliner (who kicks this thing off tomorrow morning), Lance Dublin, Phil Jones (who has his heart in this business, as do a lot of the former Lakewooders), Ghenno Senbetta, Fred Posar, Leah Nelson (great smile!), Brenda Sugrue, and many others.

I remember reading Robert Cialdini's book Influence when it was published. Click, whirr, act as if you are a robot. The concept has legs. Bob is presenting here. We talked about Influence, its longevity and rebirth, and his current projects. He's focused on time, specifically, what moments have the most impact. One of his latest experiments was testing which environmental-friendly cards in hotels ("Don't replace the sheets") were most effective. The winner: "Most people do this...."

Richard Leider challenged us to think about "What makes you get up in the morning?" He's spent his time on earth as a "student of the second half of life." Most of us were clearly in the second half; those in the first half were probably in the pool, dancing, getting new tatoos, or doing things that defy description in a professional blog.

Richard has asked many oldsters what they'd do differently if they could relive their experiences. They tell him:

  1. More itme for reflection. Grow whole, not old. Come closer to the magic of the fire. Stare into the flame. Join the village elders in the front row.
  2. Courage. Take more risks in work and love. "What do you intend to do in your wild and crazy life?"
  3. Purpose. Everyone wants to make a difference, to leave a dent in the world.
Be authentic. Find your calling: give your gifts away. Passion. Values. Find a calling, not a job.

Great grounding talk. I asked Richard if he knew the Fritz Perls remark that at the end of his life, he didn't want to be saved. He wanted to be spent.

The gang from Enspire Learning, demonstrating what it's like to work in a start up. I remember these folks from when it was six guys in a house in Austin. Bjorn tells me they now number more than 20 and are hitting the targets in their original business plan in spite of the recession. Enspire creates cool simulations.

Jack Phillips and I talked for 90 minutes about ROI, values, lifestyle, the future, and more. The power of face-to-face: i now respect a fellow I'd previously classified as focused entirely on yesterday's news. Jack's a delightful fellow and has his head screwed on right.

Posted by Jay Cross at June 7, 2004 12:37 AM | TrackBack

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