Magazine article Training & Development

Signs of the Times

Magazine article Training & Development

Signs of the Times

Article excerpt

What lies ahead for training? How are organizations changing? What's the future like for business? What kind of job will you have next? You may find some clues in the following facts and figures about work, learning, and careers compiled from many sources.

They are the tea leaves. Reading them is up to you.

The Changing Landscape

The number of mergers and acquisitions announced in the first half of 1995 increased by 22 percent over the same period in 1994.

Mergerstat Review

Seventy percent of companies are in the midst of transformation that extends significantly beyond single-dimension initiatives such as downsizing or reengineering.

Gemini Consulting, Inc.

Businesses have redrawn their boundaries, making them both tight (as they focus on core competencies) and porous (as they out-source noncore work). As a result, work follows a contractor-subcontractor model, not one of vertical integration.


About 30 percent of the annual expenditure for training by U.S. companies goes to outside providers. Companies are experimenting with these outsourcing strategies: keeping training design inside and outsourcing development and delivery; using cost-benefit analysis to select training providers; forming alliances with junior colleges, universities, and training companies; pooling training resources across companies; and forming partnerships with a vendor to share resources.

Charles Bent, NYNEX Training and Education

"I am the site training administrator for Texas Instruments in Sherman, Texas. Formerly we had several internal trainers for the development and delivery of computer training. We have now outsourced our training and I administer it. We are also pursuing computer-based training and performance support systems."

Michael W. Perry

At the Ford Motor Company, the training unit is transforming itself into a self-funding business. It evaluates all training programs against the criteria of product line profitability. It uses automated billing and touch-tone phone registration to increase efficiency. Its project database model helps managers make build/buy decisions about training programs. A tracking system shows costs and revenue for the training facility and individual courses.

ASTD Benchmarking Forum

Percentage of supervisory and middle management jobs eliminated in 1991: 44 Percentage eliminated in 1994: 62

Total payroll for professionals and managers employed by temporary services companies in 1991: $335 million. Total in 1994: $1.02 billion

American Management Association

"Constant in a violently changing world." Advertisement for Levi's 501 jeans

The Virtual Workplace

By the start of 1996, more than 9.2 million Americans called themselves telecommuters. The number will triple in the next 15 to 20 years.


Virtual corporations will maintain multi-use hubs combining meeting and communication centers, employee lounges, and classroom space for teaching new skills to a geographically dispersed workforce.

Franklin D. Becker, Cornell University

Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center employs anthropologists and psychologists to study interactions between people and machines. Director John Seely Brown says, "Our long-term goal is to bring calmness to the office in contrast to today's information overload."

New York Times

When Reuters Holdings, London, needed people for its subsidiary that designs computer screens, it borrowed them from 12 other companies. These "consultants on loan" from all over the globe communicate by fax and e-mail and rarely meet.

IBM's Cranford, New Jersey, facility has no private offices. Administrators and staff have permanent desks, but the salesforce works from the field and reserves a workstation when needed.

Kinko's and U.S. Sprint have teamed up to offer teleconferencing facilities at 140 Kinko's stores. …

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