Thursday, July 1, 2010

Trying to Save the Day for the Old World Man

Neil Peart is a true genius for writing these lyrics.

"He's not concerned with yesterday
He knows constant change is here today
He's noble enough to know what's right
But weak enough not to choose it
He's wise enough to win the world
But fool enough to lose it"
- New World Man by Rush from the Signals album 1982

New or old, your admins and developers deserve to not be left behind by technology because you can't spend any money on their training. It's not fair to ask them to do it on their own, sure some do, but most really just want to leave work behind every day when they go home.

They know they should be on 8.5.1, using Xpages, Traveler and all types of other great things but they are stuck in how to get these things changed. And in some cases may end up having to learn something completely new anyway, so why not let them get more advanced training on what you already have spent some serious money on for your infrastructure.

Fact: Recent client spent weeks, if not months, trying to resolve issues which they spent probably $50,000+ on when a few days to a week of training(Between $3-10,000) could have kept them humming along more efficiently.

Training may allow employees to move elsewhere easier, but it just may be what endears them to you more and keeps them happier longer. And you don't get hit with salary budget issues. Yes, I know a shell game, but it works in some organizations.

What do you, as an employer, do to help them grow their skills? Do you send them to annual training? (Note a $ means there is a cost associated with it)

Events like:
  1. Lotusphere($)
  2. The View Admin & Developer Conferences($)
  3. Collaboration University($)
  4. Lotusphere Comes To You events (Free)
  5. Proof of Technology Workshops (Free)
  6. Community Events found on
  7. If you are a Business Partner, use the VIC (mostly Free)
  8. Any LUG events which usually are FREE
  9. Webinars (usually free)
  10. IBM Website full of various levels of information
  11. TLCC($) has some excellent training products
  12. On Site Training ($)

Probably more offerings around the world I am forgetting, let me know and I will add them.

Of course they should also be reading the blogs found on if for no other reason than to realize how ahead or behind they are and ask for more. Also, most of us that speak at events post our presentations, so it's like a review course in perpetuity on all topics, not juts IBM or Lotus related.

If you don't provide it, and no one asks for it, that is understandable but scary for you and them.

Imagine how much better your staff would love you if you offered them anything at all? Knowing it may cost you just some travel budget for an entirely free 1-3 day event in some cases?

So start helping the team by helping them pave the way to a new world for them and your company.


  1. serves me right, thanks for pointing it out

  2. I agree wholeheartedly with your comments; training, knowledge acquisition, knowledge sharing etc. are all absolutely invaluable ways to achieve success.

    However, there are two problems here - time and time :-)

    I like to think that I'm reasonably well-informed on all things Lotus, given where I work, but I still struggle to keep abreast. Resources such as PlanetLotus, blog rolls, Twitter and, of course, (drum roll) This Week in Lotus (TWIL) all help but ..... I know that they exist, and where to go to find them, and also try and make the time to read/watch/listen.

    However, it's still a challenge.

    I guess that all we can do is to continue to spread the word to the wider world, especially to our customers who are very often even more time-pressured than us.

    Still, having a Lotus Evangelist on the team should do wonders :-)

  3. @Dave, yes, time is the biggest problem, more so than ever before.
    We can't just turn off.
    But posts like this provide fodder for people who don't know these events even exist or how to get the info, on their time.
    And yes everyone should have a Lotus Evangelist on site, I am available anytime you need me to help your customers of course, as I do with other IBMers.

  4. Keith, I agree - there are plenty of resources that we can AND should direct our clients to, both online and onsite.

    Here in the UK, we ran a number of Lotus TechJam events in 2008/9 that were well received. Similarly, Proof of Technology events in Hursley are often well attended. The biggest challenge is getting the message out ...

    Still, #LotusKnows that people like you and Stu and (cough cough) me are doing our darndest to spread the word

  5. @Dave, funny you say getting the word out is the hardest part, I agree 100%. We as a BP can only do so much and the IBM reps will email everyone but it just never gets to come up in discussion with everyone enough.
    We would like more people to show up, aside from having a band play at the event I wonder sometimes what we need to do.