Nina Spencer

Edmonton Journal – Careers: Staff retraining pays off for employees, company

Edmonton Journal - Careers: Staff retraining pays off for employees, company

By FIONA MCNAIR, Special to the Journal
Edmonton Journal / Wednesday, April 26, 2000

Recent Survey says 94 per cent of staff want new skills

Knowledge management. Intellectual capital. Learning organization. Organizational learning. It is almost imossible to pick up a business or management primer without reading one or more of these buzz words.

But how often are these alluring concepts actually present in the companies that claim them to be?

Nina Spencer, an Ontario-based professional development advisory who lectures on the "Learning Organization" agrees some companies are all talk, but many more embrace the concept and practices of a learning organization and all this encompasses.

"We are talking here about turning around a culture. There are no quick fixes though. It takes time."

Spencer believes such dramatic change requires an entire organizational shift in perspective to looking at the long term -- a task complicated for many companies who are so bound by current fiscal realities.

In the meantime, even if the CEO or top management doesn't support training in the way employees would like to see, lower level management can still come up with low cost alternatives and stop-gap measures.

"If you can't change the world, at least work on changing your neighbourhood."