Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Moores law of training

Last night, I was reading a book that talks about high performance teams and how to create a high performance team culture. The book made for very interesting reading and had a few aha moments for me. While the premise is simple - and I thought I knew it all - the way the book structured its story seemed simple and more importable - doable and replicable.

All went well, till I reached a chapter where the example was 'Lance Armstrong'. Now, I myself used to admire Lance Armstrong. I read his book, 'Its not about the bike' and thought about this man who kept on winning despite the odds. All that seems so long ago now given the recent news around him.

And once I read this part, I kind of put the book away. In all probability, I will return to the book since it did have many an a-ha moment in it. But the example of Lance set me thinking.

Is management theory or theorizing only about present heroes (and of course, past successes?). But talking only about past successes does not hold much water for the future - so talking about the present becomes important. And therein lies the trouble. The same Lance who one upheld as a hero yesterday is gone today. The same Nokia which till yesterday marched like Alexander into emerging markets is now more of an Alexander who has lost his way. And these are but two examples.

Really, people like us who are in the training line use examples of great companies and individuals as paragons of the topic we are talking about. But do we really know if that is what got them there? Do we really know the secret sauce, if there is one? Or is just a fallacy at work - to use a theory to justify a success?

And perhaps there needs to be a Moores law of training - which could state that all training examples will be antiquated in 12 months. Or that all recent successes will fit into any new theory you decide to teach. Or some such.

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