Tuesday, July 6, 2010


In many professions (doctors, dentists, lawyers, judges, coaches) you need to follow, at least yearly, a refresher course. Otherwise you will loose your license or certificate. The goals of these refresher courses is to train on the new developments in the their respective field. These can be new methodologies, new laws, new procedures, and new ways of working. There is benefit for both the participants (they keep up to date with their knowledge) as well as the customers (they receive the latest, proven treatment).

So, wouldn’t it be a good idea to institutionalize this also for managers and leaders in business? Businesses have a huge influence in our society, often more than even governments. Leaders are co-responsible for the wellbeing of their people and their respective families. And I would say that the most changes happen in this area. There is ongoing newness in technology, regulations, standards, communications, employee relations, stakeholders, personal motivation, sustainability and many other area’s.

Most managers and leaders are very busy; their agenda’s are fully booked with meetings. When the meetings are finished they are supposed to handle many emails. Then they will travel home which takes more and more time due to the traffic jams. And then they have some time with their families. In essence there is no time available for acquiring new knowledge and experiences. You could argue that they then have set the wrong priorities, but the daily operational pressure is so high that they will and cannot change these priorities. The result is that when you (as an outsider) talk wit them about for instance social media they hardly know what it is – “oh, this is what my daughter uses, isn’t it”- or they are not aware what the latest mobile technologies, like geo-location services,  can do for their business.

The only way out of this is to have one, mandatory week each year where they will have these business refresher courses. These courses will take place in outside locations and business people from different industries will attend. In this way they can also learn from each other.


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