• Professional Development and Training?

    March 1, 2011
    I've heard all that stuff before.

    In our continuing practice of publishing a March issue focusing on a single theme, we decided that the subject of Professional Development and Training made the most sense. There are many reasons, but let me begin with the most obvious.

    No matter what you do for a living, if you don't make efforts to improve, stagnation follows, and worse, performance often declines, because those around you do not remain immobile. A basic law of physics seems to pervade human behavior. An object at rest tends to stay at rest, and in human behavior we describe this as inertia. But if we have any intention of improving ourselves and our company and, as owners and managers, our bottom line begins with those people and not with the numbers we crunched last fall as we projected our goals for 2011.

    I have written about the issue of coaching and whether it has an impact on how we perform in the past. My conclusion is that most of us benefit from learning from others, and it becomes almost mandatory if we know little or nothing about the topic at hand. But there is one more crucial element to this process. Not only must you learn something but you must repeatedly expose yourself to that learning process. If you've ever read a book or watched a movie two or three times, isn't it amazing what you discern that you missed completely the first time around?

    This is where HARDI and this special March issue come into play. We have written about HARDI's professional development and training issues for years. Why do it again? There are several crucial reasons.

    First, there has been a significant personnel change at HARDI, and this new team brings with it different personalities, backgrounds, experiences and style. In some way, they all, at the very least, touch upon the elements of professional development and training. Second, just as people can't run in place forever, this also applies to the other side: Changes also occur on what HARDI offers its members. We've outlined these changes throughout this special issue.

    I've mentioned inertia, and we might tend to think of it only as a physical act. I would warn owners and managers to guard against mental inertia. That expresses itself in the context that, “I already know all the stuff that HARDI offers,” and thus you end up foregoing some of the benefits that you could avail yourself of.

    I offer two simple suggestions that might help. First, look over each of the programs, policies and initiatives in this issue. Be sure that you understand them. Call the appropriate HARDI personnel to ask any questions you might have. Then ask yourself: Am I using this resource AND can it be of benefit to my company? If you actually discuss the issue of professional development and training in an organized fashion within your company (and bless you if you do), then this issue should serve as a reference guide during your next meeting.

    HARDI holds itself to a very high standard when it comes to offering programs and services to members that can really make a difference in their businesses. These are not idle words, simply an observation of their deep commitment to your success. Don't you owe it to yourself and your company to make sure you know precisely what those offerings are?

    HVACR Distribution Business welcomes letters to the editor. Please send correspondence to: Tom Peric´, Editor 2040 Fairfax Avenue Cherry Hill, NJ 08003 856/874-0049 or e-mail [email protected].