One of the blogs I subscribe to is Seth Godin’s. Godin is a marketing guru, author, speaker and innovator. Recently one of his recent blogs was titled Adopt vs. Adapt. While it was written relating to sales I believe it speaks directly to trainers:
Adopt vs. adapt
An early adopter seeks out new ideas and makes them work.
An adapter, on the other hand, puts up with what he has to, begrudgingly.
One is offense, the other is defense. One requires the spark of curiousity, the other is associated with fear, or at least hassle.
Hint: it’s not so easy to sell to the adapt community.
The question is are you an early adopter or an adaptor? There are some great trainers in North America who are early adopters. Many of them are members of ILEETA (www.ileeta.org). These are the trainers who are continually seeking new, better, and more effective ways of delivering training. These are the innovators. They are the trainers who do not rely on the most expensive equipment and the newest fads and gimicks to provide quality training. These are the men and women who believe being a trainer is a calling and not a job. They set aside their egos in search of more effective ways of delivering their training and they are willing to share their knowledge, their time and their experience with others.
The people who concern me are the trainers who are or have become Adapters. In the training world the adapters are those who have become comfortable with the status quo, those who have embraced mediocrity, those who see innovation as too much work, those who have been worn down by the constant battle for time and money for training, those who go through the motions in ‘preparation’ and presentation of material, those who are unwilling to learn from others and share with others, and those who use the words ‘have to’ when refering to training rather than ‘get to’. The adapters see training as a job.
Godin is right when he says “It is not so easy to sell to the adapt community.” The ideas around Excellence in Training are not easy to sell to adapters. I have tried and will continue to sell the thoughts, ideas and philosophies around Excellence in Training. The adopters take these ideas and make them their own. The build on them and find ways to improve their training. They give me feedback on what I can do better and how my ideas can be tweaked and enhanced. They share their successes and their failures.
The adapters say things like “this is a bunch of bullshit”, “these are good ideas, but they will never work in our department”, “our officers will never buy into this”, or “our Chief or Sheriff will never buy into this”. Adopters find ways to make it work, adapters make excuses why it will not work.
If you realize you have become an adaptor then you have two choices:
- Make the decision to change and commit to becoming an adpoter, or
- Do yourself and your officers a favor and get out of training and find your true calling withing your agency.