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training question

Hi all.  A recent P2 training event leads to this question:

Considering that P2 programs have reputations to protect, is it appropriate
to have vendors with specific technical solutions participate in an
industry-specific P2 course?

I ask because I heard that the recent event sponsor refused to allow such
vendor participation because it would be "too commercial", although there
was a person ready to help who was not going to do a company sales pitch
but a presentation on the specific applications of specific hardware.  As a
result, the participants left with some ideas about basic technologies but
no idea about who sells them, "inside" tips about how they work, what it is
like to install and use them, what they cost, etc.

How can this tension between "commercialism" and the real need for specific
solutions be resolved in training in P2 training?  My own feeling is that
P2 training should be "pure" as advertised, but that an OPTIONAL vendor
presentation the next day, or after lunch, would be ok and useful as long
as it was clearly advertised as complementary but not necessary.

I hope this stimulates some good discussion.  The US govt and some states
are sending people all over the place doing P2 training, and the local
vendors of appropriate tech are asking to participate, and now often have
the door shut on them.  This does not seem to be very helpful all around.
How to balance these interests?  Any thoughts?

Burt Hamner
Burton Hamner
President, Hamner and Associates LLC
Adjunct Professor, Asian Institute of Management
4343 4th Avenue NW, Seattle Washington USA 91807
Tel/fax: 206-789-5499 (call before sending a fax)
Email:  bhamner@mindspring.com
Web:  The Sustainable Business Webspace, www.mindspring.com/~bhamner