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October Guest Blog: Getting Back to Live Hands-on Training to Meet Competitive Demands

Written by 
David Mantica, VP and GM - SoftEd US

There are vast arrays of solutions currently that offer just in time eLearning. From YouTube videos, to MOOCs, to short courses on Pluralsight, CBT Nuggets or LinkedIn Learning. Each of these options will allow you a quick and easy way to curate the content you need, take it and move on.  In reality pretty powerful but it does come with flaws. 

In complex and complicated environments there is a lot more nuance involved when getting things done.  More interaction, negotiation, influence and teaming.  Just because you know how to do something doesn’t mean you can get something done.  This is a critical difference that must be considered when dealing with the complex transformations companies are facing.  Your employees need to have more skills than just knowing how to do something aka the need for both art and science of getting things done. 

Another way to discuss the issue of art and science is to talk about professionals being T-Shaped.  There are many resources out there on being T-Shaped, just type in “T-Shaped Skills” in Google.  Project practices like Scrum for managing software and DevOps for deploying software have become the main vehicles for pushing the T-Shape professional requirement.

Basically a T-Shaped person has a bottom of the “T” technical expertise that they dig deeper and deeper into.  This is the area that eLearning content can provide great just in time solutions.  Someone can get multiple Cisco Technology certifications or get multiple Project certifications from PMI, by learning the  “Science” of that area. 

The other part of the “T” is the top.  The top has two areas. One side covers the critical professional skills that enable workers to get things done; emotional intelligence, conflict management, change management, negotiation, facilitation and finally influence.  These are the skills that enable a professional to get “slop” through murky waters of their company and get thing executed.  Again knowing something does not mean you can get something done.  The other side of the top is your whole self. This include your management of stress, understanding of how your brain operates and performs and keeping yourself mentally and physically healthy in the hyper stress world of change.  Doing this drives increase levels of productivity.

So with training, technology drives an inverse reaction. As technology increases, complexity increases and as complexity increases the need for live training (over technology driven eLearning training) increases. To beat complexity you not only have to learn how to do something but how to deal with the critical human to human issues that stops execution in its tracks. Live training bridges the how to do it with the how to get it done giving you the full experience aka the art and the science.  Or better yet gives you a path to building T-Shaped professionals.

SoftEd has 28 years of experience supporting customers through complex transformation to drive business outcomes.  You can find out more by going to or contacting me at


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