January 2008 is quite an important month for me. This is the month I am looking after my two sons and two nephews while my wife and daughter are away with my mother. Baby sitting, teen sitting or minding the kids, whatever you may call it is interesting and certainly challenging.

Now to the E-News:
An economic recession – a distinct possibility
Learning and Performance – the FUN Factor
Learning and Performance – the Performance Factor
Inspiration starts with you – Rainbow Creators
People to remember as they leave this world
SMR Group News
An economic recession – a distinct possibility

I did not read the newspapers on Wednesday morning, the 23rd January as the headlines were all about the stock markets world over collapsing. Since then there has been a gentle rebound. Most CEO’s I talked with did not even want to look at the stock market indices as they were too terrified of the consequences. With oil prices touching US$ 100/- a barrel, unemployment rate in the US reaching a two year high and a record number of people being forced from their homes, the fallout from the US housing melt down threatens to propel the US into a recession. While the US government and the Federal Reserve are doing several things to avert a recession, the worry is the impact the state of the US economy will have on the other world economies. More importantly, what will be the impact on the field of learning & development? Please visit http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22613904/ for more details.
Learning and Performance – the FUN Factor

Researchers at the University of Tennessee list out several myths about learning. The premise that everyone starts with the same base of knowledge about a particular subject, everyone learns at the same pace, everyone learns best by listening, everyone will bridge naturally from theory to application, everyone should learn on his or her own rather than in collaboration and learning is the transfer of knowledge from a teacher to a passive learner results in excessive telling or lecture. "We don't remember information totally; we reconstruct the way information connects to [other] information,"..."That means learners have to reconstruct the interconnectors or forget what they've learned in a short time. The stuff you remember is what you use to make the interconnections." FUN can play a great role in making the interconnections or associations. For more details, please visit http://groups.google.com/group/FUNlearning.
Learning and Performance – the Performance Factor

Appraisals get done by now for most organisations. The question now is how to translate these performance objectives into reality. Until now, many organisations have focused on looking at historical performance management methods. If we drive looking at the rear mirror, we are very likely to crash. With plans in place, there is a need to look forward resulting in forward looking performance management. Anthony Politan says you can integrate what if scenarios with traditional budgeting and planning systems to change faster than industry norms and acquire a competitive advantage. Such an approach, he says takes performance management to the next level. For more details, please visit http://drpalan.blogspot.com.
Inspiration starts with you – Rainbow Creators

Sir Edmund Hillary, who has died at the age of 88 on 11th January, 2008 made it to the summit of Everest in 1953, and became the first man on the planet to reach its highest point. He was a true Rainbow Creator whose fragile appearance as a boy belied his ground-breaking potential. At school, the world class mountaineer was in a gym group for those lacking co-ordination and admitted to feeling a "deep sense of inferiority". The 40-mile journey to school in Auckland each day gave young Edmund many hours to pore over adventure stories and travel ever further in his mind. On May 29, 1953, he and the Nepalese Sherpa, Tenzing Norgay, set foot on the summit of Everest, the highest point on earth. They had succeeded where others had failed, and had survived a journey that had taken the lives of great explorers before them. Despite his great success and the unprecedented feat of scaling the world's highest mountain that brought him a fame he could hardly have imagined, he often returned often to the mountains of Nepal, the scene of his greatest triumph. Sir Edmund Hillary dedicated much of his long life to environmental causes and to humanitarian efforts on behalf of the Nepalese people. More than half a century after his most famous feat, his fame remained undimmed.

His name has become a byword for courage and endurance. We salute this great humanitarian, a true Rainbow Creator who made things happen. For more details, do visit http://creatingyourownrainbow.blogspot.com.
People to remember as they leave this world

As I was reading the Gulf Business news while flying Gulf Air, I was intrigued to see the picture of Saeed Omar, the Managing Director of CTM Events, Bahrain. The article on him plunged me into great sadness. A cruel road accident had taken him away from this world and he was only in his early forties. The unassuming young man whom I met at the 2002 IFTDO World Conference had become a good friend. The sadness was compounded as he leaves behind a young family. A great friend of the training community, he needs to be saluted for his contributions.

During January, the wife of Malaysia’s former Director General of Income Tax, Tan Sri Soma passed away. She had lived a full life. Again, she was an unassuming lady who cared for people. Her husband, a very gentle and humble person presided over a very dignified and calm funeral.

Death, my Jesuit teachers always told me is a great leveler. It adds meaning to life and when loved ones are called away, it is always for a reason.
SMR Group News

We are hosting the conference within a conference at the Training Magazine’s Annual Conference 2008 at Atlanta, USA. Don Kirkpatrick will personally deliver the keynote. For more details, please visit

The Asia HRD Congress 2008 is all set for Jakarta in partnership with PPM, Indonesia. The Asia HRD Congress team welcomes speaker proposals and partner delegations.

For more information of our activities, please email gaik@smrhrd.com.

To all of our Chinese subscribers, let me wish them a very Happy Chinese New Year.

Best wishes,
February 2008
Trainers Meet Trainers Going Places
Asia HRD Congress 2008

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