We learn from our first breath, or even earlier, ideally still learning up to our last — long beyond the formal education of our school years. Our capacity to learn makes us vibrant, productive, meaningful. Even more powerful than what we learn or what we know is also learning how to learn; how to integrate objective technique and technology skills with the subjective abstract or “soft” skills needed for critical thinking and seasoned assessment and behavior in order to move ever closer to optimal professional (and personal) development.
Business and nonprofit leaders cite, time and again, that the greatest challenge they have is finding and developing capable employees, capable not only of completing work tasks but of recognizing and effectively managing and adapting to more complex challenges involving the intricacies of human relationships and interactions, such as how to attract and retain customers. This requires a sophisticated understanding of how to analyse and approach problems; this requires knowledge of how to learn.
Our chamber role as a professional association includes serving as a platform for ongoing education of all sorts, typically guided by the needs, talents and passions of our members. We are continually developing presentations and seminars for business leaders and their employees and, this spring alone, have lined up more than five learning opportunities, including seminars on “Navigating HR mandates and compliance in 2018,” sponsored by Insero & Co. CPAs, on March 28; “Tapping resources for affordable homeownership,” sponsored by Genesee Regional Bank, on March 29; “Investing and planning for retirement,” sponsored by Ruda Investment Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, on April 11; and “Developing digital marketing campaigns,” sponsored by Brandmint, on June 7.
From April 5 through May 17, in partnership with Michael Caceci of Excellerated Performance, featured in a recent Rochester Business Journal, we are launching ”Strategic Sales and Marketing Development,” a seven-week course that is by far the most extensive of these educational offerings. Business professionals meet for seven, two-and-a-half-hour weekly morning sessions, more than 17 hours in total, and then are guided through additional hours of self-study with comprehensive print and downloadable audio course materials between sessions. This provides the time for reflection and synthesis needed to learn an expansive curriculum of sales and marketing practices and strategies, essential for any business.
Beyond this, it might surprise some to learn that the elements of effective sales and marketing require the logical rigour and analysis of any good geometry theorem coupled with the objective testing, subjective analysis and integration and adaptation that serve as the hallmarks of invention and innovation — the process of learning.
This course, specially developed for regional business members, was designed to deliver a high quality educational experience in less time and for less money than typically found in a traditional university setting. Detailed course materials and information can be found on our website at greecechamber.org.
Sarah Lentini serves as president and CEO of Greece Regional Chamber of Commerce.