Last Tuesday, LASTC members gathered for dinner, networking, and an astutely apt presentation in today’s economy entitled The Learning Professional by Beth Gerber, President of the consulting firm Lightext, Inc. The take home message of the night couldn’t have been more simply stated or poignant; learn to think strategically and forge relationships.
While most of us realize the truth and value of this message to be a successful technical communicator, it is easier said than done. Thankfully for LASTC members, Beth provided insight and framework for how writers and trainers can be more effective in their jobs and stay marketable.
Beth explained that values, knowledge, and tools, put together in the right combination, are the keys to success. She highlighted values such as professionalism and flexibility, spoke on the importance of acquiring both primary and complementary industry knowledge, and discussed how technical communicators can connect their understanding of various tools to an employers’ or clients’ need for a solution.
Drawing upon one’s values, knowledge, and tools in a meaningful manner to generate effective solutions for employers and clients is where strategic thinking serves the learning professional through notable completion of a project and desire for repeat services.
Technical communicators can further enhance their success and improve marketability through clear and consistent communication, by recommending a learning strategy, and, perhaps most importantly, through single source communication.
For LASTC it seems that strategic information, a great dinner, and good company, made for another enjoyable and successful dinner meeting. We especially thank Beth Gerber and Pam Harrison, Lightext co-owners, for a wonderful evening.