Recently I completed an around-the-world trip for Blackboard to visit our offices in Amsterdam and Sydney. One of the many flights I took to accomplish this journey was a flight from Budapest to Bangkok on Malev Hungarian Airlines.
It was an old plane that clearly needed some interior upgrades. The in-flight movie was Tootsie . . . in Hungarian. You can’t make this kind of stuff up. Not exactly a recent release. That experience got me thinking about staying current with the times.
My family typically makes fun of me because I hang out periodically on Second Life, use Twitter, or am daily checking my Facebook profile to see what people wrote on my wall. More than anything I do this to stay up to date with the latest technology trends.
I make these twice-annual trips to Europe and Asia for exactly that reason. I need to stay on top of what is happening in those locations in terms of staffing, operational effectiveness and any specific client issues we may be facing in those regions. Spending several days in our offices located in Amsterdam and Sydney enables me to help bring the team there up to speed on our latest products, processes and overall strategy. Visiting in-person also enables me to speak face-to-face with team members there about the overall direction of our company and Client Success initiative.
I recently spoke to a colleague at a U.S. higher ed institution, in the state of California. He and I discussed my trip, and he mentioned that one way he stays current with his faculty is by sending his instructional designers physically out to the different programs at his university to engage with faculty members. He explained to me how twice each week the Instructional Design office is actually closed, and those team members visit the different schools at the university to work one-on-one with staff members. What a great way to stay current with faculty needs . . . just showing up at their door a couple of times a week and talking with them.
When my Malev flight landed in Bangkok, the pilot thanked us passengers for flying with Malev and mentioned the airline had been awarded the designation "Best Airline in Eastern Europe" for the second year in a row. I wondered what the other airlines had as their in-flight movies.