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Industry-Wide Trends: Are Changes Causing You to Avoid Decisions about Your Organization’s Training Needs? 


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Full disclosure: That’s a trick question. Why? Because online training is just one example of the decision-making challenges that businesses face in our world of technological transformation. 

The real question is what competencies do you need to make the industry-wide technology decisions that will keep you and your organization competitive? 

What is Industry-Wide Technology Competence and Why Do you Need It? 

Technology in this sense refers to the knowledge and skills necessary to stay competitive. 

Industry refers to a wider view than just your job or profession. It’s the overarching perspective of the world surrounding your organization, for example, the manufacturing, healthcare, education, or financial services industry. 

The fact is, we all must focus on the trends and changes happening in our industries if we don’t want to be left behind.

How will the top technology trends in your industry affect you? How can you keep pace?

My Training Story 

My company, Centrestar, provides online courses, so we must stay current with the education industry’s trends in course content, instructional design, and training delivery methods.

Let’s narrow that down a bit to the most obvious example of industry innovations that changed our world: the explosion of online learning.

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Everyone wants to know what technologies are coming next, and each year forward-thinking venture capitalists review what innovations are likely to emerge in the next few years. At Centrestar we paid attention when Forbes contributor Robert Hof reported that the panel in 2011 identified open online learning as one of the top five technology trends.


Search online education and you’ll find that since 2011 the trend has continued to accelerate. Your own experiences during the pandemic will most likely convince you this is true. We’re at the point now where we’re living in a technological revolution! 

Clearly, online learning affects every job and industry. The catch is that such training involves decisions about software, hardware, networks, clouds, and security, which most of us don’t know much about. We at Centrestar certainly didn’t, but we learned. We pay careful attention to what customers in our industry want – such as the change from listening to lectures to hands-on learning – and we study how the industry continues to change.

What You Need to Know 

The good news is that whether you’re in a large organization or a one-person office, making industry-related technology decisions may not be as difficult as you think. 

The key is to build industry-wide technology competence into your work routine. Everyone needs to do this, and it’s an absolute necessity for decision makers. 

As you build industry-wide competence, be aware that industry competence is not the same as job competence or competence in a professional area. The industry-wide focus may have nothing to do with your job, but trends in your industry may eventually change how you do your job. The industry view is the big picture view. 

What To Do: Actions You Can Take Now

  • Be aware of technological advances in your industry that could impact you or your organization.
  • Network with other professionals in your industry and identify relevant resources.
  • Find others in your organization who are strong with regard to best practices and trends and get input from them.


Pro Tip: You may work in the manufacturing industry, for example, and as such you would want to stay current with trends in that industry. 

But think one step further. Depending on your organization’s products and services, it may pay to be aware of trends in other industries as well. For example, if your organization trains people on how to use its products, you may benefit by watching trends in the education industry. 

How to Learn More

Read About the 35 Competencies Needed to Succeed

For more about information, refer to Dr. Wesley Donahue’s book Building Leadership Competence: A Competency-Based Approach to Building Leadership Ability. 

Try a Free Online Course 

If you’re new to how effective a professional online training course can be, try Centrestar’s free Professional Ethics course. See how convenient online and on demand education can be. Click here to try our free course.

About Dr. Wesley Donahue

Wesley Donahue is President of Centrestar, Inc. a unique training organization that specializes in helping people identify anduse the 35 competencies needed to succeed in any profession. Learn more at www.centrestar.com. 

Wes’s background is in engineering, six-sigma black belt, certified project management, and business ownership. He’s also professor of Management Development and Education at Penn State University where he leads an online graduate program in organization development and change. Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. or use our contact form.