I had an unusual request the other day. I have no idea whether it’s brilliant or foolish. What do you think?
The idea was to resurrect study tours. For those who are too young to remember, the study tours were arranged by The Movers Institute many years ago as educational trips to allow movers in the UK to get a flavour of what life, and the moving industry, was like in other parts of the world.
I confess, I never went on one. But those who did, speak very fondly of them claiming that they learned a great deal and made life-long friends along the way. I have never heard anyone speak badly of them.
The idea was to take a party of movers, maybe 20-25 or so, to a far flung corner (South Africa, Australia, Canada, etc.) and tour them around local moving companies, ports, etc. to find out how things were done. Much of the time they were inspired to question their own methods and to consider doing things differently. They also acquired first-hand experience of the methods and challenges of operating in other countries to better understand the wider industry and be able to advise their own staff and customers accordingly.
I have it on good authority also, that despite being 100% tax deductible, it wasn’t all work. Business and pleasure definitely did mix and relationships were regularly and permanently cemented over a beer or six. Few came back without a sun tan.
But is a study tour worthwhile today or not? Some would say that the world is a small place nowadays and you can get all the information you need from the Internet. That’s probably true, but it’s not quite the same as being there. People don’t write headlines about what they see as normal. It’s only by seeing it first-hand that you can really appreciate the cultural differences and understand how they relate to your own business.
What is certain is that a 21st century study tour would cost a bit. I believe the old TMI tours were subsidised to some extent at least by the RTITB (though I’d be happy to be corrected) which would have eased the burden a little. It would also be a huge operation to organise by a willing volunteer.
What do you think? Is it worth considering, or should it be instantly consigned to the round file? You tell me.