Last week, the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) made a big announcement. It was changing its name. To ATD.
In world where we’re drowning in an alphabet soup of acronyms, ATD certainly doesn’t stand out. I spent some time thinking about how lame ATD is as an acronym. But simply sitting in my own little corner of the world, pondering the lameness of a new acronym doesn’t do anyone any good.
In fact, sitting here thinking about a lame acronym is, well, pretty lame of me. It reminds me of this classic movie clip from the movie Roxanne:
So, I’m going to channel Steve Martin and come up with 20 somethings better.
- For the lazy: Society for the Improvement of Talent (SIT)
- For the kinesthetic learners: Society for Talent and New skill Development (STAND)
- For those who think we should have simply embraced the old, unfortunate acronym: Your Employee Performance and Improvement Helpline And Value and Engagement Networked Society for Training and Development (YEP-I-HAVE-AN-STD)
- For the hardcore, no-pain-no-gain set: People Achievement and Improvement Network (PAIN)
- For the true believers in what we do: Institute for Making People Really Outstanding in their Vocations and Extracurriculars (IMPROVE)
- For the edgy: Association for Workplace Systems and Human Improvement and Transformation (AW-SHIT)
- For the instructional designers: Association for Disruptive Development In Employees (ADDIE)
- For the instructional designers who reject ADDIE: Society for Achievement and Mega-learning (SAM)
- For those who believe what we do is pure magic: Talent And Development Association (TA-DA!)
- For those who just want to chill: Society for People Achievement (SPA)
- For those who chew tobacco: Society for Professional Improvement and Talen (SPIT)
- For the cool crowd: Society for Knowledge, Instruction, Learning, Leadership and Zippiness (SKILLZ)
- For anyone like me: Association Where Everyone Stands Out More Everyday (AWESOME)
- For those who want to optimize their search engine results: Performance Optimization Resource Network (PORN)
- For those who like gyros: Performance Improvement and Training Association (PITA)
- For Bridgette Jones: Membership of Responsible Development And Resource Community Yammerers (MR DARCY)
- For the braggarts: Distinguished Association for Members New, Intermediate and Mature in Growing Opportunities for Optimizing Development (DAMN-I’M-GOOD)
- For Empire Strikes Back Fans: Association for Talent And Training (AT-AT)
- For those who want an asterisk next to their name in the record books: Performance Enhancing Development Society (PEDs)
- For the humanitarians: People for the Ethical Treatment of our Audience (PETA)
My point being that in a world in which talent and performance development requires innovation and creativity, and in which the name and identity of an organization goes a long way in defining its culture and values, ATD seems to have missed the mark.
Your turn: if the ASTD re-naming rights were in your hands, what’s the best acronym you could have come up with? Share your thoughts in the comments section.