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Giving training and learning a new edge


The methods and techniques of training are well established. So well established that the tricks of the trade have become hackneyed and tired. We've all been to a session where we've thought ‘if we get broken up into groups so we can role play then report back one more time, I'll scream’. At the same time, companies rarely give training the value it deserves. However much you see ‘training and development is our highest priority’ splashed across the report and accounts, when money gets short, training is one of the first areas to face cuts.

I’m writing a book for Kogan Page on finding new approaches to training and I’d appreciate any thoughts on ways to revive training and to give it a higher profile within a company. The more detail and the more specifics the better. Any contributions will be acknowledged (unless you want to remain anonymous) in the book.

Brian Clegg

Brian Clegg

4 Responses

  1. lot’s of ideas, so get in touch
    Training is like any other department – they fall out of favour if they’re out-of-date, introspective or unhelpful, and a bad reputation sticks. Keys to success would include
    – having a champion – either the senior HR / training person, or even better, another functional manager;
    – giving trainers business skills so they can make a good case for their budget;
    – trainer credibility.
    I suggest people only get up tight about the delivery method if they don’t engage in the content.
    Let me know if you want more!

  2. engaging learning methods
    Rod Murray writes: ”I suggest people only get up tight about the delivery method if they don’t engage in the content.”

    Agreed. And in response to Brian Clegg’s initial question I’d say it’s not so much the lack of new ideas, but the magnetism of the old ones and the ‘default’ patterns that trainers so easily get stuck in – especially when working under pressure.

    My own interest is not only in making training exercises engaging, but also (and more importantly) ensuring that the experience of reviewing those exercises is at least as equally involving and stimulating.

    I have an extensive (and copyrighted!) site dedicated to this very issue at

    Please get in touch for more info if you like.


  3. Focus on Training Outcomes
    It is increasingly critical to show outcomes from training by having better links between genuine training needs and training delivery. We need to emphasise the distinction between transferring information, and training so that our clients don’t see every talk fest as ‘training’.

    More emphasis on training that is mission critical or which boosts the bottom line will help our credibility and demonstrate the need businesses have for training. There is too much peripheral content being delivered that produces the illusion of training, but which does not promote business outcomes. And of course, it is critical to provide high quality, interactive sessions as suggested by other respondents.

  4. New approach to training
    We sell custom designed multimedia training and promotional applications and have noticed that customers often have a different opinion of exactly why they need to train people. Their reasons are varied but seldom link directed to the MDs need to show a profit, even though this is the ultimate goal. We have recently spent some time with a marketing consultant studying why companies train people on their products and have developed a simple curve that helps to explain the reasons more clearly. Please take a look at the ‘selling robot’ article in our press room for more information at
    You might also like to take a look at the way we are using games programming techniques to make industrial training more effective and enjoyable.


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