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Sammy Johnson

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New study explores the success rates of leadership learning transfer in the workplace


A ground-breaking study into the success rates of leadership learning transfer in the workplace is the latest in Awbery’s six-year research programme into education and development amongst senior executives, business leaders and HR professionals.

Created and supported by the firm, which specialises in the creation of leadership and management, HR and coaching solutions, the ongoing research programme has to date tackled issues such as corporate burnout, mentoring, coaching, and the challenges and opportunities facing HR professionals.

Our latest research study has looked at learning transfer. Over 12-months, this has involved ongoing exploration and review into how senior executives have successfully transferred skills and knowledge from professional training and development programmes, into improved professional practice in the workplace.

The research study entitled ‘Learning translation – A Network Social Capital Perspective’, is part of my Doctor of Education studies with the University of Derby, which focusses on the return on investment from leadership development initiatives, investigating both the drivers of the return and, importantly, how we can improve it.

The main aim has been to create a new conversation around the transfer of learning from leadership development programmes and the results so far reveal a wider range of social network actors and influences that help or hinder the translation of leadership knowledge into improved practice than we have previously considered.

Its findings will add another piece to our comprehensive research jigsaw that has already delivered new and insightful discoveries that support the current, and next, generation of leaders, executives and HR professionals.

The research programme Awbery has undertaken and supported has one main aim – to explore ‘new thinking’ within leadership and professional development, and human resource management. Collectively, it has investigated some significant learning and development challenges for organisations and their employees workforce, and delivered practical intelligence to guide learning professionals towards successful outcomes and improved organisational performance.

Earlier research has included Awbery’s co-founder and MD Dr Howard G Awbery completing a five-year, pioneering study into the escalating problem of corporate burnout, which is a growing issue amongst middle and senior leaders in organisations large and small.

Awbery’s Director Mary Sisson, has carried out a study into the development of a coaching culture and the benefit of strategically aligning coaching and mentoring within an organisation's business strategy. She has presented the findings at several events, including the European Mentoring and Coaching Research Conference in Paris.

Our Strategic HR Director, Jane Rawden, has completed a series of research projects that have explored fresh thinking in the HR profession today, and its barriers, challenges and opportunities for the future, and how to address them.

Throughout its 20 years, Awbery has worked with private, public and third sector organisations across the UK and Europe and built our reputation on the breadth and depth of our expertise. Underpinning this expertise is a genuine commitment to and passion for working with our clients to drive leadership and learning excellence to improve performance, and our ongoing research programme is an integral part of this.

The full findings of the Leadership Translation research will be published in October.

Management development professional Jane Brockliss, is co-creator and Director at Awbery, and has designed and run the research study entitled ‘Learning translation – A Network Social Capital Perspective’, as part of her Doctor of Education studies with the University of Derby.

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