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What’s Leading Edge?


Moiving to a new Operational Training model has given the organisation an opportunity to ensutre that it's future interventions at the front end of the latest thinking on Training & Learning. Please could you share your thoght's on the best places to seek out this info? Many Thanks
Kevin Green

4 Responses

  1. Leading or trailing edge?
    Hi Kevin,
    As you know training and learning are very different things and the way to go about them will depend upon your organisations current & desired culture, the business plan and the will of the organisations management.

    These will also vary with the nature of the organisation and the sectors in which it operates.

    Training – Key here is working with line managers to ensure that the needs of the organisation are delivered on time with the minimum of impact. Using appropriate techniques ant methods within the constraints of the organisation.

    Learning – does the organisation REALLY want this? Learning needs to be individual driven to meet individual needs. Providing the tools and skills is a great starting place – but it should not detract from delivering the needs of the business. Many organisations have changed the name of training to learning attempting to recognise that the individual should b4e at the centre and take responsibility for their development – while this is an admirable goal in many cultures this is just not achievable (yet) and just undermines another approach.

    And then there is development, developing skills, capabilities etc for a future role.

    These are just a ‘simple’ working definitions – fortunatly the HRD profession is more complex 🙂

    For operational training – at job , at desk one to one coaching can enable just in time learning – be careful with this model that the training is not “just too late” as if often the case. This happends when the job coaching is done by a dedicated team of operational based coaching – what happens if they are too busy or off on leave? Using the manager as a coach is often the best way, provided they have the skills. We used to call this “sitting by Nellie” interesting isn’t it that what is leading edge is a ‘re-badge’ of the old ways more often than not. (only now I hope that we develop Nellie for the task!)

    Hope this helps your thinking.

  2. Hot topics and leading edge issues
    There are a lot of hot topics and leading edge ideas. Some relate to organisations, and indirectly impact on L&D. Others reflect trends and initiatives with L&D itself.
    Here are just a few in L&D.

    • Accreditation – external recognition (e.g. IiP, quals), embedding standards
    • Bespoke training – totally tailored events and packages for individuals and teams
    • Blended learning – blending traditional and e-learning, smart use of on-line, web-based training and open learning, Intelligent Tutoring Systems; integrated learning
    • Brain-based learning – Accelerated Learning and new cognitive learning theories
    • Buying in training/trainers – selection of trusted suppliers for non-core training
    • Competency based training – core organisational competencies, selective N/SVQs
    • Consultancy – trainers mainly working as facilitators, advisors and brokers of L&D; increasing change agent and OD consultancy roles
    • Corporate universities – move from training/management schools to ‘virtual’ universities
    • Courses – practical: shorter, sooner, sharper, local; developmental: stretching, safe; in-house for core business, external for wider development
    • Customer service – learner as internal customer, learning as a quality experience
    • Development techniques – supported open learning, one-to-ones, IT based
    • Devolvement – manager or individual as initiator and owner of performance related learning/training
    • Drama – use of actors to bring scenarios to life in things like diversity training
    • Evaluation – investment appraisal approach, goal orientated, ensuring value
    • Executive coaching – one-to-one coaching, briefing and mentoring
    • Facilitation – used by all, primary skill for trainers
    • HR – wider integration of T&D with HR, particularly at a strategic level, and wider organisational development
    • Internet, Intranets & web-based training – sharing knowledge, e-conferencing, easier search and buy facilities, GSI; on-line learning
    • Life-long learning – Personal Learning Action Plans, Learning Organisations, access for all; learning (not training) culture
    • Needs analysis – systematised, self diagnostic, low effort approaches
    • Professionalism of trainers – qualified, CPD, ethical, skilled in diverse methods
    • Qualifications – encouraged, more choice, aiding careers, wider access
    • Real work – learning linked to real work, resurgence of Action Learning
    • T&D strategy – holistic, progressive and dynamic, business and people orientated
    • Training techniques – more choice, learner and learning centred, dynamic, tailored
    • Workplace learning – at the desk training, open learning, short courses at workplace, coaching

    Is that enough to keep you going?


  3. New innovative product to improve results
    We are have recently introdced a new innovative product to the UK training market. It combines the best bits of a flipchart and a whiteboard. It’s called Magic Whiteboard
    It has been entered into Learning Innovative of the Year category at the World of Learning event at the NEC on 14 November 2006.

    It can be used in training sessions to capture group learning. It also encourages delegates to participate more. It works like a flipchart but it comes on a roll. The key advantages of this are that people can rub things out and reuse it and you don’t need bluetac. It sticks to walls and glass without Bluetac. Therefore, it doesn’t mark the walls.
    It comes on a 20 metre roll (25 perforated sheets) and costs only £14.50 per roll plus postage & packaging and VAT.


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