Untangle and grow

A blog by Alison Maxwell

Monday, 17 October 2011

Gathering dust? Development on the shelf.

I had a lovely piece of feedback today to the effect that I designed and ran development programmes where people actually applied their learning in their real worlds and experimented with changed behaviours.

Whilst not averse to a compliment, what struck me most about this comment was that it needed to be said at all. Surely we don't run development programmes for the good of our health? What other walk of life would we invest our time, money and effort and not expect to get some sort of return or benefit. When did it become OK to go on development programme and leave the learning to gather dust on the proverbial shelf. While I get that there may be barriers to applying training messages (time, relevance etc) it does seem to have become normal not to expect much out of a course or that it somehow doesn't apply to us personally - and hey presto we have a self-fulfilling prophecy in action. I also think - while I'm on the subject - that we training designers need to get way more creative and that the ritualised action planning session we habitually include in the last hour is just not enough to ensure application and transfer.

We spend literally billions worldwide on training and development - are we just wasting out time and money or have we (trainers and trainees alike) just forgotten how to take development seriously? OK rant over


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