Beyond training
Targeted learning opportunities

In increasing individual effectiveness and group performance, the key is not further skill training, but targeted learning opportunities with specific practical outlines. The long term effectiveness of short term training has been rightly questioned, but opportunities for increasing ongoing learning can be proven to be invaluable.

A few facts about how and why people learn

  • Individuals need to be motivated to learn.

  • Learning can only be truly effective in the long term if there is a personal experience. That experience has to be powerful and convincing if there is to be change.

  • Learning involves moving individuals towards a higher state of awareness, further along the line of understanding themselves and their relationship with others and their world.

  • Learning must be a process of self discovery, the teacher / trainer / facilitator's job is not only to provide information, but also the best the environment and stimuli for learning.

  • It is unrealistic to expect to permanently change a person's mindset, belief system, and mental maps in a short period of time after lifelong shaping. But change can be facilitated more effectively under these conditions, and experiential learning expedites that process.

  • Training is a method, learning is a outcome.

A few facts about the cost of "training":

  • Studies have shown that many training programs are not cost effective, as tangible results are hard to measure.

  • Many training programs are not designed or run by people who have an educational background, and therefore the content and methods are not necessarily effectively matched to the outcomes. 

  • Companies have unrealistic expectations about what they can achieve given the budget, time, trainer, participants, prior attitude and environment.

  • With rapidly increasing globalisation, an understanding of cultural differences is vital to ensure we can work effectively together. 

  • Even the most intelligent people, if they are socially and emotionally incompetent or culturally unaware, can be ineffective in their work if they ignore these important facets of working relationships. 

  • Learning can be ineffective if both the trainer and the program participants are unaware of their learning styles. (more)

A few facts about designing the perfect program:

  • Programs that aim to provide pure fun can still achieve outcomes such as building higher morale and networking, but they may miss out on some of the ideal learning opportunities.

  • Programs that focus on serious content without providing a stimulating environment for learning risk a loss of motivation and poor retention.

  • The appropriate combination of a stimulating approach and intelligent content can lead to a dynamic learning experience that will move people in a positive direction, closer to achieving the desired outcomes.

  • In all programs fun and learning both need to be justified to guarantee success. (more about Tirian's 3D integrated approach)

Can you put a price on this?

Peter Senge says, "In the long run your only sustainable source of competitive advantage is your organisation’s ability to learn faster than the others."

It is not uncommon to hear managers say that they can't afford training due to the need to deal with immediate crises and ongoing circumstances. After reading some of the latest international statistics and hearing some of the problems faced by organisations, I wonder whether the statement should be turned around and rephrased as, "Can I afford to not adequately train my staff?"


"At the end of a study in EQ, Cannon's team compared the sales results of two groups: Nearly 90% of those who took training in EQ reported significant improvements in their sales performance.  Advisers, in short, had become more emotionally competent. This added tens of millions of dollars in revenues." (Fast Company 0600)

End quote....

"Most people in organisations are so preoccupied with 'urgent' matters that there is very little time for the 'important' matters. There always seems to be a problem to solve. By the time an organisation is forced to look for opportunities it has probably already lost its best people, its market share, and its morale. " (de Bono)

Motorola's CEO says, "If knowledge is becoming antiquated at a faster rate, we have no choice but to spend on education. How can that not be a competitive weapon?"

What's the difference between Keynote Speakers, Facilitators, and Trainers. What is debriefing? How do people learn? What is the difference between a good and great teacher?

Measuring Value - return on investment You be the judge!… Too often people measure training and development in terms of hours spent in courses. It is much more helpful to weigh the costs against the outcomes, rather than the process.  Our program participants made the comments below after 4 – 48 hours of direct input.

More Quotes about Tirian programs click here for more

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by Andrew Grant