Involution: the importance of what’s not there and what gets left behind

October 31, 2017

Paul said he wanted to talk about "involution". I had no idea what he meant, but I was willing to along with it because Paul Levy tends to have interesting things to talk about.

Involution means the opposite of evolution. If evolution is about the fittest surviving, about decisions being taken by those who show up, about rewarding winners, then involution is about taking the time to look at those ideas and content that didn't make it, those people who aren't there ... and reflecting on what that tells us and what value we can get from them.

It's a useful technique in brainstorming in particular, but also in the facilitation of meetings and decision making, as well as part of "the humble facilitator's" approach to training and other learning workshops.


The role of research and insight in workplace learning and why evidence matters

September 30, 2017

A lot of learning and development content is generic off-the-shelf stuff, built on shaky foundations and of variable value.

Many mainstay models and theories that pepper workplace learning are not robust, not subject to the rigours of research and peer critique, and often not supported by evidence. This doesn't mean they're useless: they're not. They have pragmatic value in that they work sufficiently well to survive and are often good conversation starters, but if we want the L&D business to be a serious profession, having a more scientific approach to research and the development of theories and models would be a good thing to develop.

In this episode of the Trainer Tools podcast I talk to Dr Adam Le Nevez about how we might apply academic rigour to the world of L&D.


The Essentials Mix: Structural Dynamics and how to have great conversations

September 2, 2017

This is from 2015 too, and a deceptively useful model for having skillful conversations in facilitated sessions, coaching or even real life!

In this Trainer Tools Essentials episode, I talk to Catherine Thomson about David Kantor's theory of Structural Dynamics. In the podcast, Catherine explains how this theory of communication is applied to conversations in training and coaching.


The Essentials Mix: The Collusion of Mediocrity and how it made me a better facilitator

July 15, 2017

The Essentials Mix are those TT podcasts that have had the biggest impact on me over the years, the ones I've learnt the most from and become a better L&D professional. In this one (with a bit of director's commentary breaking in), Paul Levy talks about the facilitator's role in challenging mediocrity (i.e. anything less than potential), even at the expense of becoming unpopular!


The five secrets of accelerated learning: design with variety in mind

May 31, 2017

A while ago Krystyna Gadd presented her Five Secrets of Accelerated Learning and after that we decided to break it down to discuss each of the five "secrets" in a lot more detail. In this podcast we look at the third golden nugget of essential advice "design with variety in mind".

We discuss various models you can use to ensure workshops are designed with variety, including David Meier's accelerated learning cycle as an overall structure, and many others.


Mythbusting: it’s time to forget about learning styles

April 30, 2017

In this episode of the Trainer Tools podcast, Garry Platt gives the ubiquitous learning styles theory (or theories) a jolly good kicking and talks through research that calls into question their validity and usefulness (to put it politely).

I stopped using learning styles to structure learning workshops some years ago, mainly because I continually tweaked things and replaced things that worked less well with things that worked better, and this meant, quite unintentionally, learning styles fell by the wayside. This was a pragmatic approach that accidentally stumbled into the same place as Garry discusses in this podcast.

This is a Trainer Tools Essential Podcast


How to champion best practice L&D when the culture is content with chalk and talk

March 31, 2017

Quite a while ago, I received a mail from a listener asking the following questions:

I guess many of your audience are freelance so it would be an interesting topic to discuss how they learn from or get community feeling when working alone.

How do you trust your own internal feedback when all your clients think you're great (but you only have a happy sheet).

In an organisation how do you champion best practice when the culture is content with chalk and talk?

We recorded something that touches on the first part of this with Claire Simmons (called "Training can be a tough and lonely business, so look after yourself") but I thought we could dig deeper and so I asked Paul Tizzard, someone who has worked as both an internal and external consultant, to have a crack at providing some sage advice.


The five secrets of accelerated learning: be a facilitator not a trainer

February 28, 2017

A few months ago we chatted with Krystyna Gadd about her Five Secrets of Accelerated Learning, and then we talked about the first of those secrets in What's your objective. In this latest podcast we drill down into the second secret: be a facilitator and not a trainer.

This is about moving away from being the font of all knowledge, the sage on the stage, to being a guide on the side who is in charge of creating an environment and ensuring an engaging process so that learning happens.


How to build an organisational learning ecosystem

January 31, 2017

As I get older, wiser, more knowledgeable, more skilled ... and more impatient, ... OK, and more stroppy, I am increasingly dissatisfied with the idea of rocking up and banging out a few training courses and calling it a learning and development strategy.

It doesn't matter how good the workshop is, how dedicated and talented the facilitator is, if the learner goes back to an environment that doesn't support learning.

This means that I am increasingly interested in, increasingly fascinated by ... and OK, increasingly going on and on about, the important of creating an environment that is conducive to learning. This doesn't just mean pre-work and follow-up activities surrounding a learning event, it means support from leaders, managers, colleagues and the organisational culture that will allow for learning, sharing, growth, opportunities and all that good stuff.

In this podcast, I talk to Robin Petterd who calls it a "learning ecosystem" ... I hope you find it useful!


Excuses, excuses …

January 15, 2017

This isn't a podcast, it's just me making excuses for not having finished editing this month's cast ... plus, a short explanation as to why I am maybe thinking about changing the name of the podcast