Trainer Tools
Three Ways to use Stand-up Comedy to help Wellbeing at Work

Three Ways to use Stand-up Comedy to help Wellbeing at Work

November 30, 2020

In this episode John talks to stand-up comedian Sam Carrington about how organisations can use stand-up comedy for staff wellbeing, leadership development and running fun and engaging away days - we talk mainly in the context of remote working where issues of wellbeing, mental health and motivation are especially pertinent.

Sam Carrington is a working stand-up comedian who has done over a thousand gigs, including three stints at the world famous Edinburgh Festival. He also runs Smirk Experience, a company that runs corporate training events about how to use the skills and techniques of comedy to improve your confidence, communication and leadership ... in their words, they "harness the power of comedy to transform people and businesses" 


The End of Jobs: what knowledge and skills will we need in the future workplace?

The End of Jobs: what knowledge and skills will we need in the future workplace?

October 31, 2020

John Tomlinson speaks to Jeff Wald about the future of work, what knowledge and skills workers will need in the future, and why he put up $10 million dollars for a prize!

Jeff Wald is the Founder of Work Market, an enterprise software platform that enables
companies to manage freelancers (acquired by ADP). Jeff has founded several other
technology companies, including Spinback, a social sharing platform (eventually purchased by

Jeff began his career in finance, serving as Managing Director at activist hedge fund Barington Capital Group, a Vice President at venture capital firm GlenRock and various roles in the M&A Group at JP Morgan.

Jeff is an active angel investor and startup advisor, as well as serving on numerous public and private Boards of Directors. He also formerly served as an officer in the Auxiliary Unit of the New York Police Department.

Jeff is the author of The Birthday Rules and The End of Jobs: The Rise of On-Demand Workers and Agile Corporations.

Jeff frequently speaks at conferences and in media on startups and labor issues.

Jeff holds an MBA from Harvard University and an MS and BS from Cornell University.


How to create magic at work

How to create magic at work

September 30, 2020

In this episode I talk to author and coach Amy Lyn Durham about her approach to tackling loneliness at work through creative "magic": crearing emotional and meaningful workplace experiences

Amy Lynn Durham  is a U.C. Berkeley Certified Executive Coach and Emotional Intelligence Practitioner who has spent years in the corporate world successfully managing hundreds of employees for private and publicly -traded companies. She is often referred to as a Corporate Mystic due to her unique ability of providing Spiritual Intelligence (SQ) in order to energize and transform the workplace.


Improving quality, motivation and innovation with attention to detail

Improving quality, motivation and innovation with attention to detail

July 31, 2020

In this episode John Tomlinson chats to Chris Denny about his approach to teaching attention to detail. This isn't what you might expect, it's not about to become more pedantic, or being a completer-finisher, it's about an approach to quality and thoroughness than can impact every aspect of your, and your team's, performance

Chris Denny is a researcher, trainer, author, consultant, and business owner.

When he is not running a business or spending time with his family, he is researching attention to detail or helping others become more detail-oriented. Chris delivers training workshops and seminars for private companies and government organizations and even does one on one coaching for high-value employees.

Attention to Detail Solutions is a soft skills training company that helps individuals, companies, and organizations decrease errors, increase productivity, and improve overall quality -- beginning with the core system to improve attention to detail.

His book is available here on Amazon



Five ways to engage reluctant learners with e-learning

Five ways to engage reluctant learners with e-learning

June 30, 2020

This isn't just about how to do e-learning better, it's about how to use e-learning well to complement face-to-face learning and get more engaged learners, leave fewer people behind, improve learning retention, and make the job of the trainer more interesting and rewarding.

In this episode Clint shared what he has learnt from developing Brainitz that we can apply to the corporate training world.

If it works on teenagers, it's got to work on adults, surely!

Clint Knox is a National Board Certified Teacher who’s taught grades 6-11th over the last 14 years. He is the CEO/Founder of Brainitz, an online video training tool that specializes in ease of use for the instructor and accountability for the student. Brainitz was founded out of a need in his own classroom and has now expanded into higher education and corporate training. For more information on Brainitz visit

Clint can be reached at or

 Clint Knox

The 4Ts Model of Online Training: How to Avoid Disaster

The 4Ts Model of Online Training: How to Avoid Disaster

June 15, 2020

Under pressure of lockdowns and limited travel, many of us are rushing to create a decent virtual L&D offer to fill the gap. A lot of the time this is a lecture + PowerPoint slides delivered via Zoom rather than in a classroom, and that's really not good enough. In this episode of Trainer Tools, Paul Levy argues that we need to rethink the whole thingand not just transfer the old slides online.

Paul Levy is a writer, facilitator and senior researcher at the University of Brighton and also an associate at Warwick Business School. He is the author of the books Digital Inferno and the Poetry of Change. He has been researching the impact of the digital realm on our personal and working lives for over fifteen years. As the world moved into lockdown over the Covid-19 outbreak, he has been working on useful ways of transitioning from physical to digital world education, as well as the blend of both. He is director of the change and transformation enabler CATS3000. He lives in Brighton in the UK.
How to create a truly inclusive culture that changes people’s biases

How to create a truly inclusive culture that changes people’s biases

May 31, 2020

Three white middle-aged men chat about the importance of diversity and inclusion and how Learning and Development can help create more inclusive connected workplaces.

With Rich and Ralph Brandt of RDR Group

When it comes to diversity trainers, Ralph and Rich are not what you’d expect. Being white males and identical twins, they’re an anomaly.

And yet, Ralph and Rich are living examples that bias can change.

Growing up with a twin had its benefits — a constant playmate, a study partner, and a friend. But it was also an insular experience.

Their natural tendency was to flock together as they went through life. Ralph and Rich tended to be less open to “outsiders” and as young children, anything different seemed foreign and uncomfortable.

To further complicate things, growing up in the early 1960s, there were no people of colour in their schools, gender roles were tightly defined and people of other religions or sexual orientations were rarely discussed.

Thankfully, a cultural revolution was coming. As they entered adulthood, Ralph and Rich attended seminary and it was there that they were met with broadening perspectives and experiences that challenged and reshaped their beliefs. From this reorienting of their views, they identified their call to make the workplace a more diverse and inclusive environment for all.

Much like they experienced, Ralph and Rich believe that becoming comfortable with people who are perceived as different requires openness and a willingness to change your tendencies and habits.

A much needed message not only for white males but for all cultural groups, genders and generations, the Brandts are committed to helping your organization change perspectives and understand the value of diversity and inclusion.


Workplace Survival Guide - Episode 1: Dealing with meetings: tough crowds and how to speak up (and when to shut up)

Workplace Survival Guide - Episode 1: Dealing with meetings: tough crowds and how to speak up (and when to shut up)

May 15, 2020

Introducing a new podcast about making work work: the Workplace Survival Guide, recorded pre-Covid times when the world felt a little different. My colleagues Sarah and Marietta and I are very happy to have you on board as we try and answer work related conundrums, sent to us by our listeners. Hopefully you've familiarised yourself with the agenda and are ready to take some minutes for cascading after the episode. Today...we look at meetings and discuss, when and how to speak up, when to keep schtum, and how to deal with negativity from people in meetings. Listen up for our special guest stars too! And if you like the episode, we would love it if you could leave us a review.

How to speak up in a meeting and when to hold back, by Allison Shapira

The future of work and what it means for L&D

The future of work and what it means for L&D

April 30, 2020

In this episode John Tomlinson talks to Spencer Ayres about the future of work and what it means for L&D

Spencer Ayres is an entrepreneur, product designer and educator focused on enabling people to become the best they can be through human and digital experiences. Spencer (link - is Co-Founder and COO of Future Builders (Link - - who's mission is to make meaningful learning as impactful and easy to access as possible, with the goal of maximising personal and professional productivity. 
Prior to this Spencer has started and grown a number of startups, helped large organisations with the people side of digital transformation and was secondary school teacher for 8 years. 
Whilst at the coding bootcamp school, Makers Academy, Spencer created and spun out a new company focused on creating the best Technology apprenticeship in the country. This grew from an idea to multimillions in revenue within a year and has now become the main focus for the whole company, supporting hundreds of people to change their careers whilst being paid and utilising the Apprenticeship Levy. 
Whilst at Freeformers, Spencer designed and ran multiple transformation programmes across some of the biggest corporates in the country, including the Barclays Digital Eagles programme & a global digital adoption programme for 10s of thousands of HSBC staff. 
Spencer is also a fellow podcast enthusiast and has recently launched his own show with Nick Himowicz - The Spen & Nick Show (link: they talk about innovation, design, learning and business. 
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The art of elegant measures that improve learning retention

The art of elegant measures that improve learning retention

March 31, 2020

How we measure learning makes a big difference. The right measure can be motivational and harnessing gamification to get a virtuous circle going that reinforces learning, the wrong measures can do the opposite. They can be a costly overhead that reward the wrong behaviours, demotivate, and probably track things that don't really matter.

In this episode I talk to Rich Lanchantin of Qstream about the importance of productivity/performance metrics in a company's ROI measurement of their L&D efforts.

Rich sets the Qstream vision to ensure our microlearning solution delivers long term value and measurable outcomes for our enterprise customers, partners, their employees and our investors. Prior to Qstream, Rich spent 30+ years in customer success and sales leadership roles for notable life sciences and software companies. He is dedicated to listening to customer, market and internal feedback to continuously inform product, sales, services and marketing direction to fuel Qstream’s growth and customer success

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