Trainer Tools

A series of overlong discussions between Learning & Development professionals about L&D stuff - contact via @JohnRTomlinson on Twitter or LinkedIn

Listen on:

  • Podbean App
  • Amazon Music

Episodes

Monday Jan 16, 2023

Heather Hansen focuses on helping organisations communicate better, and helping individuals at work get their voices heard. Her book Unmuted talks through her holistic process of building confidence, capability and connection - not just ticking some training boxes. In this episode John Tomlinson talks to her about how she makes this work.
Heather Hansen helps multinational companies enhance collaboration, innovation and inclusion across their global teams through greater understanding and stronger, more efficient communication policies. She focuses on fostering unmuted communication cultures where every voice is heard, resulting in greater inclusion, innovation and efficiency across remoteand global teams.
Along with private leadership communication coaching, Heather facilitates group training courses and consults on a number of topics related to global communication. Heather is also an External Industry Expert for NUS Business School’s Executive Education programs where she runs modules on communication, presentation, and storytelling skills.
Social media links for Heather:
Linkedin YoutubeTwitter
 

Wednesday Nov 16, 2022

I've always though that hospitals are the best example we have of a good learning organisation, and the medical profession the best example of continuous professional development, so I was keen to chat to someone who understood this field better than I did (my medical training is entirely made up of watching Grey's Anatomy) - and so I was grateful to have the opportunity to have a conversation with Dr Alex Young, a qualified surgeon and L&D entrepreneur (and marathon runner etc.).
Dr Alex Young is an NHS trauma and orthopaedic surgeon, and founder of Virti. Passionate about improving human performance, he built and sold his first company whilst at university, before boot-strapping and scaling another while still training in the NHS. Virti develops immersive training tools to improve human performance in organisations around the globe. They have won a wealth of awards including being named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies of 2021.
Check out Alex's website here (with links to his social media presence and YouTube channel) and here on LinkedIn.
 

Tuesday Jun 14, 2022

In this episode John Tomlinson talks with Kushal Bose about his remarkable career and how he's used his engineering and film making background to create deep learning experiences in organisations.
Kushal Bose is the CEO of teledec.com and learning & development facilitator for corporate clients. He helps companies reduce costs and improve bottom line through the art of storytelling. With advanced degrees in engineering and film production, he founded Teledec International in 1987 to create engaging training tools that combine the different techniques of cinema, explaining complex technical concepts.
For 35 years Teledec has been at the leading edge of innovative training development with an impressive client list of Fortune 500 companies including: Abbot, BP, McDonald’s, Philips, Northrup, Ameritech, Kraft, Cisco, Discover and many more.
Their speciality is taking existing training material (PDF, Excel, AutoCad, Visio, MSWord engineering specs, job aids, etc) and publishing a seamless engaging presentation for an online audience. These presentations can be instructor led, self-paced, or blended.
They excel in developing:
Learning Solutions
Compliance Training
Technology Training
Organization Development Training
Sales Training
Customized Training Solutions
Teledec has an impressive in-house capability including subject matter expertise, video production, graphics and animation, programming, authoring, instructional design, technical writing and LMS administration.

Monday Mar 21, 2022

We all make mistakes, and when we're forced to suddenly start working entirely online after a lifetime of facilitating training in training rooms, we might make a lot more of them! No problem, mistakes are learning opportunities, and so in this podcast John Tomlinson talks to Caroline Black about five mistakes she's made since the Covid pandemic and moving her learning and development sessions into the virtual world.
Caroline Black is a specialist in leadership development and communication skills. She is a Fellow and Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. Caroline designs and delivers bespoke online and face to face training courses, workshops and webinars. She is also a corporate event facilitator (online and face to face) and conference chair.
Her clients in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors include the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Cabinet Office, The Royal Navy, ACCA and Lloyds Banking Group.
Caroline is a published author of The PR Professionals handbook (Kogan Page 2014) and The PR Practitioner’s Desk Top Guide (Thorogood second edition 2009). In her spare time, she runs baby namings, weddings and funerals on behalf of Humanists UK.
Visit her website here or follow her on Twitter (@caroblack) or visit her profile on LinkedIn.
 
 

Thursday Jan 06, 2022

In this episode, John Tomlinson talks to Mary Brunton about her experience of bringing leadership training into the virtual world as the pandemic took hold and face-to-face training was stopped. In this conversation, Mary and John share their experiences and discuss how imposter syndrome has increased with the new ways of working.
Mary L Brunton MA (Hons) CIPD has been working internationally for over 20 years and in more than 30 countries. Mary has extensive professional experience of designing and delivering senior leadership training and executive coaching for teams and individuals.
Clients include the UK Civil Service, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), EU institutions, the British Council, the World Bank, OECD, the Commonwealth Institute and Deutsche Bank.
For over a decade Mary has been selected as an Executive Coach for the most senior grades in the UK Civil Service and has specialist expertise in promotion, resilience, branding, personal impact and public speaking.
Mary is an independent consultant and the Senior Director of the successful Pilot HR Consultancy (established 2006) which delivers training, coaching and facilitation services to organisations in the UK and internationally.
To contact Mary, email: marybrunton@pilothr.co.uk
 

Monday Dec 06, 2021

In this podcast John talks to Sunita Sehmi about how Learning and Development professionals can approach inclusion in our work, and how we can move from talking about words like "diversity" and "inclusion" to thinking about "belonging"
Sunita Sehmi is a Certified Executive Coach, Consultant, Speaker and Trainer. She is of Indian origin and was born in London before moving to Geneva in 1992. She has a Psychology degree, specializing in Occupational and Developmental Psychology and a Post Graduate certification in the Development and Training of Adults from the UK. She also has a Masters in Human Resources, Coaching and Career Management from HEC University of Geneva. Where she wrote her Master Thesis “How does proficiency in English affect French-native professionals at work?” A qualitative research conducted in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.
She is the founder of Walk The Talk, which provides tailor-made professional coaching consultancy and training.
Her business background includes working with International companies in banking, finance, media, pharmaceuticals, and FMCG industries. Sunita’s coaching style advances the skills and approaches needed to develop performance. Her forte is the fact that she has studied and worked in several different countries and thus her understanding and knowledge of language communication and culture is compact and solid.
During her twenty-five years of international experience, Sunita’s objective has always been to support people to uncover and utilise their potential and to help individuals and organizations to perform at their very best.
Sunita is an accomplished speaker and business writer furthermore she has had several articles published articles in the press.
She has written two books:
The Power of Belonging
How to Get Out of Your Own Way
 
 

Wednesday Sep 15, 2021

In this episode John Tomlinson talks to Lydia Hooper of Venngage about how to make great visuals for use in education and training, or more generally to communicate complex information in an engaging and effective way.
Examples used during the discussion:
Visuals about diversity, equity, and inclusion: https://venngage.com/blog/designing-for-diversity/
Visual about vaccine barriers: https://venngage.com/blog/vaccine-education
Examples of good infographics (including relationship timeline): https://venngage.com/blog/good-infographic
Other articles by Lydia on Venngage: https://venngage.com/blog/author/lydia-hooper
Lydia Hooper is the information design expert at Venngage, the simple and powerful design solution for making infographics for business. She has designed and facilitated workshops for dozens of organizations including the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Association for Talent Development and the American Institute of Graphic Arts-Colorado. Her writing has been published by numerous publications including Training Journal and SAGE Publishing’s MethodSpace, and she is the co-author and editor of the forthcoming Authoritative Guide to Designing Infographics. You can follow Lydia on LinkedIn.
 

Wednesday Jun 30, 2021

In this episode John Tomlinson talks to Matt Somers about his five dos and five don'ts when training managers on using a coaching style of management.
Matt Somers is a coach, trainer and author. He helps managers get good at coaching and with the areas people most want coaching on: Sales, Leadership and Communication.
He has been in the training and development business for most of his career, focusing on the idea of the Leader as a Coach since 1995. His training programmes, books, articles and seminars have helped hundreds of leaders achieve outstanding results through their people and teams.
He has an MSc in Human Resource Development and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
Working internationally, he has helped multiple high-performance organisations, including HSBC, Citigroup, Scottish & Southern Energy and Sage PLC.
To get in touch or find out more, please drop an email to matt@mattsomers.com or connect on LinkedIn.
 
 

Monday May 31, 2021

Most leaders are not succeeding in their roles as leaders, sometimes because they're in the wrong job, and sometimes because they're not self-aware enough and so cannot manage their behaviours to improve their effectiveness.
In this episode, John talks to Nancy Parsons about the work she does in coaching leaders and running leadership development programmes, and how her company has developed a suite a tools to really dig deep on self-awareness.
Nancy E. Parsons is the President and CEO of CDR Companies.
She is one of today’s foremost experts in combining the science of assessments with the art of developing people. As CEO and President of CDR Companies, LLC, she and her team shed new light on personality strengths, inherent risks and motivation and change performance, careers and lives. Esteemed author of two research based books including the Amazon best-seller, Women Are Creating the Glass Ceiling and Have the Power to End It, Nancy is the 2019 MEECO International Thought Leader of Distinction in Executive Coaching and continues to break barriers in her field. 
In 1998, Nancy and Kimberly R. Leveridge, Ph.D, authored the break-through CDR 3-Dimensional Assessment Suite®, an ideal coaching tool for global clients. The CDR 3-D Suite measures character traits, inherent risk factors for derailment, and drivers and reward needs. Combining this scientifically-validated assessment suite with cutting-edge technology, Nancy and her team launched CDR-U Coach in July of 2020. This product is the first of its kind that provides a scalable, personalized, online coaching feedback solution based on the results of the most in-depth assessments available on the market today. Because of the rich data source, predictive results, and complex algorithms, CDR-U Coach provides an A/I type experience for users with no two users having the same feedback.
Nancy works with global leaders to accelerate success by helping them identify and develop their true talent at the launching point of a coaching engagement. She provides executive coaching services for the C-Suite and leaders across all sectors, facilitates strategic executive team development sessions, and instructs custom “Authentic Leadership” and “Women in Leadership” workshops. Additionally, she instructs and leads CDR Executive Coaches’ Certification Workshops and teaches advanced coaches’ programs. She has authored countless articles and blog posts on topics ranging from diversity and inclusion in the workplace to employee retention and has presented at international, national, and regional industry conferences.
In 2016, Nancy developed the architecture of “Vets Coaching Vets,” which is a philanthropic initiative helping to accelerate veterans’ success in the job market. CDR Companies has worked with more than 5 veterans’ organizations and has provided assessments, individual coaching, and training workshops for over 50 veterans. CDR Companies, LLC is certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the nation’s largest third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women.
 
Social media links
Instagram: @cdrugroupFacebookLinkedIn

Friday Apr 30, 2021

In this episode of the Trainer Tools podcast, John Tomlinson talks to Nikie Forster about how we can use LEGO in Learning and Development.
Nikie Forster was convinced she was going to be a Radio One presenter from an early age, so took a less than conventional route into the world of Learning & Development. This has given her a wide range of experiences that enables her to see learning in every interaction.  Two decades later, having backed up these experiences with a plethora of professional qualifications, she is now Director and Founder of Curious Lighthouse Learning Consultancy, where she specialises in enabling Curious, Creative, and Credible training solutions for Managers, Trainers, and Entrepreneurs to enhance their performance, whether they are at the very start of their journey or experienced professionals. She often uses LEGO in her learning solutions and has created several online courses to help others do the same.  
​​​​​​​​​​Curious Lighthouse is based in Hampshire and mainly serves the south coast and worldwide virtually.
Link to the main page for Nikie's Lego courses, including a freebie: ‘Introducing your Learners To LEGO’ 14-page free guide
Link to the open-source Lego Serious Play guide (PDF download)

Wednesday Mar 31, 2021

Universities and colleges like MIT are fantastic at the theory, and great at technical training, but they have traditionally been less strong on teaching their students the practical skills needed to succeed in the workplace. Mark Herschberg works with MIT as a mentor-instructor, his role is to work with students to plug this gap, teaching them essential professional skills and lessons in management and leadership. He has captured 20 years of his learning into his book, The Career Toolkit (see link below).
In this podcast he talks to John about the methods they use at MIT for leadership development and other practical workplace skills, and, as a special bonus, we add the terms "firm skills" and "Schrödinger's opinion" to our vocabulary!
 
Mark Herschberg is the author of The Career Toolkit, Essential Skills for Success That No One Taught You. From tracking criminals and terrorists on the dark web to creating marketplaces and new authentication systems, Mark has spent his career launching and developing new ventures at startups and Fortune 500s and in academia. He helped to start the Undergraduate Practice Opportunities Program, dubbed MIT’s “career success accelerator,” where he teaches annually.
At MIT, he received a B.S. in Physics, a B.S. in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, and a M.Eng. in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, focusing on cryptography.
At Harvard Business School, Mark helped create a platform used to teach finance at prominent business schools. He also works with many non-profits, including Techie Youth and Plant A Million Corals.
 

Sunday Feb 28, 2021

So often L&D is about righting wrongs and filling gaps in our knowledge or skills, and OK ... yes, this has a place for specific learning needs, but when thinking more deeply about personal development, positive psychology gives us an engaging way to focus on the good stuff and build on strengths and opportunities, and not just fixing the crap stuff.
In this episode, John talks to Alex Bailey about how we can use positive psychology in L&D, and especially for social learning where the focus is on learning and sharing, and not on knowledge-transfer by a know-all trainer.
Alex Bailey is CEO and founder of Bailey & French, a purpose led global consulting company that is focused on humanising the World of Work.
Alex is pioneering a new paradigm in psychology strengthening what’s already uniquely brilliant about individuals and teams in all types of organisations.
Her work over the past 20+ years is focused on large scale cultural evolution that combines the latest evidence based research with innovative approaches to help people, teams and organisations grow. 
Over the past seven years Alex has led her company to successfully expand reach and scope across the world in all industries, sectors and markets bringing her ambitious vision to life.
See here for Bailey and French on Twitter, and here for Alex's profile on LinkedIn.
 

Sunday Jan 31, 2021

John Tomlinson talks to Shirley Gaston about how we can make our online learning sessions more experiential and engaging - feels like an important intervention given the amount of PowerPointy crap there is out there!
Some links mentioned in the podcast: article on online games can be downloaded free at https://www.azesta.co.uk/resources
Learning with Lego link: https://www.curiouslighthouse.co.uk/learning-with-lego-courses.html and the direct link to the PDF for an introduction to Lego serious play: https://www.serious.global/lego-serious-play-open-source.pdf
 
Shirley Gaston is the founder of  the experiential learning company Azesta which has been developing people for 21 years. As such, she is one of the driving forces within the company.
She values openness and this quality is intrinsic to her award-winning learning programmes. It is important to her to be really approachable and, although professional, her overt friendliness is part of her style.
Shirley’s passion for learning through experience has led to her working in learning and development for her entire career and also representing experiential tool maker Metalog and virtual exercise creator Gaminar in the UK.
She has a first class degree in Education, a Post Graduate Certificate and Diploma in Professional Training and Development, she is a qualified coach and holds numerous psychometric qualifications.
She is an absolute CPD addict and attends facilitator development programmes on an almost weekly basis as well as running the non-profit Yorkshire Trainers Development Network. Working directly with her own clients, she specialises in leadership and management, engagement, team development and coaching skills. Working with trainers, she shares her passion for programmes that fully involve the learner and incorporate active and creative review and the most possible variety. She has had several articles published particularly in the field of experiential learning and outdoor management development and is currently working on her first book on the subject.
Shirley lives in Yorkshire with her partner, four children, a dog and three cats. She enjoys a range of outdoor activities, theatre, book groups and is also a Humanist wedding celebrant. 
  
 

Monday Nov 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"
 

Saturday Oct 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 enablescompanies to manage freelancers (acquired by ADP). Jeff has founded several othertechnology companies, including Spinback, a social sharing platform (eventually purchased by salesforce.com).
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

Wednesday Sep 30, 2020

Wednesday Sep 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.
Links
https://createmagicatwork.net/ 
https://www.instagram.com/createmagicatwork/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/amydurhamexecutivecoaching/
 

Friday Jul 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
 
 

Tuesday Jun 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 www.brainitz.com.
Clint can be reached at clint@brainitz.com or https://www.linkedin.com/in/clintknox/
 

Monday Jun 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.
 
 
 

Sunday 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.
 

Thursday Apr 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 - https://spencerayres.com/) is Co-Founder and COO of Future Builders (Link - https://futurebuilders.co) - 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: https://anchor.fm/spenandnick) where they talk about innovation, design, learning and business. 
 
 
 

Tuesday Mar 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 Lanchantin 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
 

Monday Mar 09, 2020

In February 2020, Ulead Media invited me to speak at the L&D Summit event in Madrid.
My session was about the future of L&D, and what we needed to do to stay relevant and get right into the heart of the organisation.
In this talk I share six things I think we need to do to achieve that.
Thanks to Ulead for inviting me.
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday Feb 29, 2020

In this podcast Krystyna Gadd talks to Harriet Bell, Marketing Director from Emerald Publishing, about what their marketing department needs from Learning and Development.
What's great about this interview (in my opinion) is that in the last section, Harriet's view exactly fits with my own about what we need to be doing: close partnerships with the business, focussing on problem area and performance opportunities, and co-creating content to fit their specific needs and circumstances.
Harriet Bell has worked in academic publishing for over 20 years, and is now a Board member for Emerald Publishing which is an independent social science and humanities publisher. Harriet is responsible for global marketing and product development for Emerald at a time of exciting opportunity and change, moving towards innovative content formats to more broadly communicate research findings, supporting open science and above all looking at the role publishers can play in supporting research impact.
Krystyna Gadd is a leading authority on accelerated learning and its application in the UK. As an engineer in a former life, it has shaped her thinking towards creating learning that creates measurable performance impact. She has been training trainers since 2008, through CIPD professional programmes and her own workshops. She has published a book “50 ways to Accelerate Learning”, which expands on her “5 Secrets of Accelerated Learning” that she shared in the Training Journal article “Quick off the Mark”. Both these publications help to dispel some of the myths surrounding accelerated learning. There are 5 broad areas or “secrets” to accelerated learning, that Krys shared in a recent article called “Get up to speed” that appeared in the Training Journal in 2016.
Krystyna is the founder of How to Accelerate Learning and creator of The Learning Loop® a brand new and innovative way to train trainers, facilitators, subject matter experts and line managers.
If you want to get in touch or just see some of the stuff Krys gets involved with, then you can contact her, look at her website, read her blog or view some of her short and snappy videos on YouTube.
 
 
 

Friday Jan 31, 2020

Stand-up comedians have to be confident storytellers who keep the attention of their audience for long periods of time, they also work hard on "finding their voice" so they know who they are when they dare to stand on stage under the lights and demand their audience's attention - so what skills and techniques do they develop to pull this off, and what can we use in L&D?
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" 
 
 

Saturday Nov 30, 2019

In this episode, Krystyna Gadd talks to change management expert Alison Kelly from Hitachi Capital about the future of work and L&D, and how Learning and Development can get closer to the business and provide better support
Alison Kelly has led a range of large scale change programmes in a number of different businesses, often focusing on organisational re-structure, changes to business processes, systems and locations.
She enjoys building and leading high-performing, loyal teams and has done so in both Business Change and IT functions, being responsible for 100-150 professional delivery people at any time. She likes to take a strategic perspective and work collaboratively to bring different disciplines together to make progress. She thinks of herself as both straightforward and resilient.
Krystyna Gadd is a leading authority on accelerated learning and its application in the UK. As an engineer in a former life, it has shaped her thinking towards creating learning that creates measurable performance impact. She has been training trainers since 2008, through CIPD professional programmes and her own workshops. She has published a book “50 ways to Accelerate Learning”, which expands on her “5 Secrets of Accelerated Learning” that she shared in the Training Journal article “Quick off the Mark”. Both these publications help to dispel some of the myths surrounding accelerated learning. There are 5 broad areas or “secrets” to accelerated learning, that Krys shared in a recent article called “Get up to speed” that appeared in the Training Journal in 2016.
Krystyna is the founder of How to Accelerate Learning and creator of The Learning Loop® a brand new and innovative way to train trainers, facilitators, subject matter experts and line managers.
If you want to get in touch or just see some of the stuff Krys gets involved with, then you can contact her, look at her website, read her blog or view some of her short and snappy videos on YouTube.
 

Following their path, not yours

Thursday Oct 31, 2019

Thursday Oct 31, 2019

A discussion with Nadja Petranovskaja about the value of the training room in creating shiny eyes (motivation, confidence etc.) and having no agenda for the workshop so we follow their path, not yours
Nadja Petranovskaja has more than 20 years of experience as a psychologist. After completing her studies in Hamburg, the native Russian gained international experience as a consultant, project manager, and manager in numerous industries.
Specializing in change management and motivation, Nadja feels secure in various roles. Among other things, she has had overall responsibility for an IT project portfolio in Eastern Europe, accompanied by mergers from banks, optimized processes and built an aircraft. She found out what has led to success in multinational highly complex projects: PEOPLE who enjoy their work and look forward to every Monday.
In 2011, Nadja changed her perspective and since then, as an independent entrepreneur, has devoted herself to the task of making organizations and teams fit for the future. Here Nadja works with both modern and proven formats and methods and serves a wide range of topics around people, work and motivation.
As an entrepreneur, author, speaker, and facilitator, Nadja Petranovskaja always brings fresh, actionable impulses and courage to deal with changes – both locally on site and via digital tools in English, German and Russian.
For More Shiny Eyes
 
 
 

Monday Sep 30, 2019

In this episode, Krystyna Gadd takes over the interview seat and talks to Janet Barr from Cap Gemini about what the business wants and needs from learning and development.
Janet Barr is the Technical Director for Capgemini but also an executive architect with over 25 years IT experience. She has a solid technical engineering background and has a key interest in problem solving, while using her business experience. She has been with Capgemini since 2000
Krystyna Gadd is a leading authority on accelerated learning and its application in the UK. As an engineer in a former life, it has shaped her thinking towards creating learning that creates measurable performance impact. She has been training trainers since 2008, through CIPD professional programmes and her own workshops. She has published a book “50 ways to Accelerate Learning”, which expands on her “5 Secrets of Accelerated Learning” that she shared in the Training Journal article “Quick off the Mark”. Both these publications help to dispel some of the myths surrounding accelerated learning. There are 5 broad areas or “secrets” to accelerated learning, that Krys shared in a recent article called “Get up to speed” that appeared in the Training Journal in 2016.
Krystyna is the founder of How to Accelerate Learning and creator of The Learning Loop® a brand new and innovative way to train trainers, facilitators, subject matter experts and line managers.
If you want to get in touch or just see some of the stuff Krys gets involved with, then you can contact her, look at her website, read her blog or view some of her short and snappy videos on YouTube.
 
 
 

Saturday Aug 31, 2019

I am re-releasing some older episodes that had really useful content, although I might be a bit crap - but it's only the third I recorded!
In this one, I talk to Shirley Gaston of Azesta about how to keep learners engaged throughout the training event.
This is Shirley's specialist subject, something she's been passionate about for years, In the podcast she outlines three different approaches for ensuring the delegates on the course stay engaged.
Shirley Gaston is the founder of  the experiential learning company Azesta which has been developing people for 16 years. As such, she is one of the driving forces within the company. She values openness and this quality is intrinsic to her learning programmes.  It is important to her to be really approachable and, although highly professional, her overt friendliness is part of her style.
Shirley’s passion for learning through experience has led to her working in learning and development for her entire career and she was approached four years ago to be the sole distributor and ‘face’ of Metalog in the UK.  She has a first class degree in Education as well as a Post Graduate Certificate and Diploma in Professional Training and Development.
She also holds numerous psychometric qualifications and has attended many short trainer development programmes as well as providing them herself for her own staff and associates. Working directly with her own clients, she specialises in leadership, engagement, coaching skills, sales and customer service. Working with trainers, she shares her passion for programmes that fully involve the learner and incorporate active and creative reviewing techniques. She has had several articles published particularly in the field of experiential learning and outdoor management development and is currently working on her first book on the subject.
Shirley lives in Yorkshire with her partner, three small children and a cat. She enjoys a range of outdoor activities, theatre, running her book group and is also a Humanist wedding celebrant.
 
 

Wednesday Jul 31, 2019

Hi, now and again I release an occasional podcast about leadership. 
Some of this will be looking at leaders in the real world and discussing what we can learn from their successes and failures.
It's not political, but it discusses political leaders, both past and present, but focuses on their leadership behaviours and not their politics.
This first episode looks at the top three things that Theresa May got wrong, and here is a link to the written version of this content on my blog: The End of May: why Theresa May was a rubbish leader
This was originally recorded as a video for my YouTube channel, but I deleted it because I decided running a YouTube channel was too much extra work, but then I changed my mind and re-launched the channel, so maybe I will re-record it one day.
 

Sunday Jun 30, 2019

A lot of organisations espouse the value of "learning", some even have it as an official "value" and have fancy posters to inspire people to learn, but few really live it, putting learning at the centre of what they do.
Service industries succeed (or fail) almost entirely on the knowledge, skills, and behaviours of their people, so their ability to learn - and therefore improve performance - throughout their whole career is even more important.
In this podcast I chat to Sarah Brennan and Rachel Sedgwick of JDX Consulting, a company that has done just that: put L&D at the heart of who they are and how they succeed.
Sarah Brennan, is the Global Head of Learning and Developmen at JDX Consulting
Having worked as a leadership consultant to JDX since early 2016, Sarah joined the company in 2017 as the CEO of Create Edge and Global Head of L&D.
Sarah has over 15 years’ experience as a trainer, facilitator, HR professional and international executive coach. Fully CIPD qualified, an NLP Master Practitioner, member of the British Psychological Society and expert in a range of psychometrics, Sarah has worked in large corporate and multinational businesses, through to public sector bodies and small not-for-profit organisations.
Her vast experience, passion for the work she does and keen interest in positive psychology and neuroscience have seen Sarah successfully roll-out numerous leadership, management and graduate development programmes, work alongside multiple Boards and senior teams to offer executive coaching and strategic support. She has also run her own training and coaching business and inspires others through her public speaking engagements. She has implemented various bespoke talent identification and management approaches and played a fundamental role in the bid, tender and acquisition processes in large organisations.
Since joining JDX, Sarah has successfully rebuilt the L&D function, launched a world-class global learning Academy and implemented an eLearning platform consisting of around 500 learning modules. Sarah also runs an internal executive coaching programme, a consultant-focused mentoring programme and has led on a number of culture development initiatives.
Rachel Sedgwick, Learning and Development Manager at JDX Consulting
Rachel has nearly 10 years of learning and development experience in a variety of sectors and is currently responsible for managing the day-to-day running of the L&D function at JDX Consulting, including team and budget management, and the production and implementation of innovative learning content across the organisation.
Prior to her post at JDX, Rachel was Learning and Development Manager at Westminster Council Housing where she worked directly with the CEO and the executive leadership team. In this position Rachel built the learning and development department and team from scratch and was responsible for designing and rolling out the L&D strategy across the organisation and tying continuous learning into the existing values structure.
Rachel has also held L&D roles at Google, The Racing Post, Prudential Assurance, and Cushman and Wakefield and has an array of professional certifications from The Academy of Executive Coaching, Mindgym and the TRACOM group, as well as a BA (hons) in Drama and Theatre Studies from Roehampton University.  
 
 

Friday May 31, 2019

In this month's podcast, I talk to Dr Katie Nielson about the role of language learning in organisations and the impact it can have on the motivation and the bottom line.
We look at how to create great language programmes, the science of language learning, and how to understand the ROI.
For the past seven years, Dr. Katie Nielson has been the Chief Education Officer at Voxy, an educational technology company focused on helping global teams improve careers and performance through personalized language learning at scale. Katie ensures that learners are getting the most efficient and effective educational experience possible.  
Prior to this, she worked at the University of Maryland Center for Advanced Study of Language, where she served as the Principal Investigator on large-scale projects researching the efficacy of technology-mediated language training products. She has taught Second Language Acquisition and Applied Linguistics at the graduate level at Hunter College and has facilitated numerous teacher training courses around the world.  
Katie Nielson has a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Language and Literature from the University of Virginia and a Master of Arts in Linguistics from University College London. In 2012, Katie received her PhD in Second Language Acquisition from the University of Maryland College Park.
Katie lectures and writes about all things related to language learning and educational technology, including for HR Technologist, Language Magazine, and The74. You can find her on LinkedIn, Twitter, and at the Voxy Blog.
 
Katie Nielson has been the Chief Education Officer at Voxy, an educational technology compa

Tuesday Apr 30, 2019

In this month's podcast, we talk to communications experts Dale Ludwig and Greg Owen-Boger of Turpin Communications about their leadership development work, and how they work with leaders to train and coach them on improving their "executive presence"
Greg Owen-Boger is the Vice President of Turpin Communication, a business communication training company in Chicago.
He started with Turpin as a cameraman in 1995 and quickly moved on to instructor/coach, project manager, account manager, and now VP. Over the years he has coached countless employees and leaders to be more effective presenters, facilitators, and trainers.
Prior to joining Turpin, he was a Project Leader for a boutique consultancy that uses live theatre to initiate the leadership development process. Prior to that, he was an actor.
Greg was the 2015 President of ATD, Chicagoland Chapter. He is a frequent blogger, popular speaker, and the co-author of two books: “The Orderly Conversation: Business Presentations Redefined” and “Effective SMEs: A Trainer’s Guide for Helping Subject Matter Experts Facilitate Learning.” He is among many thought leaders who contributed to the book “Master Presenter: Lessons from the World’s Top Experts on Becoming a More Influential Speaker.”
In his spare time, he works as the Executive Director of Turpin Cares, which provides food, hygiene, and comfort items to the homeless on Chicago’s south side.
See here for Greg’s blog, LinkedIn profile, and Turpin Commiunication Facebook page.
Dr Dale Ludwig has a Ph.D. in Communication and, prior to founding Turpin Communication in 1992, taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
He started Turpin with the mission to provide the best presentation and facilitation skills training possible. Since then he has worked to do just that. In addition to being one of Turpin’s lead instructors and executive coaches, he also serves as Chief Learning Architect when tailoring learning engagements for clients.
Dale is the co-author of “The Orderly Conversation: Business Presentations Redefined” and “Effective SMEs: A Trainer’s Guide to Helping Subject Matter Experts Facilitate Learning.” He also wrote the Readers’ Choice Award-winning article “Let’s Get Serious about Live, Instructor-Led Training” for Training Industry Magazine.
He spends his spare time as the Board President of Turpin Cares, the philanthropic arm of Turpin Communication, where he leads efforts to supply food and comfort to those experiencing homelessness on Chicago’s south side.
See here for Dale’s blog, LinkedIn profile, and Turpin Commiunication Facebook page.
 
 

Sunday Mar 31, 2019

In this episode I speak to Kevin M Yates and Krystyna Gadd about how learning and development needs to align itself to business needs and focus on performance improvement – using data, or “facts” as Kevin calls them – if we, and our Learning and Development brothers and sisters, are to thrive and make a real difference!
Krystyna Gadd is a leading authority on accelerated learning and its application in the UK. As an engineer in a former life, it has shaped her thinking towards creating learning that creates measurable performance impact. She has been training trainers since 2008, through CIPD professional programmes and her own workshops. She has published a book “50 ways to Accelerate Learning”, which expands on her “5 Secrets of Accelerated Learning” that she shared in the Training Journal article “Quick off the Mark”. Both these publications help to dispel some of the myths surrounding accelerated learning. There are 5 broad areas or “secrets” to accelerated learning, that Krys shared in a recent article called “Get up to speed” that appeared in the Training Journal in 2016.
Krystyna is the founder of How to Accelerate Learning and creator of The Learning Loop® a brand new and innovative way to train trainers, facilitators, subject matter experts and line managers.
If you want to get in touch or just see some of the stuff Krys gets involved with, then you can contact her, look at her website, read her blog or view some of her short and snappy videos on YouTube
Kevin M Yates is a Learning & Development detective and just like Sherlock Holmes, he solves mysteries. The mystery he solves is, “Did training work?”
He uses facts, evidence and data to show training and learning’s impact on behavior, performance and goals.
His work is global and multi-industry. He’s served in a variety of roles across training, learning and talent development which guides and informs his perspective and actions. Kevin’s guiding principle is, “Find one thing about a person’s behavior or performance you can attribute to training or learning and let that lead to the facts about impact.”
Kevin is current the Learning Technology Manager at McDonald’s
Visit Kevin’s website and connect on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
 

Thursday Feb 28, 2019

In this episode I talk to Jeff Long about some simple tips that make a big difference to improving how you record videos for learning
Since 2003 Jeff Long has worked with companies, organizations, and entrepreneurs to help them create engaging online courses, dynamic training videos, and flexible websites.
He specializes in creating online courses and his superpower is helping you create effective online course videos. His website and podcast can be found at https://onlinecoursecoach.com along with other videos, training, and resources
 

Thursday Jan 31, 2019

Leadership development is a big topic, it cannot be reduced to a series of bullet points stuck on PowerPoint slides. If we are to develop great leaders, we need patience, and we need to provide impactful experiences and create learning spaces where leaders can work with colleagues to learn, reflect, and grow.
Simulations can be an enjoyable and effective part of that ... if they are well-designed!
In this podcast we talk to Bjorn Billhardt and Matt Confer who share their top five tips to creating great leadership development simulations
Bjorn Billhardt is the CEO of Abilitie.
Prior to founding Abilitie in 2015, Bjorn was the CEO of Enspire Learning, Inc., a custom e-learning development company he co-founded in 2001.
Abilitie offers award-winning team-based leadership simulations that hone people management, business acumen, and strategic leadership skills. Abilitie’s simulations have been utilized by over 40 members of the Fortune 500 in more than 30 countries around the world. Bjorn is a recognized authority in the field of talent development and simulation design and has been a speaker at conferences such as Training, ASTD, and ISPI.
Matt Confer is the VP of Strategy & Business Development at Abilitie focused on new client relationships and partnership development in the learning & development industry.
Matt’s interest in the learning & development space began at Deloitte Consulting where he was a Manager in their Project Controller Practice and worked to help develop and then facilitated a brand new on boarding program for new campus hires.
 

Friday Nov 30, 2018

In this episode of the Trainer Tools podcast, I welcome back Garry Platt to continue discussions on his specialist subject: Transactional Analysis.
Transactional Analysis, or TA, is a theory of how humans interact with each other - its main application being to help understand human behaviour and communication: each interaction between people being called a "transaction". It was developed by Canadian psychiatrist Eric Berne and has been a tool in the trainer and coach toolbox for many years in helping us understand ourselves and our own interpersonal behaviours, but also understand those of others.
In this episode Garry talks about "Drivers", also known as "working styles" and this builds on the first TA series
This podcast includes a promotion for the 2019 Learning and Development Executive Summit
Garry Platt is an experienced training consultant with more than 30 years experience in the business. He has worked with a number of international organisations helping them to enhance their approach to training and development. Within the last 12 months he has worked with Deutsche Post DHL, Formica, Siemens, Mercedes AMG F1 Team and was the keynote speaker at the SHE Conference in Blackpool.
Academically qualified to Masters Degree level in Education, Training and Development his work combines current research and study in Human Resource Development with a pragmatic and workable approach.
During the last 10 years an area of specialisation has become the evaluation and return on investment analysis of training delivered in organisations. Drawing from the experience of hundreds of companies and organisations he has drawn together a large range of methods and approaches which many organisations have selected from and introduced into their own.
Garry currently works for EEF and can be contacted via his LinkedIn profile or email (gplatt@eef.org.uk)
 

Wednesday Oct 31, 2018

Dr Nanette Miner believes that many companies risk going out of business within the next fifteen years because they have failed to train people to be leaders.
She works with organisations to help them plan for the long-term, investing in their people to build business acumen and thinking skills, so once they reach leadership positions, they are in a position to guide the organisation successfully.
In this podcast, I chat with Nanette about her thinking, the learning pathways she recommends and what sits behind her big scary claims.
Dr. Nanette Miner is a leadership development and workplace learning strategy consultant. She is the founder of, and Managing Consultant for, The Training Doctor; a South Carolina-based consulting firm that helps its clients to prepare today, for the organizational leadership they will need tomorrow.
Clients appreciate her skill at asking relevant, timely, and often challenging questions that stimulate new thinking and help organizations to prepare for the future of work. Her focus on business goals, integrated with sound principles of adult learning, results in enhanced organizational effectiveness and astounding return on investment.
She is a frequent speaker at trade conferences and corporate conventions, and an expert-guest on the topic of workforce development and millennial career-development for syndicated talk-radio shows such as America’s Workforce Radio and Inc. Radio.
Her most recent book is Future-Proofing Your Organization by Teaching Thinking Skills.  As a scholar-practitioner, she is has authored books on various aspects of business management, marketing and employee development, and has been published in, or quoted by Huffington Post, Fast Company, the BBC, and numerous industry and trade journals.
Nanette has been passionate about business and learning since she was a youngster. She has a bachelor’s in business and marketing, a masters in human resource management and organization development, and a doctorate in adult learning theory.
 

Sunday Sep 30, 2018

How many stories do you have of crappy e-learning that is designed to tick boxes rather than improve knowledge or, perish the thought, improve performance? Most e-learning packages I have done work best as anesthetics, putting me to sleep in an instant, and putting me off e-learning for life.
That's the problem, bad e-learning doesn't just fail to as a learning experience, it scars learners so that they never want to engage the medium ever again!
Edan Kertis made it his quest to make e-learning - or digital learning - into something engaging, that people enjoyed and valued, that made a difference to real world performance. To do this, he came up the AFT model.
Learn more about the AFT model in this podcast, and how it can be applied, not just in the digital world, but in any learning programme.
Edan Kertis is the CEO at myQuest. He is an entrepreneur, behavioral change expert, software engineer, and the creator of the AFT learning model.
Edan has dedicated his life to the quest of developing digital tools that empower people to reach their personal and professional goals.
In 2012, Edan founded myQuest, a fast growing company that developed a learning and training technology which helps hundreds of companies around the world to deliver their training with outstanding results.
In 2018, Edan analyzed, compiled, and sorted through all of myQuest’s user data from the last 6 years and created what is now known as the AFT learning model.
The AFT learning model (Action->Feedback->Trigger) is one of the most innovative and powerful models to teach and train people online. When used correctly, the model dramatically increases engagement and completion rates as well as knowledge retention.
 

Friday Aug 31, 2018

In this podcast, I continue discussing the "Five Secrets of Accelerated Learning" with Krystyna Gadd, focusing on the last of the five secrets which is about understanding how the brain learns. We don't go too deep into the neuroscience of learning, it's more about simple techniques to adopt to increase the likelihood of retention.
Krystyna Gadd is a leading authority on accelerated learning and its application in the UK. As an engineer in a former life, it has shaped her thinking towards creating learning that creates measurable performance impact. She has been training trainers since 2008, through CIPD professional programmes and her own workshops. She has published a book “50 ways to Accelerate Learning”, which expands on her “5 Secrets of Accelerated Learning” that she shared in the Training Journal article “Quick off the Mark”. Both these publications help to dispel some of the myths surrounding accelerated learning. There are 5 broad areas or “secrets” to accelerated learning, that Krys shared in a recent article called “Get up to speed” that appeared in the Training Journal in 2016.
Krys finds working with trainers an absolute joy and she constantly seeks out ways to enable trainers to cut down on preparation time, improve retention of information and accelerate the learning though their organisations.
Krystyna is the founder of How to Accelerate Learning and creator of The Learning Loop® a brand new and innovative way to train trainers, facilitators, subject matter experts and line managers.
 
 

Saturday Jun 30, 2018

Knowledge and skills are not even half the battle when it comes to getting lasting performance improvement.
People not only need to know what to do and how to do it, they need to have the confidence to do it, the judgement to know when to do it, and the dedication to break old habits, overcome self-limiting beliefs, and construct new - more helpful - mental models.
Only then will we consistently see people taking the great leaps forward that we - and they - aspire to.
In this podcast, I chat to Emma Shaw, an enthusiast for L&D that's all about mindset shifts - which also happens to be my own favourite part of the business.
Emma Shaw discovered Learning and Development purely by accident and has had a passion for it ever since. With a very varied career within the field, she has always found one thing consistently fascinating; what makes people tick and how they evolve.
As a facilitator and natural coach, Emma uses accelerated learning techniques, NLP and other creative approaches to bring out the best in people whilst creating the best learning environment possible and even sometimes challenge the status quo.
She is passionate about ensuring that learning interactions really deliver results, so she is keen to always ensure a full needs analysis is done to create the right learning outcomes. That way, the learning becomes meaningful, high impact and stands out from the norm as a unique and memorable experience.
Emma runs her own consultancy business in the North West and has an entrepreneurial spirit. One of her new projects is co-founding a new membership site specialising in wellbeing, mindset and successfully navigating life.
Her key areas of skill within are behavioural and mindset change, sales, customer excellence and management/leadership development, as well as personal development and career coaching. You can find out more on www.espressolearning.co.uk
And feel free to connect with her on LinkedIn.
 

Thursday May 31, 2018

We learn new skills through repetition.When we repeat actions with the intention of getting better, we call this practice.It works, but it's laborious, and without guidance can lead to bad habits, poor technique, and - most often - failure. That means lower confidence, lower performance, and self-limiting beliefs.As learning professionals we can improve the effectiveness of this process by providing the right knowledge and structure, and then through coaching as skills are practised, reflected upon, and new mental models developed.The problem now is that it's not realistic to scale this level of support for a whole organisation.
 
Douglas Seifert, PhD is the founder and CEO of Syandus
He founded Syandus 15 years ago to create a new way to learn. By combining cognitive science with game technologies, Dr. Seifert focuses on providing scalable ways to solve issues related to knowledge retention and skill acquisition.
Dr. Seifert served as Principal Investigator on 8 Small Business Innovation Research awards from the National Science Foundation; this research fueled the development of the virtual immersive learning technology on which the Syandus platform is built.
Syandus is now used to create customized modules for medicine, sales, leadership, and employee performance.
To find out more about how Syandus works, see this link for the Syandus sales training promotional video (scroll down for the video).
 

Monday Apr 30, 2018

Let me be honest, I am biased. I hate smartphones in the training room.
If I deliver a learning event, I am trying to create a space where learning can happen safely. It's social, it's inclusive, it's active, it's fun, it is - I hope - challenging and valuable (I hope so, because it's costly!) ... and this requires a level of participation and engagement from the learners, and - because we're people in the same space - a level of courtesy ... but then I'm not one of the Millennial types, so what do I know.
Paul Levy argues that today's youngsters have (or may have) a new skill set and that all the assumptions I packed into the above paragraph may be wrong. He says we should be open to the idea of embracing smartphones in the learning space and using them to enhance and share the learning.
I'm not convinced ... what do you think?
Paul Levy is the founder of CATS3000, a change and innovation company that helps people and organisations to realise potential and thrive. He’s worked with individuals and organisations all over the world for the last twenty years to challenge mediocrity, and to open space for change and transformation.
Paul is also a senior researcher at the Centre for Research in Innovation Management at Brighton Business School in the UK. He’s the author of several books, including “Technosophy” and Digital Inferno (based on his acclaimed blog, The Digital Inferno. He is also lead facilitator with the Social Media Leadership Forum.
He’s also a director of Rational Madness Theatre – an award-winning organisational theatre company that uses theatre to inspire and provoke change, transformation and innovation.
He’s a facilitator, trainer, writer, thinker and collusion breaker.
Paul Lives in Brighton in the UK.
 
 

Saturday Mar 31, 2018

Garry is back, this time to talk about his approach to using competences in learning and development.
I would guess that competences are not used that much in your organisation, and if they are, they are only dragged out for performance reviews and little else.  Even then, if my experience is anything to go by, they probably don't really drive workplace behaviour or performance improvement, and maybe they feel more like a tick-box exercise that HR make you do.
It needn't be thus.
Competences can be really useful! Well written ones, with good descriptors of effective and ineffective behaviours, can be a great guide for superior performance and an invaluable tool in learning needs analyses and learning design.
Garry Platt is an experienced training consultant with more than 30 years experience in the business. He has worked with a number of international organisations helping them to enhance their approach to training and development. Within the last 12 months he has worked with Deutsche Post DHL, Formica, Siemens, Mercedes AMG F1 Team and was the keynote speaker at the SHE Conference in Blackpool.
Academically qualified to Masters Degree level in Education, Training and Development his work combines current research and study in Human Resource Development with a pragmatic and workable approach.
During the last 10 years an area of specialisation has become the evaluation and return on investment analysis of training delivered in organisations. Drawing from the experience of hundreds of companies and organisations he has drawn together a large range of methods and approaches which many organisations have selected from and introduced into their own.
Garry currently works for EEF and can be contacted via his LinkedIn profile or email (gplatt@eef.org.uk)
 

Wednesday Feb 28, 2018

In this podcast, I continue discussing the "Five Secrets of Accelerated Learning" with Krystyna Gadd.
We're up to the fourth secret which is about the importance of the environment. This isn't just the physical environment, but also the social and emotional environments.
Krystyna Gadd is a leading authority on accelerated learning and its application in the UK. As an engineer in a former life, it has shaped her thinking towards creating learning that creates measurable performance impact. She has been training trainers since 2008, through CIPD professional programmes and her own workshops. She has published a book “50 ways to Accelerate Learning”, which expands on her “5 Secrets of Accelerated Learning” that she shared in the Training Journal article “Quick off the Mark”. Both these publications help to dispel some of the myths surrounding accelerated learning. There are 5 broad areas or “secrets” to accelerated learning, that Krys shared in a recent article called “Get up to speed” that appeared in the Training Journal in 2016.
Krys finds working with trainers an absolute joy and she constantly seeks out ways to enable trainers to cut down on preparation time, improve retention of information and accelerate the learning though their organisations.
Krystyna is the founder of How to Accelerate Learning and creator of The Learning Loop® a brand new and innovative way to train trainers, facilitators, subject matter experts and line managers.
 

Saturday Feb 03, 2018

In this podcast I talk to Sunita Sehmi about being an inclusive facilitator, and also about how we can deal with sensitive topics like diversity, both as facilitators but also as a learning topic in itself.
Sunita Sehmi is a Certified Executive Coach, Consultant, Speaker and Trainer. She is of Indian origin and was born in London before moving to Geneva in 1992. She has a Psychology degree, specializing in Occupational and Developmental Psychology and a Post Graduate certification in the Development and Training of Adults from the UK. She also has a Masters in Human Resources, Coaching and Career Management from HEC University of Geneva. Where she wrote her Master Thesis “How does proficiency in English affect French-native professionals at work?” A qualitative research conducted in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.
She is the founder of Walk The Talk, which provides tailor-made professional coaching consultancy and training.
Her business background includes working with International companies in banking, finance, media, pharmaceuticals, and FMCG industries. Sunita’s coaching style advances the skills and approaches needed to develop performance. Her forte is the fact that she has studied and worked in several different countries and thus her understanding and knowledge of language communication and culture is compact and solid.
During her twenty-five years of international experience, Sunita’s objective has always been to support people to uncover and utilise their potential and to help individuals and organizations to perform at their very best.
Sunita is an accomplished speaker and business writer furthermore she has had several articles published articles in the press.
In her free time Sunita is a Mentor for the Richard Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship and a proud member of the School in The Cloud Team.
 

How to be influential

Thursday Nov 30, 2017

Thursday Nov 30, 2017

One of my favourite conversations for a while was with beer-lover and influence expert Alex Swallow.
Influence is a perennial topic in the professional world, and most of us are in roles where we not only need to help others be influential, but we need to be influential ourselves.
In this podcast, I ramble on to Alex Swallow about what makes people influential, what we can do to be more influential and what we can do in workshops about influence to make them more meaningful.
Alex Swallow is The Influence Expert– helping high achievers grow their influence to increase their impact on the world. He is currently a digital nomad- living and working in a number of European cities (and soon, India) with his wife. He is also the Founder of Young Charity Trustees, an organisation that promotes Board diversity for charities. He has previously been a charity Chief Executive, a political intern and an assistant teacher for two years in Japan. He was educated at Cambridge and Sussex Universities.
 

Tuesday Oct 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.
Paul Levy is the founder of CATS3000, a change and innovation company that helps people and organisations to realise potential and thrive. He’s worked with individuals and organisations all over the world for the last twenty years to challenge mediocrity, and to open space for change and transformation.
Paul is also a senior researcher at the Centre for Research in Innovation Management at Brighton Business School in the UK. He’s the author of several books, including “Technosophy” and Digital Inferno (based on his acclaimed blog, The Digital Inferno. He is also lead facilitator with the Social Media Leadership Forum.
He’s also a director of Rational Madness Theatre – an award-winning organisational theatre company that uses theatre to inspire and provoke change, transformation and innovation.
He’s a facilitator, trainer, writer, thinker and collusion breaker.
Paul Lives in Brighton in the UK.
 
 

Saturday Sep 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.
Dr Adam Le Nevez is a learning consultant for the UK Foreign Office's Diplomatic Academy.
This doesn’t mean he teaches diplomats to unwrap a Ferrero Rocher in one hand while holding a glass of Champagne in the other. Rather, he partners with designers, faculties, learners and subject matter experts to build practical, innovative and accessible learning experiences for the continuous professional development of staff in the UK’s global network of missions.
Adam has an academic background in sociolinguistics and adult education and is passionate about life-long learning and social empowerment. His research and publications focus on language diversity, multilingual education policy and practice, and teacher education. In his 25 year career he has worked and taught at universities in Thailand, Australia, Finland, France, Luxembourg and Tunisia. His current professional interests lie in digital learning, design thinking and building resilient networks.

Saturday Sep 02, 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.
Catherine Thomson is founder of The Houston Exchange and is also an Associate Consultant within the People and Organisational Development (POD) Division with Edinburgh Napier University.
A graduate of Sheffield University, she is an accomplished organisation development consultant with domestic and international experience across all sectors. Her expertise is in supporting organisations develop leaders to attain a level of agility that matches the unprecedented level of change and complexity currently being experienced in the 21st Century.
She is an advocate of working with leaders using “systems intelligence”, helping them to go beyond reaching agreements to reaching new understandings from which to think and act. In this way they build organisations that are profitable, enlightened, healthy and compassionate.
Catherine trained in Boston MA with the Kantor Institute on Dialogue™ a process that supports greater understanding of the dynamics of how teams communicate within their organisational system. Her recent assignments have included work with intact and cross functional teams at every level in the organisation, exploring personal and group insights into those areas of their communication that is normally less visible (assumptions, beliefs, values etc.) and the implications these have on personal contribution to the group dynamic, quality of decisions and employee engagement. She has helped individuals and teams develop insights and new thinking on how to expand their own behavioural repertoire when working towards new aligned thinking and meaning in relation to change, pivotal conversations and growing people capacity within the organisation.
 

Saturday Jul 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!
Paul Levy is the founder of CATS3000, a change and innovation company that helps people and organisations to realise potential and thrive. He’s worked with individuals and organisations all over the world for the last twenty years to challenge mediocrity, and to open space for change and transformation.
Paul is also a senior researcher at the Centre for Research in Innovation Management at Brighton Business School in the UK. He’s the author of several books, including “Technosophy” and Digital Inferno (based on his acclaimed blog, The Digital Inferno. He is also lead facilitator with the Social Media Leadership Forum.
He’s also a director of Rational Madness Theatre – an award-winning organisational theatre company that uses theatre to inspire and provoke change, transformation and innovation.
He’s a facilitator, trainer, writer, thinker and collusion breaker.
Paul Lives in Brighton in the UK.
 
 

Wednesday 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.
Krystyna Gadd is a leading authority on accelerated learning and its application in the UK. As an engineer in a former life, it has shaped her thinking towards creating learning that creates measurable performance impact. She has been training trainers since 2008, through CIPD professional programmes and her own workshops. She has published a book “50 ways to Accelerate Learning”, which expands on her “5 Secrets of Accelerated Learning” that she shared in the Training Journal article “Quick off the Mark”. Both these publications help to dispel some of the myths surrounding accelerated learning. There are 5 broad areas or “secrets” to accelerated learning, that Krys shared in a recent article called “Get up to speed” that appeared in the Training Journal in 2016.
Krys finds working with trainers an absolute joy and she constantly seeks out ways to enable trainers to cut down on preparation time, improve retention of information and accelerate the learning though their organisations.
Krystyna is the founder of How to Accelerate Learning and creator of The Learning Loop® a brand new and innovative way to train trainers, facilitators, subject matter experts and line managers.

Sunday Apr 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.
Garry Platt is an experienced training consultant with more than 30 years experience in the business. He has worked with a number of international organisations helping them to enhance their approach to training and development. Within the last 12 months he has worked with Deutsche Post DHL, Formica, Siemens, Mercedes AMG F1 Team and was the keynote speaker at the SHE Conference in Blackpool.
Academically qualified to Masters Degree level in Education, Training and Development his work combines current research and study in Human Resource Development with a pragmatic and workable approach.
During the last 10 years an area of specialisation has become the evaluation and return on investment analysis of training delivered in organisations. Drawing from the experience of hundreds of companies and organisations he has drawn together a large range of methods and approaches which many organisations have selected from and introduced into their own.
Garry currently works for EEF and can be contacted via his LinkedIn profile or email (gplatt@eef.org.uk)
 

Friday Mar 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.
aul Tizzard did his first "Train the Trainer" course in 1986 and has been a professional trainer since 1996 and independent since 2001. He is a trained presenter, coach and facilitator. Since becoming independent, he has been fortunate to work in many different countries with an eclectic range of industries and companies.
I feel extremely lucky to have the best job in the world
Paul set up Virgin Atlantic's Flying Without Fear programme, has written five books, is a Fellow of ITOL and has run more learning events than you could shake a stick at.
If I am lucky, I will pop my clogs about 95 years old whilst writing on flip charts!
Click here to visit Paul's website
 

Tuesday Feb 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.
Krystyna Gadd is a leading authority on accelerated learning and its application in the UK. As an engineer in a former life, it has shaped her thinking towards creating learning that creates measurable performance impact. She has been training trainers since 2008, through CIPD professional programmes and her own workshops. She has published a book “50 ways to Accelerate Learning”, which expands on her “5 Secrets of Accelerated Learning” that she shared in the Training Journal article “Quick off the Mark”. Both these publications help to dispel some of the myths surrounding accelerated learning. There are 5 broad areas or “secrets” to accelerated learning, that Krys shared in a recent article called “Get up to speed” that appeared in the Training Journal in 2016.
Krys finds working with trainers an absolute joy and she constantly seeks out ways to enable trainers to cut down on preparation time, improve retention of information and accelerate the learning though their organisations.
Krystyna is the founder of How to Accelerate Learning and creator of The Learning Loop® a brand new and innovative way to train trainers, facilitators, subject matter experts and line managers.

Tuesday Jan 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!
Robin Petterd has a PhD in creative interactive digital media and has worked in that field since 1993, training people since 1995. He has been involved in all parts of the education sector and established Sprout Labs in 2007.
Robin has a particular focus on employing the 70-20-10 learning model and digital learning to maximise learning effectiveness in organisations, and takes a strategic approach with his clients to ensure the model is deployed successfully.

Tuesday Nov 15, 2016

Despite our best efforts, our thorough preparation, and our fantastic facilitation, sometimes training programmes don't go as well as we hope. Sometimes people turn up with quite different expectations of what the event is all about, or they feel like political prisoners who have been coerced into attending by managerial pressure, or perhaps they are seeking to spend a day playing with their phone instead of working!
In this podcast Sunita Sehmi talks about her approach of engaging before, during and after the programme to ensure that the event is as successful as possible for the organisation and for the individuals who attend.
Sunita Sehmi is a Certified Executive Coach, Consultant, Speaker and Trainer. She is of Indian origin and was born in London before moving to Geneva in 1992. She has a Psychology degree, specializing in Occupational and Developmental Psychology and a Post Graduate certification in the Development and Training of Adults from the UK. She also has a Masters in Human Resources, Coaching and Career Management from HEC University of Geneva. Where she wrote her Master Thesis “How does proficiency in English affect French-native professionals at work?” A qualitative research conducted in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.
She is the founder of Walk The Talk, which provides tailor-made professional coaching consultancy and training.
Her business background includes working with International companies in banking, finance, media, pharmaceuticals, and FMCG industries. Sunita’s coaching style advances the skills and approaches needed to develop performance. Her forte is the fact that she has studied and worked in several different countries and thus her understanding and knowledge of language communication and culture is compact and solid.
During her twenty-five years of international experience, Sunita’s objective has always been to support people to uncover and utilise their potential and to help individuals and organizations to perform at their very best.
Sunita is an accomplished speaker and business writer furthermore she has had several articles published articles in the press.
In her free time Sunita is a Mentor for the Richard Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship and a proud member of the School in The Cloud Team.
 
 

Saturday Oct 15, 2016

Hi I'm John, and I'm biased.
I am not the only one. You are too.
In fact all human beings are born with a set of biases and mental shortcuts that help us survive and deal with the world around us.
In the past such biases were vital to survival. We didn't need to worry about being fair and inclusive when we were living in caves; we were more concerned with finding the next woolly mammoth and avoiding being eaten by lions. Issues such as creating a diverse community were way down our priority list.
Times have changed. Now we live and work in a multicultural global environment and need to broaden our vision beyond our own narrow bias-filled perspectives. This isn't easy, and in fact a lot of biases will persist even if you are aware of them and intellectually believe they are wrong ... but we can only manage what we're aware of, and in this podcast we discuss what unconscious bias is and how as learning and development professionals we can improve our understanding of our own biases in order to improve our performance.
Paul Tizzard did his first "Train the Trainer" course in 1986 and has been a professional trainer since 1996 and independent since 2001. He is a trained presenter, coach and facilitator. Since becoming independent, he has been fortunate to work in many different countries with an eclectic range of industries and companies.
I feel extremely lucky to have the best job in the world
Paul set up Virgin Atlantic's Flying Without Fear programme, has written five books, is a Fellow of ITOL and has run more learning events than you could shake a stick at.
If I am lucky, I will pop my clogs about 95 years old whilst writing on flip charts!
Click here to visit Paul's website

Thursday Sep 15, 2016

I have found SDI (Strengths Deployment Inventory) to be a really valuable tool in leadership development, despite my being a skeptical curmudgeon about most of these workplace psychometric tools.
What convinced me was partly personal - I felt it offered valuable insight into my own self (not a pretty sight) - but also because of the impact I've seen it have within the training room. I've used it mainly for leadership development, so that's my main experience, and I've seen many people (not everyone) find it really useful in not only raising self-awareness, but more importantly giving them a roadmap for strengths development that remains true to their authentic self.
In the podcast Simon Gallon talks through the basic theory and its wider application within L&D, in particular in teambuilding and leadership development activities.
It's another long one, but it's good stuff.
Simon Gallon is the Managing Director of PSP UK (Personal Strengths Publishing) and a member of PSP Inc.’s Board of Directors and is an expert in the application of all SDI (Strengths Deployment Inventory) related products and services. (TSDI® and Core Strengths®)
The TSDI® (TotalSDI) suite of tools is based on Relationship Awareness Theory, a unique approach to learning and development which focuses on the reasons why people behave in the ways they do. Through this expertise Simon has helped people across the world understand and apply their core strengths to make a difference to both their professional and personal relationships. By improving relationships between people, performance can be elevated on an individual, team and organisational level.
Simon’s skills as a facilitator, speaker and consultant have been honed over 20+ years of working with individuals at Partner level of major financial institutions, Senior Leaders in the Armed Forces, Managers and Leaders from a wide variety of organisations and cultures, Sales personnel and young people embarking on their next steps into further education.
His innovations as owner and manager of PSP’s largest, and most well-established distributor have led to the creation or improvement of many SDI-related products and services, such as: facilitator certification training programmes, feedback and expectations assessments, and many tools, tips, and techniques to improve overall SDI facilitation and organisational implementation. His areas of expertise are in interpersonal communication, teamwork, appreciative enquiry, conflict management and leadership development.

Wednesday Aug 31, 2016

I've never been a big fan of SMART objectives. I accept there is wisdom in the acronym, but I think the process tends to eclipse the most important things about performance objectives: they should provide clarity, challenge and motivation, and when delivered they should add value to the organisation.
I made this point in a previous podcast (The secrets of accelerated learning: what's your objective? with Krystyna Gadd) and was contacted by Garry Platt who disagreed with some of what I said and wanted to mount a defence of SMART.
So that's what this is ... an extra podcast challenging some of the content of the previous one, with a screeching parrot in the background.
Garry Platt is an experienced training consultant with more than 30 years experience in the business. He has worked with a number of international organisations helping them to enhance their approach to training and development. Within the last 12 months he has worked with Deutsche Post DHL, Formica, Siemens, Mercedes AMG F1 Team and was the keynote speaker at the SHE Conference in Blackpool.
Academically qualified to Masters Degree level in Education, Training and Development his work combines current research and study in Human Resource Development with a pragmatic and workable approach.
During the last 10 years an area of specialisation has become the evaluation and return on investment analysis of training delivered in organisations. Drawing from the experience of hundreds of companies and organisations he has drawn together a large range of methods and approaches which many organisations have selected from and introduced into their own.
Garry currently works for EEF and can be contacted via his LinkedIn profile or email (gplatt@eef.org.uk)

Tuesday Aug 16, 2016

A few months ago we chatted with Krystyna Gadd about her Five Secrets of Accelerated Learning, and in this podcast we drill down into the first and most important of those: writing learning objectives that link to the business strategy and the objectives of the learners.
Apologies that it's a bit long, but when you get talking about this sort of thing it can be hard to stop!
Krystyna Gadd is a leading authority on accelerated learning and its application in the UK. As an engineer in a former life, it has shaped her thinking towards creating learning that creates measurable performance impact. She has been training trainers since 2008, through CIPD professional programmes and her own workshops. She has published a book “50 ways to Accelerate Learning”, which expands on her “5 Secrets of Accelerated Learning” that she shared in the Training Journal article “Quick off the Mark”. Both these publications help to dispel some of the myths surrounding accelerated learning. There are 5 broad areas or “secrets” to accelerated learning, that Krys shared in a recent article called “Get up to speed” that appeared in the Training Journal in 2016.
Krys finds working with trainers an absolute joy and she constantly seeks out ways to enable trainers to cut down on preparation time, improve retention of information and accelerate the learning though their organisations.
Krystyna is the founder of How to Accelerate Learning and creator of The Learning Loop® a brand new and innovative way to train trainers, facilitators, subject matter experts and line managers.

Friday Jul 15, 2016

In this episode of the Trainer Tools podcast, I welcome back Garry Platt to continue discussions on his specialist subject: Transactional Analysis.
Transactional Analysis, or TA, is a theory of how humans interact with each other - its main application being to help understand human behaviour and communication: each interaction between people being called a "transaction". It was developed by Canadian psychiatrist Eric Berne and has been a tool in the trainer and coach toolbox for many years in helping us understand ourselves and our own interpersonal behaviours, but also understand those of others.
In this episode Garry talks about "Transaction", and this builds on the first podcast "Transactional Analysis for trainers (part one): understanding ego states" that you should check out before listening to this.
Garry Platt is an experienced training consultant with more than 30 years experience in the business. He has worked with a number of international organisations helping them to enhance their approach to training and development. Within the last 12 months he has worked with Deutsche Post DHL, Formica, Siemens, Mercedes AMG F1 Team and was the keynote speaker at the SHE Conference in Blackpool.
Academically qualified to Masters Degree level in Education, Training and Development his work combines current research and study in Human Resource Development with a pragmatic and workable approach.
During the last 10 years an area of specialisation has become the evaluation and return on investment analysis of training delivered in organisations. Drawing from the experience of hundreds of companies and organisations he has drawn together a large range of methods and approaches which many organisations have selected from and introduced into their own.
Garry currently works for EEF and can be contacted via his LinkedIn profile or email (gplatt@eef.org.uk)

Friday Jul 01, 2016

It's been a while since we did a short episode and I've had this one in the can for a while, so I thought I'd edit it up and put it out.
In this episode, I welcome back Seema Sarawgi who talks about a simple way to split larger groups into smaller sub-groups for activities. There are lots of ways to do this that are more interesting than saying "1, 2, 3" that can be fun and energising, can break down barriers and can lead into content or fit with teambuilding themes.
Seema Sarawgi is a Learning and Development professional with around 8 years of experience of working with both public and private sectors in India and the UK.
She last worked for the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office as a Regional Learning and Development Officer where she designed and delivered formal and informal L&D solutions for staff across South Asia including India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. She has also provided HR advisory and consulting to some of the biggest public sector undertakings in India such as Indian Oil, Indian Railways, Steel Authority of India, Delhi Metro etc.
She is very passionate about L&D and always goes an extra mile to deliver something innovative and sustainable. A particular highlight in her career was when she received an HRD award for “improving quality of working life” for unskilled labourers for an Indian Public company from the President of India at IFTDO, 2013.
Seema has a master’s degree in Organisational Behaviour from London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE). She is also an MBA and a certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) practitioner with a strong sense of business strategy further developed through working with one of the Big 4’s and similar boutique consulting firms.
Click here to visit Seema's profile on LinkedIn

Wednesday Jun 15, 2016

The life of a training facilitator is not as glamorous as it might seem to the casual observer.
There's a lot of travel, but that just means a lot of time in airports or stuck on long and boring motorways. L&D professionals don't typically travel in hot air balloons with personal menservants called Passepartout - the budgets rarely stretch that far.
It's not just the solitude of travel, it's the loneliness of being in a group of learners in a workshop, but needing to keep distant from them. We encourage social learning and network building, but we're the guide on the side not another member of the gang.
It doesn't stop there!
Often we're associated with change, and change is sometimes bad news, at least for some of the people ... and even if not, we're in the business of challenging people, pushing them out of their comfort zones, perhaps even asking difficult questions that make people think. We might even cause all sorts of trouble by demanding manager involvement or by challenging cultural aspects that might be getting in the way of learning.
Claire Simmons is an expert in offering career advice - and not just how to make your CV look nice. Her organisation (NewFuture.me) works with people through the emotional side of career change, redundancy, and picking the right options for the future.
In this podcast she talks through her approach and how we, as L&D professionals, can apply the same techniques to help look after ourselves.

Sunday May 15, 2016

Time is running out and you've got so much more content to squash in to the training course ... what can you do? Easy, just drop the action planning session you have penciled in for the end of the day!
According to Emma Weber, expert in learning transfer and author of two books on the subject, this would be exactly the wrong thing to do.
In this episode - the longest Trainer Tools podcast by a country mile - Emma explains how action planning done well can be the key tool in ensuring knowledge and skill acquired on a training course is transferred into the workplace and drives real life proper performance improvement!
Maybe I should have split this up into two parts, but there didn't seem to be a natural break ... so I didn't. I know it's long, but I think it's worth it!
Emma Weber is the founder of Lever – Transfer of Learning and developer of the Turning Learning into Action™ (TLA) methodology.
Emma’s firm belief, and the platform on which she has built her successful global business, is that the key aim of learning in the workplace is to create tangible business benefits. She established Lever to help organisations and their employees convert learning into effective action back on the job. Under her guidance Lever now delivers TLA programs throughout 20 countries and in 12 languages.
A recognized authority on the transfer of learning, Emma has been a guest speaker on learning effectiveness at conferences in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and the USA. Her book ‘Turning Learning into Action: a proven methodology for effective transfer of learning’ was published in March 2014 by Kogan Page. Emma’s second book, ‘Making Change Work: How to create behavioural change in organizations to drive impact and ROI’, co-authored with Jack and Patti Phillips of the ROI Institute, was published on May 3rd 2016 by Kogan Page.
Fostering entrepreneurship is Emma’s other keen interest, and she has co-facilitated training at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in South Africa.

Friday Apr 15, 2016

I am not the world's best at planning, and probably wouldn't rank very highly at following a plan either.
I've often felt that this was a weakness - I know it's also a strength (I am good at thinking on my feet and coping with change), but it's also true that it mightn't be such a bad thing to plan ahead and perhaps stick to a schedule every now and again ... so, when Paul Levy proposed talking about the role of improvisation in training delivery, I was rather excited!
In this podcast he talks through his approach to improvisation, what it means, how we can develop the skills, and his own examples of improvised activities that have worked well, and - because it's in my nature to ask - times when it hasn't worked so well!
Paul Levy is the founder of CATS3000, a change and innovation company that helps people and organisations to realise potential and thrive. He’s worked with individuals and organisations all over the world for the last twenty years to challenge mediocrity, and to open space for change and transformation.
Paul is also a senior researcher at the Centre for Research in Innovation Management at Brighton Business School in the UK. He’s the author of several books, including “Technosophy” and Digital Inferno (based on his acclaimed blog, The Digital Inferno. He is also lead facilitator with the Social Media Leadership Forum.
He’s also a director of Rational Madness Theatre – an award-winning organisational theatre company that uses theatre to inspire and provoke change, transformation and innovation.
He’s a facilitator, trainer, writer, thinker and collusion breaker.
Paul Lives in Brighton in the UK.
 
 

Tuesday Mar 15, 2016

Evaluation is the most neglected part of the L&D cycle.
My guess is that this is because most people in L&D prefer to be in training rooms or designing workshops, or creating transformational strategies to allow individuals and organisations to reach their potential ... I'm getting carried away now ... the point is that few of us get excited about the subject of evaluation.
Merle Van Der Voorde was no exception, and wasn't exactly thrilled when asked to deliver an evaluation project for the various learning and development courses, programmes and other activities on offer.
However, like most things, the more you know about them, the more interesting they become and in this podcast Merle shares the strategy and approach she used, and talks through some examples from her organisation.
Merle Van Der Voorde is a Senior Learning Advisor at the Dutch Academy for International Relations. At the Academy she focuses on informal and social learning, evaluation, intercultural exchange and security and defence topics ... read more about Merle here.
Although Merle loves to be in the to-do-mode, she prefers reflection and is passionate about helping others in their efforts to learn through reflection. Merle doesn’t just like engaging in learning with people, but also with dog! Training dogs – or better- training their owners, is one of her favourite pastimes.

Monday Feb 15, 2016

Stories are the oldest and best way of passing on information in an engaging and memorable way.
They are a key tool in learning, and a nice break from PowerPoint and flip charts, and they can be used to make things easier to remember, to raise a particular issue for discussion, to challenge the way people think, and to make learning easier to transfer back to the workplace.
We don't need to rely solely on real things that have happened either - although real life stories are really good - we can write our own stories too. Sometimes this might be because we don't know a relevant true story, but often there is value in an obviously fictional account - think how much we call on famous fictional situations as real-life metaphors now: everything from Shakespeare and Star Wars to Monty Python. Fictional stories can be used to illustrate ideas in a meaningful way that everyone understands.
In this podcast I talk to Samantha Mathis about her use of stories and how to write your own stories for training courses and other learning events. She also talks about using storytelling as a powerful teambuilding activity, allowing teams to raise and discuss issues in a fun and engaging way.
Samantha Mathis is Regional Head of Learning & Development for the Americas region for the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
She has more than 15 years experience in leadership and learning and organizational development to realize improvement and change. She has extensive experience developing leadership and management training strategies, coaching and mentoring teams and individuals, and specializes in cultural training, leadership and team development.
A retired Royal Air Force officer, she has worked on projects for the U.S. and U.K. governments, the United States Agency for International Development as well as in the private and education sectors.
Samantha has global experience with multi-cultural teams in the Americas, Caribbean, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. She has a B.A. in European Business Communication and a Masters in French & Business and is currently completing a Doctorate in International Education, specializing in the transfer of learning from leadership programs to the workplace.
 

Friday Jan 15, 2016

Accelerated learning is a term that is oft heard, but not oft understood, and even less oft applied effectively.
It's not just about playing some music, putting a load of fiddly toys out, and then forcing delegates to flip chart stuff for hours, there's more to it than that.
In this episode, I talk to accelerate learning expert Krystyna Gadd about her five secrets of accelerated learning: five areas that need to be considered to ensure that a learning event takes full advantage of all the benefits that accelerated learning can bring.
The only problem is that we went on too long, so I decided not to inflict an hour-long podcast on the poor listener, and instead split it into two halves.
Krystyna Gadd is a leading authority on accelerated learning and its application in the UK. As an engineer in a former life, it has shaped her thinking towards creating learning that creates measurable performance impact. She has been training trainers since 2008, through CIPD professional programmes and her own workshops. She has published a book “50 ways to Accelerate Learning”, which expands on her “5 Secrets of Accelerated Learning” that she shared in the Training Journal article “Quick off the Mark”. Both these publications help to dispel some of the myths surrounding accelerated learning. There are 5 broad areas or “secrets” to accelerated learning, that Krys shared in a recent article called “Get up to speed” that appeared in the Training Journal in 2016.
Krys finds working with trainers an absolute joy and she constantly seeks out ways to enable trainers to cut down on preparation time, improve retention of information and accelerate the learning though their organisations.
Krystyna is the founder of How to Accelerate Learning and creator of The Learning Loop® a brand new and innovative way to train trainers, facilitators, subject matter experts and line managers.

Friday Jan 15, 2016

Accelerated learning is a term that is oft heard, but not oft understood, and even less oft applied effectively.
It's not just about playing some music, putting a load of fiddly toys out, and then forcing delegates to flip chart stuff for hours, there's more to it than that.
In this episode, I talk to accelerate learning expert Krystyna Gadd about her five secrets of accelerated learning: five areas that need to be considered to ensure that a learning event takes full advantage of all the benefits that accelerated learning can bring.
The only problem is that we went on too long, so I decided not to inflict an hour-long podcast on the poor listener, and instead split it into two halves.
Krystyna Gadd is a leading authority on accelerated learning and its application in the UK. As an engineer in a former life, it has shaped her thinking towards creating learning that creates measurable performance impact. She has been training trainers since 2008, through CIPD professional programmes and her own workshops. She has published a book “50 ways to Accelerate Learning”, which expands on her “5 Secrets of Accelerated Learning” that she shared in the Training Journal article “Quick off the Mark”. Both these publications help to dispel some of the myths surrounding accelerated learning. There are 5 broad areas or “secrets” to accelerated learning, that Krys shared in a recent article called “Get up to speed” that appeared in the Training Journal in 2016.
Krys finds working with trainers an absolute joy and she constantly seeks out ways to enable trainers to cut down on preparation time, improve retention of information and accelerate the learning though their organisations.
Krystyna is the founder of How to Accelerate Learning and creator of The Learning Loop® a brand new and innovative way to train trainers, facilitators, subject matter experts and line managers.

Tuesday Dec 15, 2015

With so much great content available freely online, why would anyone bother paying for a training course? It's almost like people can go round learning stuff, willy-nilly, without us learning professionals getting involved at all!
Obviously that would never do, so what can we do to rise to the challenge of technology?
In this episode of the Trainer Tools podcast, I talk to Larry Reynolds about his ideas for the future of the training facilitator, including his experimental use of social networks and online communities to help reinforce learning.
Larry Reynolds is managing partner of Courageous Conversations at Work. He help business leaders to create high performing teams where people love to work. If you want to have more courageous conversations at work why not sign up for Larry’s free weekly leadership tips.
Recent clients include Next, Tetra Pak, NHS, schools and universities.
 

Saturday Nov 28, 2015

In this short extra episode of the Trainer Tools podcast series, I talk to Seema Sarawgi about a simple but effective technique she uses in teambuilding events.
The Paper Tower is very simple to prepare for and run, and can be used as a quick way to get people talking and moving about, or to develop deeper learning around teamwork, planning, communication and leadership in the context of the organisation.
Seema Sarawgi is a Learning and Development professional with around 8 years of experience of working with both public and private sectors in India and the UK.
She last worked for the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office as a Regional Learning and Development Officer where she designed and delivered formal and informal L&D solutions for staff across South Asia including India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. She has also provided HR advisory and consulting to some of the biggest public sector undertakings in India such as Indian Oil, Indian Railways, Steel Authority of India, Delhi Metro etc.
She is very passionate about L&D and always goes an extra mile to deliver something innovative and sustainable. A particular highlight in her career was when she received an HRD award for “improving quality of working life” for unskilled labourers for an Indian Public company from the President of India at IFTDO, 2013.
Seema has a master’s degree in Organisational Behaviour from London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE). She is also an MBA and a certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) practitioner with a strong sense of business strategy further developed through working with one of the Big 4’s and similar boutique consulting firms.
Click here to visit Seema's profile on LinkedIn

Sunday Nov 15, 2015

Some things come up again and again in learning needs analyses, whatever the organisation, whatever the circumstances, and "assertiveness skills" (or something similar) is one of those things.
It crops up in the middle of loads of different structured training courses, it forms part of many coaching relationships, even pops up on teambuilding workshops from time to time. It seems like many of us human beings just aren't naturally that great at being assertive in a positive way, we tend to be either naturally passive or naturally aggressive, and struggle to calibrate assertiveness correctly.
In this episode, Kevin Stephens talks us through his approach to running an assertiveness workshop. As always with Kevin, it's a very practical and active approach that I hope has some good ideas for others facing the same learner needs.
Kevin Stephens is a Learning and Development practitioner who specialises in helping people get the most of their working relationships by delivering bespoke management and leadership programmes.
He has a large well of experience, gained from over 20 years working in senior management within a large international organisation and from having worked extensively with public and voluntary bodies. This has enabled him to help people overcome leadership barriers, whether they are experienced leaders or new to management.
His approach is to focus on making the learning environment fun, engaging and social, giving people the time and space to share experiences that help them to think through and address their personal challenges.
Kevin is Chief Executive of Winning Edge (UK) Ltd - a training company with the motto "Bringing your training to life".
He can be contacted on 07860 514314
 

Thursday Oct 15, 2015

Many managers are keen to create great teams, and there's no better way to do this than ask someone from the training department to come along and deliver a teambuilding day!
This is true of internal and external training providers equally, and although a teambuilding session can be truly effective and a lot of fun, it can also be an enjoyable waste of time, or even a total disaster.
In this episode of the Trainer Tools podcast, I talk to Paul Tizzard, author of The Teambuilding Pocketbook, about his approach to teambuilding events and how to make sure they are valuable, effective and fun.
Paul Tizzard did his first "Train the Trainer" course in 1986 and has been a professional trainer since 1996 and independent since 2001. He is a trained presenter, coach and facilitator. Since becoming independent, he has been fortunate to work in many different countries with an eclectic range of industries and companies.
I feel extremely lucky to have the best job in the world
Paul set up Virgin Atlantic's Flying Without Fear programme, has written five books, is a Fellow of ITOL and has run more learning events than you could shake a stick at.
If I am lucky, I will pop my clogs about 95 years old whilst writing on flip charts!
Click here to visit Paul's website

Friday Sep 25, 2015

Most of us working in learning and development get involved in training delivery. This usually involves a bit of teaching and a lot of facilitation.
We work this out over many years. Maybe we start by giving PowerPoint lectures, and only over time, as we learn more about our craft and gain in confidence, are we able to take a step back and focus on the process and a lot less on the content of training sessions.
This is facilitation: the management of the process that allows learning and understanding to emerge from discussion, activity and feedback.
I've been doing this for years, and I think I'm pretty good at it - but like many other trainers (or facilitators), I have no theoretical foundation to understand what I'm doing or how I could do it even better.
In this discussion with Nick Eve, he explains the theory that underpins great facilitation, and shows how this leads to effective facilitation behaviours.
Nick Eve specialises in developing people's facilitation skills.
His work is all about developing people's ability to run groups professionally and effectively.
He has been doing this since 1994. Before that he worked as a facilitator in organisational development. His fascination with groups and the role of the facilitator in enhancing their effectiveness has grown out of his own experiences, both with organisations and also from his group psychotherapy background.
His main expertise is in the provision of training to develop people’s facilitation skills and their facilitative management styles.
His overriding interest is in groups, how they operate and the role that a positive, supportive and impartial facilitator can have on improving their effectiveness in both the long and short term.
He underpins his practical facilitation skills training with relevant theory so that facilitators understand why they do what they do and where the theory comes from. Overall his aim is to increase awareness of what learning facilitators do, the effect it has, what is going on in the group, and how these dimensions interact with each other.
He has extensive training and experience as a group process facilitator. This ensures that his work is well founded theoretically and his ability to explain the core processes to participants from a wide range of backgrounds is second to none.
Click here to visit Nick's website

Thursday Sep 10, 2015

More and more people are turning to the Internet for training opportunities.
Face to face courses are expensive, often in inconvenient locations, and at fixed times in the distant future that may not suit your requirements.
They survive because they're often very good. You get the opportunity for social interaction and discussion, key factors in creating knowledge and understanding, and it's a very engaging experience away from normal work so you can focus and get on with it ... but the drawbacks mean that sometimes an online option is better.
Online learning in quick and easy to access, cheap, flexible and covers a massive variety of topics.
In this episode I speak to Bogdan Vaida about how he has taken his training courses and put them online, creating a suite of learning opportunities and amassing thousands of students - and a steady income - in the process!
Bogdan Vaida burst onto the training scene in 2009 using extremely old PowerPoint presentations. Luckily, 2 years later he switched to experiential training and learning by doing, methodologies that he practiced devotedly in all his training.
Known for his no-nonsense approach to getting results, Bogdan has been told that he helps participants get their own “insanely practical insights” that they can instantly implement into their lives.
What does he do?
He travels around the world doing experiential training in fields ranging from time management to personality types and trainer training.
While doing this he also manages his online courses that have over 7624 students from all over the world.
In 2015 he beat the record for total time spent in airports.

Tuesday Aug 25, 2015

Cultural diversity can be a real minefield. It's very easy to put your foot in it and say or do the wrong thing, making learners feel vulnerable and uncomfortable.All of this cultural diversity business puts a host of precarious obstacles in your way. You want them to engage with the course and the other learners, you want them to enjoy the experience, and of course (most importantly) you want them to learn. They won't do this if they feel threatened, unsafe or insulted because of some avoidable mistake or miscommunication.
Sunita Sehmi is a Certified Executive Coach, Consultant, Speaker and Trainer. She is of Indian origin and was born in London before moving to Geneva in 1992. She has a Psychology degree, specializing in Occupational and Developmental Psychology and a Post Graduate certification in the Development and Training of Adults from the UK. She also has a Masters in Human Resources, Coaching and Career Management from HEC University of Geneva. Where she wrote her Master Thesis “How does proficiency in English affect French-native professionals at work?” A qualitative research conducted in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.
She is the founder of Walk The Talk, which provides tailor-made professional coaching consultancy and training.
Her business background includes working with International companies in banking, finance, media, pharmaceuticals, and FMCG industries. Sunita’s coaching style advances the skills and approaches needed to develop performance. Her forte is the fact that she has studied and worked in several different countries and thus her understanding and knowledge of language communication and culture is compact and solid.
During her twenty-five years of international experience, Sunita’s objective has always been to support people to uncover and utilise their potential and to help individuals and organizations to perform at their very best.
Sunita is an accomplished speaker and business writer furthermore she has had several articles published articles in the press.
In her free time Sunita is a Mentor for the Richard Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship and a proud member of the School in The Cloud Team.
 

Saturday Aug 01, 2015

I didn't want to leave a big gap over summer, so I thought I'd chuck in another short podcast about a simple energiser, or icebreaker (it can be either, or both) that anyone can use on any course.
It's not just an icebreaker though, it also has positive health benefits (see here), including preventing hair loss! Something I wish I'd known about a few years ago.
Seema Sarawgi explains how she uses this and how it's a simple, fun and energetic way to start a training day.
Seema Sarawgi is a Learning and Development professional with around 8 years of experience of working with both public and private sectors in India and the UK.
She last worked for the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office as a Regional Learning and Development Officer where she designed and delivered formal and informal L&D solutions for staff across South Asia including India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. She has also provided HR advisory and consulting to some of the biggest public sector undertakings in India such as Indian Oil, Indian Railways, Steel Authority of India, Delhi Metro etc.
She is very passionate about L&D and always goes an extra mile to deliver something innovative and sustainable. A particular highlight in her career was when she received an HRD award for “improving quality of working life” for unskilled labourers for an Indian Public company from the President of India at IFTDO, 2013.
Seema has a master’s degree in Organisational Behaviour from London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE). She is also an MBA and a certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) practitioner with a strong sense of business strategy further developed through working with one of the Big 4’s and similar boutique consulting firms.
Click here to visit Seema's profile on LinkedIn

Saturday Jul 25, 2015

It is a rare performance management training course that doesn't include the ubiquitous SMART acronym within it - and it is a rare organisation that doesn't demand its people create a yearly clutch of SMART objectives to meet the needs of their performance management process.
And that's the problem.
SMART objectives are often written to meet the needs of the process - not the people - they are written to fulfill the requirements of the clever acronym, but not actually to respond to the particular challenges of the individual job holder and their manager.
This is a long-running bugbear of mine, and it was good to hear that one of this podcast's great supporters and contributors, Garry Platt, had encountered exactly that problem during his consultancy work.
Garry Platt is an experienced training consultant with more than 30 years experience in the business. He has worked with a number of international organisations helping them to enhance their approach to training and development. Within the last 12 months he has worked with Deutsche Post DHL, Formica, Siemens, Mercedes AMG F1 Team and was the keynote speaker at the SHE Conference in Blackpool.
Academically qualified to Masters Degree level in Education, Training and Development his work combines current research and study in Human Resource Development with a pragmatic and workable approach.
During the last 10 years an area of specialisation has become the evaluation and return on investment analysis of training delivered in organisations. Drawing from the experience of hundreds of companies and organisations he has drawn together a large range of methods and approaches which many organisations have selected from and introduced into their own.
Garry currently works for EEF and can be contacted via his LinkedIn profile or email (gplatt@eef.org.uk)
As good as they sometimes are, often it's just very difficult to write SMART objectives: it's not only hard to articulate the specific behaviour, it's next to impossible to create an appropriate measure that doesn't just tot up something numeric that's vaguely related (but not very important).
However, we're made of strong stuff on the Trainer Tools podcast, and just because something is difficult is no reason not to do it! So in this episode Garry talks me through his approach to what he calls behavioural objectives.
Trying to SMARTify your objectives need never ruin your life again!
Garry Platt is an experienced training consultant with more than 30 years experience in the business. He has worked with a number of international organisations helping them to enhance their approach to training and development. Within the last 12 months he has worked with Deutsche Post DHL, Formica, Siemens, Mercedes AMG F1 Team and was the keynote speaker at the SHE Conference in Blackpool.
Academically qualified to Masters Degree level in Education, Training and Development his work combines current research and study in Human Resource Development with a pragmatic and workable approach.
During the last 10 years an area of specialisation has become the evaluation and return on investment analysis of training delivered in organisations. Drawing from the experience of hundreds of companies and organisations he has drawn together a large range of methods and approaches which many organisations have selected from and introduced into their own.
 
 

Friday Jul 10, 2015

R equals e to the power of minus t over s.
Or, to put it another way, people forget about 80% of what they learn on a training course.
That might not be exactly true, Ebbinghaus's research and "curve of forgetting" equation is not the most rigorous of science, but it's probably true-ish and that's good enough for this podcast!
In this episode I talk again to Roger Greenaway, an expert in experiential and innovative training methodologies. We talk about what "learning transfer" really means, and then discuss some unusual and creative ways of designing training courses so that learning transfer is more likely to occur.
Roger Greenaway specialises in making experience-based learning more participatory, dynamic and effective. He does this by training facilitators in the skills and techniques of active reviewing (debriefing), what he calls "the game after the game".
During the last 20 years Roger has worked with education and training organisations, departments and networks in 35 countries. Typical themes are 'Facilitating Learning from Experience'; 'Moving Bodies, Moving Minds' and 'Training for Transfer'.
Roger's recent work has included training Agile coaches in active debriefing techniques (USA); training university staff in facilitating values (Singapore); training oil industry managers in big picture thinking (Iran); helping a conference team find active ways of achieving conference goals (Ethiopia); training university lecturers to increase student engagement and participation (South Africa); training police trainers, military trainers and business educators (UK); and training outdoor educators and trainers around the world.
Roger's PhD was a study of Powerful Learning Experiences in Management Learning and Development (1995). He now writes in more accessible and practical ways in his free newsletter Active Reviewing Tips at http://reviewing.co.uk

Thursday Jun 25, 2015

Human beings need to feel comfortable to be able to learn.
To feel comfortable within a group they need a sense of acceptance and control. To build rapport with other learners and the trainer, they need to go through rituals.
Icebreakers can help us do that.
However, they can also help us achieve the exact opposite. If they are not well designed for the course content and the group they can make people feel uncomfortable and wish they were anywhere else but in your training room!
In this episode of the Trainer Tools podcast, I talk to Paul Tizzard, author of three books about icebreakers, about how to make sure they work!
Paul Tizzard did his first "Train the Trainer" course in 1986 and has been a professional trainer since 1996 and independent since 2001. He is a trained presenter, coach and facilitator. Since becoming independent, he has been fortunate to work in many different countries with an eclectic range of industries and companies.
I feel extremely lucky to have the best job in the world
Paul set up Virgin Atlantic's Flying Without Fear programme, has written five books, is a Fellow of ITOL and has run more learning events than you could shake a stick at.
If I am lucky, I will pop my clogs about 95 years old whilst writing on flip charts!
Click here to visit Paul's website

Wednesday Jun 17, 2015

I thought it'd be a bit of fun to chuck in the odd short podcast at random intervals (this might stretch the definition of "fun" to breaking point) in a new sub-series of casts called TT Shorts.
This is the first one, from our old friend Jon Kersey, and it's a quick and easy technique you can use during teambuilding events.
Jon Kersey has over 15 years experience in the training and personal development world, significant experience of the retail (The Burton Group, Comet and River Island), financial (HSBC) and public sectors, and international experience having trained in organisations in South America, Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
As an NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Master Practitioner and Trainer he is able to encourage clients to achieve permanent behavioural change enhancing their business through a deeper level of personal understanding.
He is qualified in various psychological profiling tools including MBTI, PRISM, TMI and is an NVQ assessor and verifier, and sits on the council of the IDM (Institute of direct & digital marketing).
Jonathan now owns his own consultancy: Red Consultancy

Wednesday Jun 10, 2015

How we begin learning events is vital in setting the right tone for the day.
To get the best learning, we want to create a creative a safe environment that is fun and allows for people to express themselves playfully, allows for mistakes, lets people feel that they can challenge and be challenged, and above all exposes the learners to views and perspectives different than their own.
There is no one single magic bullet for achieving this, it's done through lots of little things that together contribute to building that learning environment.
In this (short!) episode I speak to Kevin Stephens about a simple technique he uses to kick off change management training. Kevin's whole approach to training is to focus on creating the conditions for learning using accelerated learning techniques, and in this episode he introduces us to a quick and way to start that process off.
Kevin Stephens is a Learning and Development practitioner who specialises in helping people get the most of their working relationships by delivering bespoke management and leadership programmes.
He has a large well of experience, gained from over 20 years working in senior management within a large international organisation and from having worked extensively with public and voluntary bodies. This has enabled him to help people overcome leadership barriers, whether they are experienced leaders or new to management.
His approach is to focus on making the learning environment fun, engaging and social, giving people the time and space to share experiences that help them to think through and address their personal challenges.
Kevin is Chief Executive of Winning Edge (UK) Ltd - a training company with the motto "Bringing your training to life".
He can be contacted on 07860 514314
 

Monday May 25, 2015

In this episode of the Trainer Tools podcast, John Tomlinson talks to Larry Reynolds about three different ways he uses stories during his training events.Stories are memorable, they're fun, and they can be used to help break down barriers, build relationships between the trainer and the delegates, and to help establish credibility.
Larry Reynolds is managing partner of Courageous Conversations at Work. He help business leaders to create high performing teams where people love to work. If you want to have more courageous conversations at work why not sign up for Larry’s free weekly leadership tips.
Recent clients include Next, Tetra Pak, NHS, schools and universities.

Sunday May 10, 2015

"Some learning happens in the training activities, but there's a whole lot more learning that can happen in the review process" - that is the philosophy behind Roger Greenaway's Active Reviewing model. 
In this episode of the Trainer Tools podcast, I talk to Roger about his method to not only keep the energy, enthusiasm and inclusion of training activities high during the debrief session, but also to dig deeper and maximise the learning opportunities from training room activities.
Roger Greenaway specialises in making experience-based learning more participatory, dynamic and effective. He does this by training facilitators in the skills and techniques of active reviewing (debriefing), what he calls "the game after the game".
During the last 20 years Roger has worked with education and training organisations, departments and networks in 35 countries. Typical themes are 'Facilitating Learning from Experience'; 'Moving Bodies, Moving Minds' and 'Training for Transfer'.
Roger's recent work has included training Agile coaches in active debriefing techniques (USA); training university staff in facilitating values (Singapore); training oil industry managers in big picture thinking (Iran); helping a conference team find active ways of achieving conference goals (Ethiopia); training university lecturers to increase student engagement and participation (South Africa); training police trainers, military trainers and business educators (UK); and training outdoor educators and trainers around the world.
Roger's PhD was a study of Powerful Learning Experiences in Management Learning and Development (1995). He now writes in more accessible and practical ways in his free newsletter Active Reviewing Tips at http://reviewing.co.uk

Saturday Apr 25, 2015

In the eighth episode of the Trainer Tools podcast, I welcome back Garry Platt to begin a series of casts on his specialist subject: Transactional Analysis.
Transactional Analysis, or TA, is a theory of how humans interact with each other - its main application being to help understand human behaviour and communication: each interaction between people being called a "transaction". It was developed by Canadian psychiatrist Eric Berne and has been a tool in the trainer and coach toolbox for many years in helping us understand ourselves and our own interpersonal behaviours, but also understand those of others.
We're going to do a whole series on this because it's such a broad and interesting topic, so this is just the start of something!
Garry Platt is an experienced training consultant with more than 30 years experience in the business. He has worked with a number of international organisations helping them to enhance their approach to training and development. Within the last 12 months he has worked with Deutsche Post DHL, Formica, Siemens, Mercedes AMG F1 Team and was the keynote speaker at the SHE Conference in Blackpool.
Academically qualified to Masters Degree level in Education, Training and Development his work combines current research and study in Human Resource Development with a pragmatic and workable approach.
During the last 10 years an area of specialisation has become the evaluation and return on investment analysis of training delivered in organisations. Drawing from the experience of hundreds of companies and organisations he has drawn together a large range of methods and approaches which many organisations have selected from and introduced into their own.
Garry currently works for EEF and can be contacted via his LinkedIn profile or email (gplatt@eef.org.uk)

Friday Apr 10, 2015

How much effort we put into the very first part of training courses, in breaking the ice and building rapport, can directly impact the effectiveness of the rest of the day. This is especially true if you rely on input from learners and seek to create a social environment where people learn from each other, not just the trainer at the front.
Jon Kersey always invests time here, more so than any other trainer I work with, and in this podcast he shares his three favourite techniques.
Jon Kersey has over 15 years experience in the training and personal development world, significant experience of the retail (The Burton Group, Comet and River Island), financial (HSBC) and public sectors, and international experience having trained in organisations in South America, Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
As an NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Master Practitioner and Trainer he is able to encourage clients to achieve permanent behavioural change enhancing their business through a deeper level of personal understanding.
He is qualified in various psychological profiling tools including MBTI, PRISM, TMI and is an NVQ assessor and verifier, and sits on the council of the IDM (Institute of direct & digital marketing).
Jonathan now owns his own consultancy: Red Consultancy

Wednesday Mar 25, 2015

Most of how we engage with other people in the workplace, on training courses, or in coaching sessions, is based on having conversations. The quality of these conversation directly impacts our effectiveness, and as educators and coaches, our ability to have powerful conversations that help to create insight and learning is a huge part of how we succeed.
In this episode of the Trainer Tools podcast, 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.
Catherine Thomson is founder of The Houston Exchange and is also an Associate Consultant within the People and Organisational Development (POD) Division with Edinburgh Napier University.
A graduate of Sheffield University, she is an accomplished organisation development consultant with domestic and international experience across all sectors. Her expertise is in supporting organisations develop leaders to attain a level of agility that matches the unprecedented level of change and complexity currently being experienced in the 21st Century.
She is an advocate of working with leaders using “systems intelligence”, helping them to go beyond reaching agreements to reaching new understandings from which to think and act. In this way they build organisations that are profitable, enlightened, healthy and compassionate.
Catherine trained in Boston MA with the Kantor Institute on Dialogue™ a process that supports greater understanding of the dynamics of how teams communicate within their organisational system. Her recent assignments have included work with intact and cross functional teams at every level in the organisation, exploring personal and group insights into those areas of their communication that is normally less visible (assumptions, beliefs, values etc.) and the implications these have on personal contribution to the group dynamic, quality of decisions and employee engagement. She has helped individuals and teams develop insights and new thinking on how to expand their own behavioural repertoire when working towards new aligned thinking and meaning in relation to change, pivotal conversations and growing people capacity within the organisation.

Tuesday Mar 10, 2015

Role plays are one of the most powerful ways to learn we have in the training room. They're a way to bring the various strands of theory together in a practical activity, it's a way of turning the abstract into tangible action. It's active, a change of pace, it allows for physical movement and engagement, it forces the learners to think and try stuff out, it helps to turn knowledge into skills.
It's hated by almost everyone.
In this episode of the Trainer Tools podcast, I talk to Larry Reynolds about his six step approach to ensuring role plays are a success.
Larry Reynolds is managing partner of Courageous Conversations at Work. He help business leaders to create high performing teams where people love to work. If you want to have more courageous conversations at work why not sign up for Larry’s free weekly leadership tips.
Recent clients include Next, Tetra Pak, NHS, schools and universities.
 

Wednesday Feb 25, 2015

In this episode John Tomlinson chats to Garry Platt about his approach to learning needs analysis, an approach that guarantees training is always lined up against the actual needs of the learners.
Garry Platt is an experienced training consultant with more than 30 years experience in the business. He has worked with a number of international organisations helping them to enhance their approach to training and development. Within the last 12 months he has worked with Deutsche Post DHL, Formica, Siemens, Mercedes AMG F1 Team and was the keynote speaker at the SHE Conference in Blackpool.
Academically qualified to Masters Degree level in Education, Training and Development his work combines current research and study in Human Resource Development with a pragmatic and workable approach.
During the last 10 years an area of specialisation has become the evaluation and return on investment analysis of training delivered in organisations. Drawing from the experience of hundreds of companies and organisations he has drawn together a large range of methods and approaches which many organisations have selected from and introduced into their own.

How to keep learners engaged

Tuesday Feb 10, 2015

Tuesday Feb 10, 2015

In this episode John Tomlinson talks to Shirley Gaston about how to keep learners engaged throughout the training event. This is Shirley's specialist subject, something she's been passionate about for years, In the podcast she outlines three different approaches for ensuring the delegates on the course stay engaged.
Shirley Gaston is the founder of  the experiential learning company Azesta which has been developing people for 21 years. As such, she is one of the driving forces within the company. She values openness and this quality is intrinsic to her award-winning learning programmes. It is important to her to be really approachable and, although professional, her overt friendliness is part of her style. Shirley’s passion for learning through experience has led to her working in learning and development for her entire career and also representing experiential tool maker Metalog and virtual exercise creator Gaminar in the UK. She has a first class degree in Education, a Post Graduate Certificate and Diploma in Professional Training and Development, she is a qualified coach and holds numerous psychometric qualifications. She is an absolute CPD addict and attends facilitator development programmes on an almost weekly basis as well as running the non-profit Yorkshire Trainers Development Network. Working directly with her own clients, she specialises in leadership and management, engagement, team development and coaching skills. Working with trainers, she shares her passion for programmes that fully involve the learner and incorporate active and creative review and the most possible variety. She has had several articles published particularly in the field of experiential learning and outdoor management development and is currently working on her first book on the subject. Shirley lives in Yorkshire with her partner, four children, a dog and three cats. She enjoys a range of outdoor activities, theatre, book groups and is also a Humanist wedding celebrant.    
 

The Collusion of Mediocrity

Sunday Jan 25, 2015

Sunday Jan 25, 2015

In the second episode of Trainer Tools, John Tomlinson talks to Paul Levy about his "Collusion of Mediocrity" concept.
This is an idea that can be used with both the Consultant and Facilitator aspects of the job, and is about pushing for real change in performance as a result of training interventions. It also has interesting impacts on how we evaluate the impact of training.
Paul Levy is the founder of CATS3000, a change and innovation company that helps people and organisations to realise potential and thrive. He’s worked with individuals and organisations all over the world for the last twenty years to challenge mediocrity, and to open space for change and transformation.
Paul is also a senior researcher at the Centre for Research in Innovation Management at Brighton Business School in the UK. He’s the author of several books, including “Technosophy” and Digital Inferno (based on his acclaimed blog, The Digital Inferno. He is also lead facilitator with the Social Media Leadership Forum.
He’s also a director of Rational Madness Theatre – an award-winning organisational theatre company that uses theatre to inspire and provoke change, transformation and innovation.
He’s a facilitator, trainer, writer, thinker and collusion breaker.
Paul Lives in Brighton in the UK.
 

The Tangle

Saturday Jan 10, 2015

Saturday Jan 10, 2015

In the very first ever episode of the Trainer Tools podcast, L&D professional John Tomlinson talks to Jon Kersey about one of his favourite training room energisers: "The Tangle"
Jon Kersey has over 15 years experience in the training and personal development world, significant experience of the retail (The Burton Group, Comet and River Island), financial (HSBC) and public sectors, and international experience having trained in organisations in South America, Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
As an NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Master Practitioner and Trainer he is able to encourage clients to achieve permanent behavioural change enhancing their business through a deeper level of personal understanding.
He is qualified in various psychological profiling tools including MBTI, PRISM, TMI and is an NVQ assessor and verifier, and sits on the council of the IDM (Institute of direct & digital marketing).
Jonathan now owns his own consultancy: Red Consultancy

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