Adair’s Management: Development Exercises

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 1 February 1998



Gold, J. (1998), "Adair’s Management: Development Exercises", Career Development International, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 47-48.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

“Training exercises may be fun for facilitators and participants, but in these days of tight budgets and even tighter timescales we need more than enjoyment from them ‐ we need real and sustained behaviour change leading to performance improvement.”

So writes trainer and consultant Terry Gillen, in his introduction to this package of 42 training exercises. All were pioneered by management guru John Adair and have been revised by Gillen to take account of current management philosophies and techniques.

The manual seeks to be a first port of call for people designing programmes which need practical learning exercises. It largely succeeds in this ambition.

The exercises, packaged in a briefcase, consist of three parts. The first is a 40‐page spiral‐bound book which contains Gillen’s commentary and aims to show how the package can help organizations to meet today’s challenges.

The second part is a 248‐page ring‐bound manual. It contains nine construction exercises, 12 discussion exercises, 12 “thinking” exercises (as distinct from exercises which can be achieved without thought?) and nine exercises for outdoors. Each exercise includes an overview, trainer’s notes on resources, time needed, preparation, plan and review, briefing notes and, where relevant, maps, profit charts, scoresheets and solutions.

The third part is a document wallet which holds multiple copies of the observation and feedback form, the participant’s learning log and the trainer’s log.

The package offers guidance on how to select exercises, give feedback and facilitate transfer back to the workplace. A matrix shows the competences addressed by each exercise. There are sample programmes for developing leadership skills, raising awareness of group issues and promoting a culture of empowerment. Suggestions for further reading are also included.

Adair recently lamented the fact that Britain is not producing enough leaders to meet the challenges of the future. This pack could help to fill that skills gap.

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