Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
The Changing World of the Trainer - Emerging Good Practice
Article Type: Suggested reading From: Development and Learning in Organizations, Volume 22, Issue 4
Martyn Sloman,Butterworth Heinemann, Oxford and Burlington, MA, 2007
Martyn Sloman’s new book is published as part of Butterworth Heinemann’s HR Series. This review of learning is based on in-depth research, 58 case studies and inputs from expert panel practitioners and organizations in 19 countries. Martyn is currently CIPD Adviser, Learning, Training and Development and compliments this with authorship of books and articles, conference presentations and University Visiting Professorships and Fellowship. He has previously worked as Director of Management Education and Training for Ernst & Young. The text is intended for all those who are involved in planning and delivering interventions to enhance the skills and knowledge of the workforce.
The book utilizes case studies from a wide range of organizations globally to identify and explore some of the challenges facing those involved in training and learning and some of the ways in which they are meeting these.
The text consists of four parts which consider:Whether there is a move from training to learning.The context in which this is taking place (including the interventions which support and accelerate learning and the leverage necessary to make these happen).Why such change is necessary and what has brought it about (including considering traditional practices in a new light) and key processes such as competences, coaching, action learning, e-learning and delivering value.The broader picture, considering whether these approaches are global and take account of different cultures, context and their impact on learning.The research leads the author to conclude that there is indeed the emergence of a global model and that there is evidence that as a result the role of the trainer is changing to embrace new partnerships and perspectives.
The research also points to the need within a service-led and knowledge driven economy for the acquisition and development of new skills by the workforce in terms of gaining sustainable competitive advantage. In consequence this also highlights the need for new mindsets and skill development from those involved in facilitating learning within organizations.
The text is broken up into bite sized chunks by models, frameworks, diagrams mini-questionnaires and references at the end of each chapter. The case studies form a major element of the book and give a “real world”, practical dimension for the reader to learn from. Whilst the author begins some chapters by reprising the previous chapter in brief, the text would have had more impact if key learning points from the narrative and case studies had been summarized at the end of each chapter. This is not a book that the reader should “gallop” through as to do so would mean that key points are missed. There is a wealth of material to be digested and reflected upon … perhaps too much to take in at one go. Theory and practice are well matched and generally the presentation and “pace” of the writing style are reader friendly. An important text for those who are reflecting on their own role within organizations and their own current and future CPD.
This review was originally published in Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 40, No. 1, 2008, pp. 55-6.