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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Courageous Training: Bold Actions for Business Results
Article Type: Suggested reading From: Human Resource Management International Digest, Volume 17, Issue 7
Tim Mooney and Robert O. BrinkerhofBerrett-Koehler, 2008
Based on four years’ participation in the Advantage Performance Group’s work, Courageous Training: Bold Actions for Business Results captures the learning of both the authors and user-group members in their understanding of, and journey towards, “courageous training”.
Tim Mooney has 25 years’ experience in performance consulting and is a vice-president of the Advantage Performance Group (APG). Robert Brinkerhoff is internationally known for his consultancy and authorship in evaluation and training effectiveness. The intended readers are trainers and learning and development managers who are prepared to challenge traditional training practice and who aspire to become training “leaders”.
The text identifies the approaches and mindsets of members of the APG users’ group and highlights the concepts and models they used in “doing things differently”. A comment on the back cover of the book highlights this philosophy: “To get results, you need guts!”
The book details four pillars of courageous training:
be a business-goal bulldog;
build whole-organization responsibility for training impact;
win the hearts and minds of the make-or-break partners; and
tell it like it is, with truthful measurement and evaluation.
The clear benefits of the four pillars are in aligning training interventions with the needs of the business. The text presents practical ways of developing appropriate metrics and meaningful evaluation. It includes methods and tools such as the logic-of-training framework and line-of-sight and impact maps, plus examples of application.
Along with the four pillars, the courageous-training code completes the approach. The code is a set of actions and behaviors, and the principles that guide these when using and implementing the methods and tools described.
Four case studies explore and highlight the differentiated approaches taken by the case-study authors, and illustrate the impact of courageous training on learners, managers and trainers.
While the style of the book is very much north American, the narrative journey through concept, tools, philosophy and application should have international appeal. As a reader I was unsure whether the journey was being shared with me or whether I was being sold a consultancy concept. On reflection, perhaps it was a bit of both.
Reviewed by Alan Cattell, University of Bradford, Bradford, UK.
A longer version of this review was originally published in Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 41 No. 1, 2009.