Training. It’s not just for learning anymore. Now, in the era of the balanced scorecard, the goal of training is “performance enhancement.” Kind of makes you want to wear sneakers and a whistle around your neck, doesn’t it? Whether we act as a consultant or a staff trainer, however, we must embrace this new objective if we want to keep a healthy bottom line.
Edited by Dana Gaines-Robinson and James C. RobinsonPublishers Group West, 1998300 pages, softcoverISBN: 1576750396Online Price: $29.95 at Fatbrain.com
What’s practical about the book?
Moving from Training to Performance delivers on its title—it is truly a practical guidebook for trainers. It tells trainers how to satisfy business needs by refocusing training on performance improvement without compromising the skills and knowledge of employees.
The articles in the book were written by a variety of professional trainers, both consultant and staff, all well versed in their fields. So that everyone is on the same page, the editors have provided a glossary of terms used in the book. (FYI, you are now called performance consultants.) The book also contains a healthy selection of resource books, divided according to topic such as Assessments and Performance Technology.
As you would expect of any book co-published by the American Society for Training & Development, the material is well organized, well presented, and interesting. Divided into five sections, the book walks you through the transition process for your training program, from the conceptual framework to the global view, while providing tactics and strategies for refocusing your training efforts on performance.
Each chapter begins with a Quick Read feature that hits the highlights of its content. The writers include dozens of practical tools, which take you through all the traditional steps of training from assessment to development to training and back again, including:
- Case studies
- Project cycles
- Work flow diagrams
Equally important, several chapters deal with the more intangible aspects of this issue. “The Job of a Performance Consultant” and “Organizing for a Performance Focus” are written from the perspective of both a large training department and a small one.
My thoughts, overall
If I’ve made this book sound very dry, it’s my mistake. This is really an exciting book and an exciting time for trainers. The opportunities are there for you to make your training more “real world,” while still maintaining your standards of learning. Use this book as a field guide as well as a great source for marketing ideas, such as:
- How and when to form partnerships
- How to establish an early record of success
Yes, performance enhancement and improvement are buzzwords, but they also represent a very real goal for today’s businesses. If you haven’t already, learn what it’s all about and learn how to put your training consultancy or department ahead of the game.
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Barbara Karst-Sabin has a BA in art and an MA in technical writing and editing. She has worked as a medical writer, technical writer in various industries, a news and documentary writer, course developer, and high-tech analyst. She is currently working as a consultant and freelance writer in Silicon Valley.