In 2007 Allison Rossett and Lisa Schafer published this book which is an update to a previous book in 2004 titled, The Handbook of Job Aids, but Job Aids & Performance Support is more relevant than ever to the current environment of learning and development. The comments on the book say it all, and there are 19 of them. For instance Martyn Sloman, former CIPD learning, training and development adviser described the book as, a straightforward, jargon-free outline to help us appreciate new concepts. Bob Mosher a former learning and strategy evangelism director at Microsoft Learning commented that the book, will change the way you look at these valuable tools, it will also change the way you look at learning in general.
With the way technology is affecting learning and development this book is a must read and validates the fact that though classroom training and traditional e-learning will never go away, learning practitioners need to expand their repertoire to support organisational performance more effectively. We all know that organisations are not necessarily interested in training for training sake, but rather performance improvement. Continue reading
Presentation Basics written by Robert J. Rosania is part of the ASTDs training basic series which attempts to demystify seemingly scary topics into easy bite-sized lessons so that anyone can “get it”. This book is written for new presenters and can also be used by experienced presenters to refresh their presentation skills. According to the author you should use this book if you are a:
- Subject matter expert asked to share your knowledge about a new product line with your colleagues.
- Team leader responsible for training team members to implement a new work process.
- Novice training practitioner about to introduce a training module to improve performance.
- New manager asked to share your plans for a division.
- Beginning salesperson looking to influence organizational decision makers.
The ASTD training basic series have a set out structure with recognizable colours and layouts. So it comes as no surprise that the book has an attractive and colourful looking cover and a well structured layout with guiding icons, tables, diagrams, comment boxes with tips and worksheet exercises at the end of every chapter apart from the first and last ones. In my opinion this is an easy book to read and that is helped by it just being 131 pages long. The book is not just for potential presenters, but those involved in delivering classroom training. And dare I say those involved in virtual presentations online can learn a thing or two from it too. Continue reading
Coaching and Mentoring subtitled, How to Develop Top Talent and Achieve Stringer Performance was published by HBS press as part of their guides to doing business effectively. Though not listed on the cover the book was actually written by Richard Luecke and the subject adviser is Herminia Ibarra.
The book is more of a practical guide to coaching and mentoring for managers, team leaders and supervisors who are working with their direct reports to improve performance. It is divided into two distinct parts, the first focusing on coaching and then the remainder mentoring. The book starts out with a detailed introduction which gives an overview of what you will read in the book delving into what each chapter contains. Continue reading
Evaluation is that holy grail learning and development practitioners talk about a lot but can rarely agree on how to do it convincingly. In The Success Case Method Robert Brinkerhoff presents an evaluation method which he describes as being faster, cheaper, and a better way to find out what’s working and what’s not. Brinkerhoff, a Professor at Western Michigan University is a recognized expert in evaluation and training effectiveness. But this is not just a book for training, The Success Case Method or SCM is a technique for identifying how organizational initiatives are working. According to Brinkerhoff, using the SCM , people can get useful and accurate information about new initiatives: What results are being achieved using new approaches, what is working, what is not, and how it can be described. As such it can be used to evaluate training and other initiatives. Here are some examples listed in the book that the SCM can be used to evaluate:
- How well is a new team assembly approach at an automobile manufacturer working?
- How effective was the listening training telecommunication staff at a particular company in increasing customer satisfaction?
- Was the emotional intelligence successful?
First of all I would like to say a big thank to Paul Matthews who gave me a free copy of the book to review after reading the review I wrote on Innovative Performance Support. I also appreciate the time he took to pen me a little note and sign the book. Paul I won’t forget the challenge you issued to me. That I should keep learning, it’s fun!
So about the book. Informal Learning at Work with the subtitle, How To Boost Performance in Tough Times is one of those publications that aims to open our eyes to the virtues and importance of informal learning and in my estimation does it pretty well. The book’s topic does sound almost academic, as in something that might have been written by a university lecturer in the Human Resource Development department, and I was getting ready to read through a lot of theories and models, but I was proven wrong. Continue reading