Comment: Don’t let progress slow you down

It’s so easy to be swept away by the latest big ideas – from technology-based tools to the human contact of coaching. But feedback from a number of recent studies is set to halt us in our tracks.

As the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) will point out at a special coach-ing conference later this month, for coaching to be a success, the organisation should make sure the coach is suitable for the individual’s and business’ needs. Where coaching is carried out in the workplace by line managers, organisations should ensure they are appropriately trained to coach if this is to be effective.

If organisations don’t pay attention to these principles, they are unlikely to move on, and can become ensnared in unfocused programmes.

Yet at the same time, as CIPD learning adviser Martyn Sloman points out in separate piece of research, people learn best when a coaching culture is integrated into the corporate strategy of the organisation, and if they can construct their own understanding from their own experience.

Sloman recommends some of these basics: a clear understanding of how learning underpins the business strategy, and ensuring that interventions are tailored to the learner’s needs.

Similar principles apply in the application of technology-based training, as you will see from the Analysis in this issue.

It is all too easy to get carried away with the ‘any time, anywhere’ promise that technology can bring, but only if the formal strategies are put in place will the interventions bring the expected business benefits.

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