Training and Development Archive

Spectrain design and deliver competency based training and development programmes.

We have designed training and development solutions for a range of organisation in a variety of sectors since 1998.

We have achieved the BILD quality mark for our training and development services.

Our workshops and virtual training events are engaging, interactive, and enable the delevlopment of competence and confidence.

Our training and development category contains workshops, articles, and products to help you to plan, prepare and deliver successful training events.

Smarter Facilitation

I always welcome the opportunity to co-facilitate. Almost without exception I work with some wonderfully talented people with much smarter facilitation skills than me. It never ceases to amaze me how almost (that word again) on these occasions the delivery is seamless, it appears that this double act has been together for years. We appear to naturally tap into complimentary skills,  of course there is discussion about who feels confident to deliver which parts of the workshop, how we can play to strengths, and with agreement we start and fall into a collaborative rhythm. Not too long ago there was [...]

2023-12-27T20:48:14+00:00Categories: Training and Development|Tags: |

Little Value from Bigwigs and Stinking Thinking

A big job had presented itself at training towers. The bigwigs had attended a continuous improvement seminar where they had been publicly embarrassed by the ring masters for their stinking thinking. The big wigs arrived at training towers and the gnomes were summoned. During a verbal thrashing the gnomes were told to put out to tender a management development programme. I’ve just finished writing a proposal for a management development programme. Provided with a list of fluffy objectives that could only have been written by an inebriated gnome with a very low threshold for success. These managers [...]

Misplace Mistakes

Mistakes are the food of learning, provided we reflect on them and consciously consider the errors made, yet sometimes we find it difficult to shake them off, or to to misplace mistakes.Trial and error learning involves activity in which a variety of responses to solve a task are tentatively tried and some discarded until the correct solution is found and our mistakes are replaced with correct responses. With no trial, there’s no error and no learning. For many of us when we make a mistake we feel bad at that moment but that feeling passes and often days later  we [...]

2024-06-01T15:10:28+00:00Categories: Training and Development|Tags: |

The power of positive questions

Imagine the impact of transforming your team’s mindset from problems to possibilities, from blame to empathy, from opposition to collaboration; it is possible to transform your team through the power of positive questions using the principles and practices of Appreciative Inquiry. I have been using this technique with a team who I have been working with as an action learning set facilitator. Faced with an aggressive change agenda riddled with complex organisational issues, lost in the land of uncertainty, they had drifted into mediocrity. The initial issues they brought to the action learning sets described mutual [...]

Pond Life Professional Parasites and Plagiarists

I received an email message from a lady in who had been on our Problem Solving Course, energised and enthused by her mastery of the tools and techniques she had recommended the course to her colleagues. Her organisation publishes a schedule for it's in -house courses. This particular course was oversubscribed for many months to come. Despite the incredible reviews of this course I wondered why I hadn’t been asked to deliver it. I know one or two training providers who had courses scheduled to run in this organisation. So I used their super sleuth detective talents to find out [...]

2023-12-30T11:37:16+00:00Categories: Training and Development|Tags: |

Training Twaddle About Evaluation

At the quarterly management meeting heads of department were presenting progress reports. Head of distribution had just finished sharing his news on the goods lost in transit and damaged goods issues. He was applauded for the significant  impact of these initiatives in the reduction in customer complaints and the decrease in goods being written off, demonstrating some very impressive financial gains.     The next presentation was from Training and Development, known for their slick and impressive presentations this was no exception, graphs and charts displayed data related to numbers of people attending training courses, there was a wonderful selection [...]

Memory Understanding and Doing

Memory Understanding and Doing – MUD just one of the essential processes we use when designing learning, it helps to ensure learners achieve a variety of learning goals and are able to assimilate with existing knowledge, accommodate new knowledge and encode or write what they know to long term memory to enable application when that time arrives. Learning designers use a range of models to guide our approach from Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction to the systems oriented model of Smith and Ragan. It is this solid foundation knowledge of theory, models, and design principles that provides a designer with the [...]

The Ladder of Inference In Action

The ladder of inference is a simple and yet insightful model that suggests our actions are determined via a causal loop of inference or opinion about a situation based upon a tiny piece of data, and occasionally an absence of data. We choose exclusively to tune into certain data and we ignore the wealth of supplementary data that is available to us. We fail to test the data to validate the conclusion that has formed in a nano second and we form a belief about a person or an event the believe influences our actions. Later in this article I [...]

Is your Training and Development Footprint Shrinking?

Is your Training and Development Footprint Shrinking? Learning professionals have always known that they should be measuring the return on investment from training and development or the contribution of their interventions in terms of business performance, but there has been very little external pressure on them to do so. As long as there was a demand for training coupled with the happiest of comments on feedback forms, then who would want to cause an upset by suggesting that some of this stuff wasn't necessary or useful? A recent Bersin & Deloitte study confirms that The Training and Development footprint continues [...]

Purchasers of Training – Beware the Cuckoo in the Nest

The expression "cuckoo in the nest" can mean a person or an organisation trying to look like something they are not; it is also used to describe a problem that grows quickly, consuming resources needed for other purposes. Purchasers of training - beware the cuckoo in the nest. Don’t Sponsor a Training Cuckoo Training purchasers, would you recognise a cuckoo in your nest? Perhaps not, because cuckoo’s use remarkable forms of deception to achieve their goal This year I almost sponsored a cuckoo, fortunately I recognized the impostor before any damage was done to my business and the business of potential [...]

2021-06-10T12:02:36+00:00Categories: Training and Development|Tags: |

Why be in the training rat race

In a land far away, I went along with a representative from a provider of training to meet their client, on the journey to the meeting I said to the representative, “There are at least twenty providers of training offering services to this company why should they choose you?” His response to this question came as no surprise, he spoke about the abundance of training providers in the region who competed on price and it appeared that this was his only strategy for winning the business. He had been forced into the training rat race where competing on price at [...]

Spectrain Awarded The BILD Quality Mark

The Learning Providers Mark of Distinction Spectrain is delighted to announce that its commitment to quality through the provision of training, learning and development products and services, has been recognised by The British Institute for Learning and Development and Awarded The BILD Quality Mark. “Applying for The BILD Quality Mark provided Spectrain with the opportunity to prove our continuous attention and commitment to best practice in our provision of learning and development products and services for clients and learners”. Joy Wilson at Spectrain commented. “To be awarded The Quality Mark clearly demonstrates a level of sustained commitment and performance in [...]

2024-06-03T18:03:32+00:00Categories: Training and Development|Tags: |

Cultural Barriers to Learning and Knowledge Transfer

As a designer of learning and development solutions I am concerned with how cultural barriers impact learning and knowledge transfer. This knowledge enables me to recommend and implement successful learning transfer strategies and pre-post learning support initiatives to overcome Cultural Barriers to Learning and Knowledge Transfer Individualistic and Collective Cultures Individualistic cultures or low power distance cultures are characterised by relatively equal power sharing they discourage attention to status difference and ranking between management and employees therefore they have less incentive to share information and knowledge with others. In a work environment, individuals may believe that withholding information is the key to success. [...]

Employee development or are you running a flea circus?

We all know the story of the experiment in which a number of fleas were placed in a jar. The initial reaction of the fleas was to jump, and jump very high out of the jar, but then, the lid of the jar was replaced and after several attempts to escape from the jar, the fleas simply stopped jumping as high and only put in just enough effort to jump to just below the lid so that they would not bang their heads Good People ... Old Habits People, like the fleas, establish habits very quickly. They think, act and [...]

Training Tips Are Doodlers Distracted?

Are doodlers distracted? I am a doodler! There....I said it! Are doodlers distracted?......read on to understand how doodling can aid learning retention . I can’t help but doodle, it’s not that I am bored, I am listening to you.  My doodling is helping me to pay attention, and if you look at my doodles you may notice some association that is linked to what you are saying.  Misunderstood! I am aware that teachers and trainers misinterpret my doodling as failing to pay attention. I have scars ingrained on my memory where you have verbally humiliated me in the classroom and [...]

There is Value in Diversity Tap into it!

In today’s economy traditional barriers to trade are diminishing and for many companies international trade is essential to their growth and success. Rapid developments in technology have made new markets accessible; however, consumers continue to prefer to deal with a workforce representative with which they can identify and many organisations just do not understand the huge benefits that a culturally diverse workforce can offer. The problem is that many managers are culturally deprived; their education, training and upbringing simply did not prepare them to manage the situations they face in today’s multicultural environment, and many organisations do little to provide them [...]

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