Weekend Reflections

Too Often We Produce Education – When Training Is Really Needed

It Didn’t Start with eLearning

There was a well worn path already in place – headed toward Education level content when Training level content was really needed – that existed long before the advent of eLearning.

I’ve witnessed the results of that path in numerous consulting engagements since becoming a consultant in 1981.

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Most of my work requires assessing any existing T&D for reuse purposes in the Analysis Phase before creating a design in the Design Phase to address whatever the new content (with a Performance Orientation) is to be.

And – an aside – my default “design thinking about Instruction” is this…

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Where what I’ve found is that most of that existing content was mostly centered on Topics – and not Tasks.

Topics – and Communication for Awareness – and Education for Knowledge – can and should lead to Task Training – or more appropriately, Performance Training – unless the Target Audience doesn’t need that due to their “incoming K/Ss” from Education and/or Experience.


But all too often Learning (and T&D) Content falls short. In a quite non-empathetic manner IMO. Empathy for our Learners should require us to help them go that “last mile” beyond awareness and knowledge to Performance Competence.

Not to just know about Zigging and Zagging – but to be able to do it: Zig and/or Zag when the performance context demanded it. Or Zip instead – in special conditions.


Trainingperformance-based Training – is simply harder to do and requires Analysis of Performance and the enabling K/Ss – which means it takes longer to do it – than Education – where we might be able to guess at some reasonable Learning Objectives and then do a content search – where the hard part of the effort will be in winnowing down the bulky  content uncovered into something much slimmer and trimmer.

A series of arbitrary choices IMO.

All based on Topics with Face Validity – where the Topics seem reasonable.

But what is really needed is Performance Validity – and proof of impact.

And Performance Validity starts with understanding Performance.


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T&D: The Use and Abuse of Verbal Behaviours

I’ve been a fan of Huthwaite going back to 1981 – and so I pay attention to everything that they do.

It’s not the exactly same organization as it was back in 1981 when I visited their house/office in Sheffield on behalf of Motorola looking at their Negotiations Training offering – but they seem to still focus on communications behaviors – which was the focus of SPIN Sales Training and the Win-Win Negotiations Training from way way back in the day.

In any event – take a look at this interesting video…

Huthwaite Verbal Behaviours in Kitchen Murder Mystery

Crime drama and food programmes are all the rage these days, and Huthwaite International’s own research into verbal behaviours has formed the basis for this mouth-watering tale. The animated film, put together by year 6 pupils at Grenoside School in Yorkshire, illustrates the use and abuse of verbal behaviours, with the hapless chef trying to bring order to the proceedings. As well as testing the children’s movie-making talents, the project that has been running for many months in conjunction with the Comino Foundation, is widely acclaimed for helping the youngsters improve communication skills that will aid them in their learning, their friendship groups, their transition to secondary schools and in their later careers.

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T&D: 3 Secret Sauces for Developing Authentic Performance-Based T&D

Based on an Exchange on LinkedIn Just the Other Day

The Secret Sauces that I’ve found, going back to the late 1970s and early 1980s, include:

  1. being focused on terminal performance (outputs, tasks and measures for both) and
  2. using a Facilitated Group Process (FGP) for Analysis, Design and Development
  3. with Master Performers and perhaps Other SMEs, Supervisors, and sometimes Novice Performers.


Novice Performers – who would really be ideal for determining what’s too “easy peasy/mickey mouse” or “just difficult enough” as a starting point for ramping up to authentic complexity in Application Exercises – and what a progression would look like/include going to the next levels of:

  • “more difficult”
  • “darn difficult”
  • and ultimately “From Hades”


Here’s a Blog Post from last year on ramping up to complex performance capability development – here.


Here are two article PDFs from 1984 that describe the FGP for Analysis and Design:

When you do Analysis & Design & Development with Master Performers – they’ll keep you real – and Novice Performers will keep you more reasonable.

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There are many more free resources – and links to books for sale – on my site regarding the FGP and analysis. The Free Resources include audio podcasts and videos, and article PDFs and presentation PowerPoint Show.

Check out the Resource Tab – but be careful about falling into the proverbial rabbit hole. :)

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HPT Video Matinee with Darlene Van Tiem

HPT Video Practitioner: Darlene Van Tiem

This video was shot in 2012. It is 17:53 minutes in length.

This Video Matinee Series will be published on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the duration of 2019.

The HPT Practitioner and HPT Legacy Video Series was started by Guy W. Wallace in 2008 as a means of sharing the diversity of HPT Practitioners, and the diversity of HPT Practices in the workplace and in academia. The full set of videos may be found and linked to – here.

HPT – Human Performance Technology – is the application of science – the “technology” part – for Performance Improvement. As the late Don Tosti noted, “All performance is a human endeavor.”

Whether your label for HPT is that, or Performance Improvement or Human Performance Improvement, it is all about Evidence Based Practices for Performance Improvement at the Individual level, the Team level, the Process level, the Department level, the Functional level, the Enterprise level, and at the level of Society/World.

HPT Practitioners operate at all of these levels, as this Video Series clearly demonstrates.

Although ISPI – the International Society for Performance Improvement is the home of many HPT Practitioners – the concepts, models, methods, tools and techniques are not limited to any one professional affinity group or professional label.

ISPI just happens to be where I learned about HPT – and has been my professional home since 1979.


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Happy Birthday Thiagi!!!

Happy Birthday to Dr. Sivasailam “Thiagi” Thiagarajan!

You know him as Thiagi!


Stories by Thiagi

Which I can’t find any more. He told stories of his youth in India. My favorite was when he got lost after following an elephant that had walked by his house.

The Thiagi Group Training Intelligence Podcasts

I’m proud to be included in two of these – here.


I always liked his approach to interactive eLearning.

A Short Video

Not a Video


Short Video From 19 years ago at ISPI 2000…

Not a Video

Always liked this tie.


A Short Video

Short excerpt from the longer video… next.

Not a Video…

Lifted from Matthew Richter’s LinkedIn Page…


A Long Video

At ISPI Charlotte as we started our chapter – 10 years ago!

Happiest of Birthday Wishes Sivasailam!

Check out his website – here.

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