Generic L&D May Have Face Validity But Lacks Performance Validity

Back in 1981, I was an employee at Motorola charged with bringing Huthwaite’s Win-Win Negotiations training program in-house for Purchasing Agents, salespeople, and Government Contract Negotiators.

As part of my assignment, I was encouraged to attend other Negotiation Training courses out in the marketplace. I attended the most popular course, 2-days in length, held at a hotel on the airport grounds of Chicago’s O’Hare International – on November 5th and 6th – just before I flew off to Sheffield, England, to meet up with John Carlisle.

That was my first international flight “west-going-east,” – as my other international flying experience was “east-going-west” from KCMO to San Fransisco to Anchorage to Tokyo to Clark Air Force Base in The Philippines (1972).

As some of you may know – that “west-going-east” ends with Jet Lag which is quite exhausting. So for 5 days, I was trying to catch up and get right. And I might have been bummed out as that assignment kept me from attending a week-long Rummler workshop that my peers got to attend. I may have caught day 5 of the PAW – but I don’t recall.

Back to Negotiations and Generic Training.

Both the “Art of Negotiations” program and what I witnessed of Huthwaite’s “Win-Win Negotiations” in my travels with John Carlisle – were generic considering my 3 Motorola audiences – who, of course, were different themselves in terms of what they needed to learn.

The Huthwaite program pilot test was a tremendous success for all 3 sets of audiences – but I couldn’t meet the requests/demands from the Government Contract Negotiator’s group to start delivering what they experienced (a shortened version) ASAP – as our agreed-to plan with Huthwaite, was to build 3 custom versions for the 3 target audiences.

The Government Contract Negotiators were HUNGRY for something/anything – but we at corporate training knew better – that we could make the experience way better, more meaningful, to transfer better, and have a better impact if the content was customized to reflect the target audience’s jobs.

In fact, Neil Rackham (founder of Huthwaite) talked about learning experiences in this video of him from June 15 of 1981 (my official 1st day on the job at Motorola) – here:

A Valid Success Model

Reflects the Performance Required Back-on-the-Job. Not some generic topic with Face Validity but little Performance Validity.

Neil’s 10 Design Criteria


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