Garry Platt is an experienced training consultant . He has worked with a number of international organisations helping them to enhance their approach to training and development. Examples of some of the organisations he has worked with in 2012 are outlined here; Siemens, Fenman, Formica, Mauritius Employers Federation, Wabtec, TaTa Motors, McCains, Princess Tuna, Babcock, Brush Traction.
Academically qualified to Masters Degree level in Education, Training and Development his work draws upon current research and study in Human Resource Development combined with a pragmatic and practical approach to application in the workplace. He is a featured monthly writer in Training Journal the UK’s premier published magazine focussing on HR trends and issues. He is also a writer for TrainingZone the UK’s principal web site covering current and topical HRD issues. He is a frequent guest speaker at conferences and exhibitions because of his humorous and engaging style.
His approach to training is experiential and interactive with the main aim of allowing participants to experience and work with the materials and concepts being taught. Death by PowerPoint does not take place during his events and he holds true to the old saying that ‘the mind can only take in what the posterior can endure’.
Maslow's Hierarchy of needs has been proven time and time again to be a hypothesis with little supporting evidence. Maslow himself regretted at the end of his career that no one had researched and confirmed/denied his supposition. It was in fact done later and by the very University where he worked, the results were less than satisfactory.
Here is a quote from the BBC referenced web site below:
'There is a further problem with Maslow's work. Margie Lachman, a psychologist who works in the same office as Maslow at his old university, Brandeis in Massachusetts, admits that her predecessor offered no empirical evidence for his theory. "He wanted to have the grand theory, the grand ideas - and he wanted someone else to put it to the hardcore scientific test," she says. "It never quite materialised." However, after Maslow's death in 1970, researchers did undertake a more detailed investigation, with attitude-based surveys and field studies testing out the Hierarchy of Needs. "When you analyse them, the five needs just don't drop out," says Hodgkinson. "The actual structure of motivation doesn't fit the theory. And that led to a lot of discussion and debate, and new theories evolved as a consequence." '
Maslow has become an ingrained and accepted model in training which is proposed as though it actually represents human behaviour it doesn't. One only has to observe how actors (as an example) are prepared in sacrifice Physiological Needs and to a lesser extent Safety Needs in order to self actualise, according to Maslow's model that shouldn't happen, but it does.
For a detailed dismemberment of this concept here are a few links:
What you have said here echoes in part what I addressed in how to create a business case for training. If you're interested the details are here:
The presentation commences at 1:21 and lasts for approximately an hour.
The slides can also be accessed here on SlideShare: http://www.slideshare.net/EEFTraining/
I would propose the most important factor in a Premier league’s club success is the budget they have for Players’ Salaries and the size of their Transfers and new Signing Account. You buy supreme talent you generally get supreme results. Management and coaching having only secondary affects at this level.
As this piece of research by Sporting Intelligence below clearly illustrates. Look at MCFC position on this table in 2007-2008, and look at in in 2010-2011. The average player’s salary has more than trebled to attract the very best players in the world, and their position had risen from 13th to 3rd.
At Premiere league level it would be my view that money much more than coaching is what leads to success. Coaching definitely has an impact but it is minor compared to the financial attractant of top class players.
There is a problem or issue with Maslow's grand idea, and to put it simply, the evidence doesn't appear to support the premise. The hierarchies do not actually translate to any acknowledged or formally recognized process of motivation which is supprted by decent evidence. The BBC only recently undertook an analysis of the Maslow pyramid, it makes interesting reading.
Here's a revealing quote from this article:
'But critics point to dozens of counter-examples. What about the famished poet? Or the person who withdraws from society to become a hermit? Or the mountaineer who disregards safety in his determination to reach the summit?
Muddying things slightly, Maslow said that for some people, needs may appear in a different order or be absent altogether. Moreover, people felt a mix of needs from different levels at any one time, but they varied in degree.
There is a further problem with Maslow's work. Margie Lachman, a psychologist who works in the same office as Maslow at his old university, Brandeis in Massachusetts, admits that her predecessor offered no empirical evidence for his theory. "He wanted to have the grand theory, the grand ideas - and he wanted someone else to put it to the hardcore scientific test," she says. "It never quite materialised."
However, after Maslow's death in 1970, researchers did undertake a more detailed investigation, with attitude-based surveys and field studies testing out the Hierarchy of Needs.
"When you analyse them, the five needs just don't drop out," says Hodgkinson. "The actual structure of motivation doesn't fit the theory. And that led to a lot of discussion and debate, and new theories evolved as a consequence."'
Lucy, here are my responses to the issues you raised:
Lucy: “I'm sure you can see, then, how his would have a positive financial impact on an organisation's success, but that it is not specifically 'trained' for so cannot be included in an ROI?”
I agree, if we’re not training it we can’t analyse or claim any ROI.
Lucy: “This is where I would disagree with an independent consultant such as yourself who is interested in ‘existing or future performance issues’ rather than in the organisational branding (as defined above) as a whole.”
I can’t speak for other consultants only myself and I work for the EEF and am not an independent consultant. When I work with clients I am concerned about their reputation, standing and ‘branding’. For fairly simple reasons:
The client does well, I do well.Working with an organisation who have a positive high profile is beneficial to me and also the reputation of my employer.Some clients I have now been working with for more than 15 years which is longer than the incumbent HR people working there and in those circumstances I am as committed to that client’s success as they are.
My approach however to helping clients sustain or improve their reputation, standing and ‘branding’ is to follow back through a series of chained elements:
Behavior and actions of employees lead to:
Experience of customers and internal and external stakeholders which in turn develops;
Reputation, standing and ‘branding’
So I work on behaviours and actions which ultimately lead to reputation and standing. I can absolutely see that extent of my investment is likely to be signifcantly less than those employed directly by the company.
Lucy: “Referring back to your comment ‘The moment I read training as contributing to 'empowerment', 'engagement', 'effectiveness' et al I don't dismiss it but I certainly want to dig beneath and determine what is really meant’ – It struck me as slightly dismissive of the importance of intangible skills training,-“
Well, it’s as I said, I don’t dismiss it but I certainly want to identify what they mean by it and exactly what they are going to deliver. What I do dismiss is ‘intangible skills training’; I almost fell of my chair when I read that phrase. If it is truly intangible then I don’t see how it can be trained, unless we are interpreting the word intangible in different ways?
Lucy: “ - I was wondering how you would conduct a monetary ROI on Diversity training, something you mention in your ‘Brinkerhoff’ comment? Doubtless this is something that some organisations feel the need to undertake, not to fill a hard-skills gap but from an ethical (and even potentially legal) point of view. Essentially – it is soft skills training at its finest. I can see how an ROE (Return on Expectation) can be derived from evaluation of this training – how would you as a trainer then take that and convert it into a fully-fledged monetary-based ROI?”
For any readers who are not familiar with the discussion referenced by Lucy it’s here: https://www.trainingzone.co.uk/comment/184867#comment-184867
How would I undertake ROI for Diversity training? It would depend on numerous factors: Why are they doing it? What do they hope to achieve? What’s the current situation? What is being experienced? Is it a problem? What are the critical success factors? (Example: Diversity issues in the Metropolitan Police are going to be completely different from those in the Citizens Advice Bureau, so one standard ROI assessment methodology will not fit all.) Against these I would search for appropriate metrics and baseline measures. In the case of the German client I listed the methods they were employing but it cannot be said that these are universal as each case is different. Here is the relevant section:
‘I have one major German owned client who is currently focusing some attention on ‘Diversity’. Hardly operational, but they have some very clear metrics against which they are going measure success, some financial some not. Metrics such as:
+ Frequency of related disciplinary events and associated costs. (Financial)
+ Numbers of complaints and reported incidents with follow up investigations and associated costs. (Financial)
+ Staff survey figures. (Expectation)
+ Position and movement of ethnic minorities in management positions. (Expectation)
+ Position and movement of genders in management positions (Expectation).
Now that to me seems like a simple and fair combination of factors to determine whether Diversity training is actually worth it financially (leaving aside the ethical issues) and delivers.’
Hello Lucy, you've asked for responses so here are mine. I disagree with some of your observations in the following paragraph: 'RoI can’t really go into the inherent value of customer service, branding, and all those other things that are not as easily quantifiable as ‘time saved’. It’s these intangibles that, for me, are the basis of Learning and Development- that essential foundation, not particularly quantifiable but nonetheless vital to success, to up-skilling - and ultimately to the bottom line.' The only reason you can't determine the value of 'customer service', 'branding' or 'intangibles' as you reference them is because you have framed them as vague and indistinct factors. 'customer service' and 'branding' mean different things in different contexts i.e. The Food Hall at Harrods or the local Fish & Chip shop? In each of these areas we want to isolate how and what is the most appropriate customer service we can offer (best practise) and then deliver the appropriate knowledge and skills to support people in employing these. (Branding I couldn't even begin to analyse because it is just a single word and completely indeterminate.) If we have base line measures we can most certainly measure impacts. If however the argument (and it may not be, so ignore this if appropriate) is 'evidence Vs proof', that is to say we can not prove beyond all doubt that our training has achieved this as so many other factors are in play I agree, but frankly that is true for everything undertaken in business, but results and figures are assessed with a dose of common sense and reasonable evidence is sufficient. You then go on to say: 'Now, that organisation may well have spent massive amounts of money on training its call centre staff. And it is true that part of the return on this is financially quantifiable efficiency; each employee can now answer more calls, save more time, make the company more money and provide a return on investment for the training. The effect of that training on overall organisational branding, however – this isn’t quantifiable. But it is nevertheless massively important. And it can make you a lot of money.' Again the issue is what do you mean? Branding? What is it? Why is it an issue? What is it you hope to achieve? If the definition is vague it's because your performance gap analysis is vague, if that's done properly you don't end up with this kind of ambiguity. Training in my opinion has to move away from primarily describing its results in terms of the indistinct. The moment I read training as contributing to 'empowerment', 'engagement', 'effectiveness' et al I don't dismiss it but I certainly want to dig beneath and determine what is really meant. All this said I do agree that some of what we contribute is part of the whole organisational experience and output, but I don't train for that I only train against existing or future performance issues.
1. Avoid having a bucket list
2. Become expert in irony
3. Avoid writing lists.
4. Stop being a smart arse***.
Of course it's OK, john, and of course it's OK to challenge that perspective.
Without wishing to hijack the comments section the issue of reaching out towards the fiction of god or gods (according to which faith you follow) and being told that my purpose is predicated on god is not something I concur with. Nor when this is an open forum am I going to let pass without comment or objection. John Blakey states: 'It reaches beyond the rational and it relies upon the notion of God. That much is logical.' I disagree, relying on the notion of a god or gods according predominantly to which period, geographic location or family upbringing you had is not logical. That much is illogical. John then writes: 'But then courage is not rational either and no one has ever explained to me why the hairs on the back of the neck can stand up in the way Ian describes.' Then you haven't looked very hard, if you want to know why your hairs stand up on the back of your neck here's why, it's an evolutionary remnant, but there again, religion may prevent some people from seeing the facts before them: http://www.everydayhealth.com/emotional-health/what-makes-hair-stand-on-... Finally, John ends with: 'Thankfully, there is so much that the rational mind cannot explain.' Your right, it cannot explain why a body which purports to expound good Christian beliefs hides and protects paedophiles within its ranks. The rational mind cannot explain why a religion with its own laws would see a women who has been raped as the guilty party and then want to see her punished still further for her crimes. The rational mind cannot explain why one faith believes we are made in the image of god, but then proceeds to lop bits off the male child as soon as it's born, presumably god's design wasn't good enough. The rational mind cannot explain why a church which believes we are all equal cannot bring it's self to give women equal rights in own ranks. The rational mind cannot explain why the major Christian sect in the UK cannot recognise the needs and rights of all people regardless of their sexual orientation and seeks to discriminate against them. There's a lot the rational mind and science cannot yet explain, but that does not lead me to believe a higher power is in play. In all the examples above it's small closed minds which are the reason.
Do you think this quoted passage relates to rational thinking atheists as well?
The section which states; 'We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.' makes quite an assumption doesn't it? And on so many different levels.