There are things we all know that we should do but sometimes don’t. Eating our five a day, saving used stamps for charities, visiting for Mothering Sunday. Mostly, we persuade ourselves just well enough that the consequences are something that we can live with: our mothers will continue to be disappointed, and chuggers will continue to rattle collection boxes in shopping malls. The more telling example is the five-a-day: the effects of a poor diet creep up on us like a slo-mo fog, rather than phoning us a day later to tell us who disappointing we are.

But not all our failings are personal. As L&D practitioners, most of us know that learning transfer is – to understate a point – important. Learning that leaves us – six or nine months on, still eating microwaved dinners and bacon sandwiches – doing nothing better, acting with no more skill or understanding or behaving no differently hasn’t taught us anything.

In the first of a forthcoming series of articles following on from the Learning Transfer 2010 national survey of current practice, Robert Terry has already identified critical areas where intention is – for many reasons – not necessarily translating into best practice. As he concludes:

Buyers of training and development, who responded to this survey, reported that transfer and application is only a slight influence on their purchasing decisions. I hope that, in years to come, subsequent surveys will see learning transfer take its place at the top table of selection criteria so that we can know that we are working as hard to provide performance improvement as we are to provide first class learning.”

To read the article (first published in Training Journal in April 2011), you can download a copy here, or from our Elsewhere page, where you can download PDF versions of all our feature articles.

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