Dear L&D Director,

I have a grouse with many of you. You take good care of your biological child. but not of your corporate children i.e. the learners in your organisation.

How often do you –

  • Hand over your sick child to an unqualified doctor?
  • Allow the doctor, even when qualified, to administer medicine for an ailment without doing a systematic examination of the child?
  • Ask the doctor to administer only that medicine which the child loves to take?
  • Choose to go to a doctor who is cheerful and known to you, but has no domain knowledge about the ailment your child is suffering from?
  • Go to a doctor who has a limited repertoire of prescriptions and uses a ‘one size fits all approach’.

I am sure you would have answered ‘sometimes’ to even one of the above questions.

Then how come, as an L&D Director, you take the following approach for your corporate children i.e. the learners?

  • Select a trainer knows little about instructional design.
  • Allow the trainer to develop a program based merely on what you want, rather than check out the need for himself.
  • Allow the trainer to introduce games and activities with the sole purpose of keeping the crowd entertained, rather than affect some much needed learning.
  • Select a trainer who is good in oratorical/presentation skills, with little domain knowledge on the weakness observed.
  • Select a trainer who offers only one format of delivery of training – either face to face or fully online/virtual?

Just a few days back, I found this query on linked-in from a senior L&D person- ‘ If you were asked to design a training intervention for the political leaders of a nation , what topics would you like to include ?’

Of course, my answer to that was ‘ Training interventions are NOT to be decided like this. First the weakness must observed. Then it should be checked whether the shortcoming in performance is a correctable by a training intervention – which mostly is not. Only then should one plan training for those aims.

But yes, that this is the way training is normally planned in India. Hence its abysmal failure’.

For good outcome, your trainer should exhibit some expertise in at least these three areas –

  • Good understanding of techniques to find out the real need, so that relevant content may be selected for it.
  • Understanding of how to put together the relevant content into a useful training program. This is the operative part of instructional design
  • Good understanding of the dynamics of a training program. The actual training session is only one part of it..

Kindly accord the same loving care to your corporate children as you do to your biological ones.

Best regards

Alok Asthana

Director, Innovators & Leaders


Mumbai, India, +91 9821677859


Some reference material here for your further reading –

Improving training effectiveness in the workplace

Pre-training influences on training effectiveness

Flexi-Blend, a flexible format for blended learning, allowing for many possible combinations

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