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Smarter change

Does training have an impact?

Great model (the Kirkpatrick model) which leads me to ask this question. Does training have an actual impact.

I have been “studying” improvisation for 24 years now. I have done beginner trainings at least a dozen times, and this often surprises people. Even now, while I’m teaching improv in corporate and for stage-improvisers, I continue to attend level 1 trainings when I can. Somehow people think if they’ve attended a training they have learnt all there is to learn. I know this to not be at all true. It doesn’t always hit level 3 or 4 on this model. They walk in with skills, they either cement those skills, or they have a great time or both. But they don’t necessarily get any better at improvising.

In organisations this is just as true. Many times learners have told me they didn’t enjoy the training (level 1), so they don’t want to learn any more. We need to go beyond that and ask whether the learning transferred (level 2), changed their behaviour (level 3) and of course did it influence performance (level 4). We can’t just get caught up in the “I’ve done the course so I know it” or “i didn’t like the trainer so it wasn’t good”.

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