Making experience count

first_img Comments are closed. Making experience countOn 1 Jul 2001 in Personnel Today Training professionals are under pressure to build outdoor training into amore holistic approach – and call it experiential learning insteadGone are the days when attending an outdoor management training course meantdonning fatigues, marching up rain-sodden mountains and munching Kendal mintcake. Mistakenly seen as a holiday to half the management population andtorture to the rest of us, training managers were finding it harder and harderto justify the expense. So different is the market now, few suppliers or buyers of outdoor trainingeven describe it as such. Now it’s experiential learning, which the expertstell us could be indoors, outdoors – or, as the new jargon has it, “neardoors”. Don’t be fooled, says Steven Taylor, director of training with LakesideManagement, the outdoors is still a popular medium for teambuilding andleadership training and with good reason. “It’s a great way of spendingtraining resources because the effects are immediate and lasting,” hesays. But he too admits its use has changed. In the old days, outdoor courses wereabout taking people out of their working environment and giving them achallenge. “Now what firms want is an holistic approach to training thatinvolves body, mind and spirit,” Taylor says. And this means finding time to reflect on and discuss the activities. The outdoors, he says, is ideal for this approach to development. “Thevery nature of the outdoors experience is reflective, you can’t help but talkabout it, so what we have done in the last few years is formalise thatprocess,” he says. Proving value At the same time – as with all training – suppliers using the outdoors as avenue are having to prove its value to the business. Fifteen years ago, companies were only interested in the old task, team andaction model of leadership – what was important was getting people up themountain, even if it meant breaking their spirit in the process, explains ChrisGoscombe at airline EasyJet. “Now we have a fourth circle around these three and that’s environment,which enables us to relate training and development back to theworkplace,” Goscombe says. Suppliers such as Impact and Brathay have also noticed this change.”Training departments have had to respond to the pressure of showing whatvalue they are adding to an organisation. “They are always concerned to put the context of their organisationinto what we do for them,” says Jonathan Lagoe, business developmentmanager with Impact. “And we are required much more now to say how what wedo will improve a client’s performance,” he says. Aligning competencies Usually this means aligning their training to a company’s managementcompetencies. “It’s comforting for the accountants, who can see what they are gettingfor their money,” Lagoe says. This trend also reflects the changing nature of training as a function.Budgets are being devolved down to line managers and in some cases toindividuals, leaving training departments struggling for a role. The best have grasped the nettle and are turning themselves into internalconsultancies. “Training departments are moving away from the old administrative roleof putting people on courses, and are becoming advisers,” Lagoe says. Theyassess the organisation’s training needs and research possible trainers. Some companies are taking this further and drawing up lists of approvedsuppliers, which anyone who is buying training must stick to. “Most of our big clients are saying that they have to narrow theirsuppliers down from 200 plus to 15, 20 or 30,” Lagoe says. Supplier route Gill Brewer, client communication manager at Brathay, maintains that thegrowth of company intranets will further boost the preferred supplier route.Managers will be able to log on to the HR system, find the list of suppliersand click on the hyperlink straight to a website or booking form, Brewer says. It means that organisations like Brathay are having to work hard to be surethey are on the right lists. “It’s not about the door being closed, butabout really proving yourself to get on,” Brewer says. However, it’s a move that is coming primarily from company accountantslooking for a cheaper deal and training managers are not very keen. “Ourown research shows they are concerned that it will take away an element oftheir judgement,” Brewer says. EasyJet’s Chris Goscombe and Jonathan Wainwright from the Halifax agree.”It would be far too restrictive,” Wainwright says, while Goscombesuggests it would prevent training professionals snapping up that new ideaaround the corner. Many of the changes that have taken place in outdoors experiential trainingare positive. But there is some regret among the training community that the tighteninggrip of finance departments is limiting its potential impact. “Surely there has to be an advantage in saying training should bevaluable in its own right,” says Lagoe. Case studyEasyjet prepares for take-offChris Goscombe, head of people and organisational development at budgetairline EasyJet, is a big fan of using the outdoors. “The outdoors is the most stimulating of the experiential learningtools – it’s very powerful. I’ve used it as a line manager and now I propose itto others,” he says.”It doesn’t have to be about pushing yourself to the limits. “Often it is about exploring what those limits are, but you don’t haveto reach them.” EasyJet recently used Impact to provide leadership training for itsdispatchers.These are the men and women who organise the logistics of a flight on boardthe aircraft – saving a few minutes off the turn around of flights can save theairline huge sums of money. But it’s a complex job that involves working with many different people whodon’t necessarily share that precise agenda. The training Impact providedinvolved a variety of exercises – not all outdoors – that reproduced thesechallenges, without simulating the workplace.”We were removing the context of work from people and enabling them tosee things in a different way,” Goscombe says. “Often the context of work gives you an excuse for not doing things –but in experiential learning, there is nowhere else to go apart from yourselfand the people you are working with. You can’t just say, ‘Oh the IT people arealways like that’,” Goscombe explains.However, it didn’t necessarily work for everyone. “Some werebrilliantly enlightened by the experiences,” Goscombe says. “Those who weren’t, we need to manage and treat almost as if they havenever been on the programme. These people need the context of work.”Case studyAn added extra from the halifaxIf you’re a graduate trainee with the Halifax, you will almost certainly getthe chance to battle with the elements as part of your management training.”We’re quite conventional about it,” says Jonathan Wainwright,management development consultant at the Halifax.”We use some high impact exercises, which we then review. Our graduateswon’t have had a lot of experience of working in organisations or working as ateam and this is a safe and supportive way of looking at leadership and workingtogether.”However, when it comes to the bank’s leadership development programme, theoutdoors is far more important for its inspiration than the challenge itoffers. The programme is designed for senior managers with exceptionalpotential and about 36 people are taken on each year. There are five modulesand two of them take place at Brathay. Participants spend their first few days on the programme at Brathay gettingto know each other. They go back several months later fora fourth module onleadership. “We’re more interested in Brathay for the quality of its facilitatorsand the environment it offers rather than the outdoor activities,”Wainwright says. “Senior management development is about building people’sself-awareness and understanding of their own values and beliefs. They get thisfrom reflection and dialogue with each other.”There are experiential exercises built into the Brathay modules that providea focus for discussion – and this may happen to be outdoors. “We’re nottoo concerned with the content of the activities any more, or whether or notour managers can climb a rope,” Wainwright says. “We’re onlyinterested in whether or not exercises foster an environment that leads peopleto talk.”Nonetheless, there are the opportunities for managers to climb ropes or rowboats if they want – but these are extra-curricular activities. “And it’snot the rowing that’s important, it’s the shared experience,” Wainwrightsays. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Small tourist destinations show the greatest interest in interpretive guidance

first_imgThe only male student and a great lover of the garden of his village was Claudio Grbac, a versatile Šišanac who, in addition to working in a bank and growing olives, is extremely active in the Italian Community as a singer and dancer in folklore and a member of the choir, as well as a dancer in Medulin folklore. and a member of the Pula klapa. “I am extremely glad that the first such course was organized in our area, because I think that this is a great way to discover the unknown heritage. We all know about the Arena, St. Euphemia and the Euphrasian Basilica, but with this course the focus is on the hidden part of Istria and proves that even the smallest place can be heritage-valued and promoted. I am proud as a Šišanac that the heritage I grew up with has become important and recognized. Wanting to join the efforts of the Tourist Board of the Municipality of Ližnjan, I intend to become a guide because I want it to be well valorized. All guests who come to us and stay in apartments should get to know better the destination they came to Said Grabac. In our country, it is held by the first Croatian certified trainer, Iva Silla, who is also the author and leader of narrative and gamma tours of Zagreb called Secret Zagreb. The recently completed course in Šišan is the fifth in a series of courses organized mostly in small tourist destinations in which more than 40 guide interpreters have grown up. New courses follow that confirm the importance of interpretive guidance in heritage valorization and the creation of innovative tourism products The Tourist Board of the Municipality of Ližnjan is the first Istrian tourist board to recognize the value of the five-day course “Certified Interpretation Guide” of the Interpret Europe association.  Tečaj “Certificirani interpretacijski vodič” kroz 5 dana i 40 vrlo zahtjevnih sati, u kojima je čak 70% praktičnog rada, suočava vodiče (i sve one s iskustvom u vođenju) s redefiniranjem dosadašnjeg načina rada i strukturiranja tura te im daje nove alate za rad. Poticanje brige o zajedničkoj baštini, pretvaranje predmeta i pojava u iskustva, poticanje stvaranja dubljih, emocionalnih veza s naslijeđem, otkrivanje puta do dubljeg značenja sve su to postulati interpretacije baštine koje treneri praktičnim radom prenose na polaznike. We consider the course an investment in the creation of innovative tourist products – Natali Palko Zirdum, director of the Tourist Board of the Municipality of Ližnjan Thanks to field work and valuable study of Šišan’s heritage, the hitherto neglected potential of Šišan has been put in the focus of numerous guides who will henceforth include it in their guides and thus provide it with richer tourist facilities. ”We are very happy that Šišan, as well as the entire municipality of Ližnjan, was the most studied place in Istria during two weekends in March. By organizing this course, we have made a big step forward in the research and tourist evaluation of our heritage, especially Šišan and Ližnjan, which have shone with numerous, hitherto hidden, heritage stories. Considering that almost all participants came to us from all over Istria and that we had four local participants, including me, in addition to education, a great synergy was achieved, which is why we are optimistic about the future. We consider the course an investment in the creation of innovative tourism products with an emphasis on greater involvement of the local community, which is the foundation for the preservation of our heritage”Emphasized Natali Palko Zirdum, director of the Tourist Board of the Municipality of Ližnjan.center_img Trenerica Iva Silla izuzetno je zadovoljna proaktivnom grupom polaznika u Šišanu, a o daljnim koracima kaže: “Sljedeći tečaj počinje ubrzo u Vrsaru, organizira ga TZ Grada Vrsara u sklopu slovensko-hrvatskog projekta Uživam tradiciju. Nakon ljetne pauze u kojoj su vodiči zauzeti vođenjima u Hrvatskoj i izvan nje, kreće sljedeći ciklus tečajeva za koje su zanimanje pokazala i kontinentalna odredišta. Razvoj interpretacije baštine u punom je zamahu što me kao trenericu izuzetno raduje. Raznovrsna i bogata baština naše zemlje fantastična je osnova za kreiranje kreativnih i održivih turističkih sadržaja, a ovaj tečaj predstavlja kvalitetan i odmah primjenjiv alat za postizanje tog cilja” concluded Iva Silla.   Why wouldn’t a similar story be told in Ližnjan tomorrow? Certainly possible, it’s up to the people. After Žumberak, Bakar, Šibenik and Kastav, for the first time in Istria this course was organized in mid-March by the Tourist Board of the Municipality of Ližnjan, which confirmed the fact that small destinations best recognize its potential. More space was required for the course, and the participants, in addition to the locals, arrived in small Šišan from Rovinj, Pula, Medulin, Fažana, Novigrad and Zagreb.  Those who want market development, who are proactive and who break the status quo, no matter how “small or big” it may be, are growing and developing. If someone had said 5 or more years ago that people from Zagreb would get in a car and come to Baranja on weekends just for gastronomy, they would laugh and declare him crazy. But that is the reality and one “small” Baranja has positioned itself as a TOP destination in Slavonia. The European Heritage Interpretation Association Interpret Europe, which has over 800 members from 50 countries, has so far designed and conducted a series of courses to educate professionals in the field of heritage interpretation (guide, host, writer, planner, revived history). The longest-lasting and most elaborate education is certainly the course “Certified Interpretation Guide”, which, for almost a decade, has been conducted throughout Europe by trainers of the Interpret Europe association. last_img read more

Lambert keen to get Dunne fit

first_imgPaul Lambert insists having Aston Villa defender Richard Dunne back available at full fitness is his priority rather than the future of the Republic of Ireland international. When asked if there was chance of Dunne earning a new contract, Lambert said: “I think first and foremost we need to get the guy back fit. “That’s the big thing for me, to get Richard back fit as quickly as we can. “Richard Dunne will not need to prove himself. I know what he can do. “He doesn’t need to impress. He’s not 19 or 20 years old. The main thing for me is that he’s going to be fit again.” Press Associationcenter_img Dunne, who will become a free agent this summer, has undergone three groin operations since the end of last season and suffered another setback after returning to training two weeks ago. He has hardly played for 12 months after a shoulder injury caused him to miss the final third of last season before returning for the final two games. Lambert is unsure when the player will be available, saying: “I don’t know, he’s been having setbacks. We will have to see what the surgeon says. We are still no further forward but he doesn’t need another operation. He’s got to keep battling through it.” last_img read more