ROI on Training: Does Leadership Training Work? Part 1

Hey everyone! I am excited to introduce you to a colleague and expert on training and development Jesse Sostrin. I have included his biography below. Jesse earned a PhD from Fielding Graduate School in 2008. This is exactly where I plan to go to earn mine…

Jesse and I will engage in a dialogue about training effectiveness. What are the barriers, is leadership training worth the cost and other interesting questions.

Jesse Sostrin Biography

Dr. Jesse Sostrin is a nationally recognized workplace expert who writes, speaks, and consults about the often elusive challenges of getting great work done. He is the author of Beyond the Job Description: How managers and Employees Can Navigate the True Demands of the Job (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2013) and Re-Making Communication at Work (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2013), both of which helped to establish his place in the next generation of influential thinkers challenging everything we thought we knew about success at work.

Focusing on the often overlooked intersection between individual and organizational success, Jesse is a perceptive observer of the world of work. He has been featured on a number of television and radio programs, including MSNBC, Fox Business, and NPR. His ideas have been published in a variety of online and print publications, including Huffington Post, FastCompany, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The Sun (UK), Globe and Mail (Canada), and The Philadelphia Inquirer. As a columnist he is a regular contributor to,, and Brazen Careerist.

As a thought leader, Jesse has pioneered breakthrough concepts such as the Hidden Curriculum of Work®, the Job-within-the-Job, and the Mutual Agenda. He is known for translating complex ideas about the workplace into simple language and useful tools that drive learning and performance for individuals and teams.

As the president of Sostrin Consulting, Jesse designs solution-driven consulting engagements for a range of companies. Among others, Jesse counts InfoGard Laboratories, Hyatt, Walmart, ConAgra, Microsoft, and Allstate as clients and partners. As a keynote speaker, Jesse’s signature blend of inspirational and results-oriented ideas translate to innovative and highly interactive programs.



Does training work?

I am really excited to engage in this discussion with colleague Jesse Sostrin. I have asked him to join me in a dialogue on training effectiveness for your benefit. Jesse is an expert in training, learning and organizational development. He studied organizational development at a PhD level at Feilding and is now a consultant, author and expert in the field. 
Our start for this conversation is to take on an important question that many an operational manager asks either openly or quietly.
Does leadership training work?
To start off, this is a really important question. After all a manager is agreeing to spend corporate resources (your salary and tuition cost) to send you to a class for what benefit? To make matters worse many employees attend commercial classes and come back with the tired old response to the question “what did you learn?”, a got a couple of things…
A couple of things?! not wonder most managers struggle with sending employees to training classes. They lose a whole day or more of your productivity for a couple of things? Sounds like a monumental waste!
Before we take on the question of does training work we have to look backwards and really think about the problem itself, the current state of the commercial training industry
So why do employees only get “a couple of things” from training classes?
The most straight forward answer is that trainers often approach training from a transactional point of view. What I mean is they present material in a traditional format (usually powerpoint and if you are lucky an accompanying workbook) and proceed to engage in a one way (read lecture) format of data transfer.
Since most human beings can maintain attention on a subject for at best maybe 20 minutes, its no wonder the employee returns with “a couple of things”. They are spending the day alternating between paying attention and day dreaming about other topics throughout the day.
Jesse what are your thoughts on the question?
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Posted in Leadership development Questions, Leadership Training, New Leader Training, Special Topic Questions

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