Summary of How to Make Smart Decisions About Training

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How to Make Smart Decisions About Training book summary
Train by doing, not telling. Evaluate by watching, not testing. Results: a skilled employee with hands-on experience.


6 Overall

8 Applicability

6 Innovation

4 Style


Author Paul G. Whitmore elucidates the advantages of a criterion-referenced instruction program based on having employees practice new skills and tasks. This differs from traditional or academic training programs in that skills are evaluated through performance rather than tests. As he explains it, you can feel how much he believes in teaching job competence through practice. However, while this approach might work well for certain skills that lend themselves to being taught readily through repetitive practice, it may not work as well for tasks that involve creativity and non-routine thoughtful activity. Thus, he may overstate the advantages of his one-size-fits-all approach. The book provides voluminous detail about creating systems to organize and deliver skill-based training, so believes it will have specific appeal to its target audience: learning officers, training managers and human resource directors.

In this summary, you will learn

  • The purpose and merits of performance-based, criterion-referenced training programs
  • The nine steps to take to develop and implement this kind of instruction


Training: the Competitive Edge
Technology no longer provides your company with a competitive edge, since nearly all corporations now use extensive technology. Instead, although many upper-level executives don’t realize it yet, today’s competitive edge comes from human performance. Thus...
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About the Author

Paul G. Whitmore, Ph.D., is an independent performance consultant who has helped create improved workforce performance in both public and private sector organizations worldwide. He is the author of numerous articles and chapters in such publications as the Training and Development Yearbook and Performance and Instruction.

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