What does the business want from Learning and Development

In this episode, Krystyna Gadd takes over the interview seat and talks to Janet Barr from Cap Gemini about what the business wants and needs from learning and development.

Janet Barr is the Technical Director for Capgemini but also an executive architect with over 25 years IT experience. She has a solid technical engineering background and has a key interest in problem solving, while using her business experience. She has been with Capgemini since 2000 … read more about Janet here

Krystyna Gadd is a leading authority on accelerated learning and its application in the UK. She has been training trainers since 2008, through CIPD professional programmes and her own workshops. She has published a book “50 ways to Accelerate Learning”, … read more about Krystyna here.

Identity Crisis! Is Learning and Development fulfilling its purpose?

In this episode I speak to Kevin M Yates and Krystyna Gadd about how learning and development needs to align itself to business needs and focus on performance improvement – using data, or “facts” as Kevin calls them – if we, and our Learning and Development brothers and sisters, are to thrive and make a real difference!

Here’s the link to series Kevin wrote for TrainingZone. The first article, “How to collect facts before you start training”, includes the questions Kevin talked about that help L&D gain insight into organization goals and performance requirements to achieve those goals.

Krystyna Gadd is a leading authority on accelerated learning and its application in the UK. She has been training trainers since 2008, through CIPD professional programmes and her own workshops. She has published a book “50 ways to Accelerate Learning”, … read more about Krystyna

Kevin M Yates is a Learning & Development detective and just like Sherlock Holmes, he solves mysteries. The mystery he solves is, “Did training work?”   He uses facts, evidence and data to show training and learning’s impact on behavior, performance and goals … read more about Kevin here

How to be influential

One of my favourite conversations for a while was with beer-lover and influence expert Alex Swallow.

Influence is a perennial topic in the professional world, and most of us are in roles where we not only need to help others be influential, but we need to be influential ourselves.

In this podcast, I ramble on to Alex Swallow about what makes people influential, what we can do to be more influential and what we can do in workshops about influence to make them more meaningful.


Alex Swallow is The Influence Expert– helping high achievers grow their influence to increase their impact on the world. He is currently a digital nomad – living and working in a number of European cities (and soon, India) with his wife. … read more about Alex here.

The role of research and insight in workplace learning and why evidence matters

A lot of learning and development content is generic off-the-shelf stuff, built on shaky foundations and of variable value.

Many mainstay models and theories that pepper workplace learning are not robust, not subject to the rigours of research and peer critique, and often not supported by evidence. This doesn’t mean they’re useless: they’re not (well, some are). They have pragmatic value in that they work sufficiently well to survive and are often good conversation starters, but if we want the L&D business to be a serious profession, having a more scientific approach to research and the development of theories and models would be a good place to start.

In this episode of the Trainer Tools podcast I talk to Dr Adam Le Nevez about how we might apply academic rigour to the world of L&D.


Adam Le Nevez is a learning consultant for the UK Foreign Office’s Diplomatic Academy. This doesn’t mean he teaches diplomats to unwrap a Ferrero Rocher in one hand while holding a glass of Champagne in the other. Rather, he partners with designers, faculties, learners and subject matter experts to build practical, innovative and accessible learning experiences for the continuous professional development of staff in the UK’s global network of missions … read more about Adam here.

Training can be a tough and lonely business – so look after yourself!

The life of a training facilitator is not as glamorous as it might seem to the casual observer.

There’s a lot of travel, but that just means a lot of time in airports or stuck on long and boring motorways. L&D professionals don’t typically travel in hot air balloons with personal menservants called Passepartout – the budgets rarely stretch that far.

It’s not just the solitude of travel, it’s the loneliness of being in a group of learners in a workshop, but needing to keep distant from them. We encourage social learning and network building, but we’re the guide on the side not another member of the gang.

It doesn’t stop there!

Often we’re associated with change, and change is sometimes bad news, at least for some of the people … and even if not, we’re in the business of challenging people, pushing them out of their comfort zones, perhaps even asking difficult questions that make people think. We might even cause all sorts of trouble by demanding manager involvement or by challenging cultural aspects that might be getting in the way of learning.

Claire Simmons is an expert in offering career advice – and not just how to make your CV look nice. Her organisation (newfuture.me) works with people on personal wellbeing and the emotional side of career change, redundancy, and picking the right options for the future.

In this podcast she talks through her approach and how we, as L&D professionals, can apply the same techniques to help look after ourselves.

Claire Simmons

Claire Simmons is one of the Managing Partners of the career management consultancy newfuture.me. Her HR career began almost 20 years ago and over the years, delivering training and coaching colleagues has played an important part of her roles … read more about Claire here

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