How to champion best practice Learning and Development when the culture is content with chalk and talk

Quite a while ago, I received a mail from a listener asking the following questions:

I guess many of your audience are freelance so it would be an interesting topic to discuss how they learn from or get community feeling when working alone.

How do you trust your own internal feedback when all your clients think you’re great (but you only have a happy sheet).

In an organisation how do you champion best practice when the culture is content with chalk and talk?

We recorded something that touches on the first part of this with Claire Simmons (called “Training can be a tough and lonely business, so look after yourself“) but I thought we could dig deeper and so I asked Paul Tizzard, someone who has worked as both an internal and external consultant, to have a crack at providing some sage advice.

Paul Tizzard


Paul Tizzard has been a professional trainer since 1996 and independent since 2001. He is a trained presenter, coach and facilitator. Since becoming independent, he has been fortunate to work in many different countries with an eclectic range of industries and companies. … read more about Paul here.

How to build an organisational learning ecosystem

As I get older, wiser, more knowledgeable, more skilled … and more impatient, … OK, and more stroppy, I am increasingly dissatisfied with the idea of rocking up and banging out a few training courses and calling it a learning and development strategy.

It doesn’t matter how good the workshop is, how dedicated and talented the facilitator is, if the learner goes back to an environment that doesn’t support learning.

This means that I am increasingly interested in, increasingly fascinated by … and OK, increasingly going on and on about, the important of creating an environment that is conducive to learning. This doesn’t just mean pre-work and follow-up activities surrounding a learning event, it means support from leaders, managers, colleagues and the organisational culture that will allow for learning, sharing, growth, opportunities and all that good stuff.

In this podcast, I talk to Robin Petterd who calls it a “learning ecosystem” … I hope you find it useful!

 Robin Petterd


Robin Petterd has a PhD in creative interactive digital media and has worked in that field since 1993, training people since 1995. He has been involved in all parts of the education sector and established Sprout Labs in 2007 … read more about Robin here.

The Collusion of Mediocrity

In the second episode of Trainer Tools, I talk to Paul Levy about his “Collusion of Mediocrity” concept.

This is an idea that can be used with both the Consultant and Facilitator aspects of the job, and is about pushing for real change in performance as a result of training interventions. It also has interesting impacts on how we evaluate the impact of training.

(And the sound quality is a bit better!)

This is a Trainer Tools Essential Podcast

Since releasing this podcast I have blogged about it on TrainingZone website: How you measure training success might be stopping you from succeeding.

 Paul Levy


Paul Levy is the founder of CATS3000, a change and innovation company that helps people and organisations to realise potential and thrive. He’s worked with individuals and organisations all over the world for the last twenty years to challenge mediocrity, and to open space for change and transformation … read more about Paul here.

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