Learning models from 1970s still hold sway

according to the CIPD’s annual Learning & Talent Development Survey (notice how they’ve tweaked the title to bring in talent?).

The survey found that the three most commonly used learning models are all more than 30 years old.

49% of respondents used the Belbin Team roles questionnaire (1981); 46% used Honey & Mumford’s Learning Style questionnaire (1970) – and let’s not forget David Kolb’s original work on this; and 43% used the MBTI (1962).

The CIPD report suggests these are “too familiar” for today’s business challenges (not sure if they just mean “old hat” and if they still work why not use them?)

John McGurk, the CIPD’s L&TD advisor, said that we should be using newer behavioural science insights such as “nudges” and heuristics along with new ideas from neuroscience. Certainly neuroscience is this year’s hot topic. I’ve already heard seminars on this at the recent Association for Business Psychology conference and the upcoming Assocation for Coaching conference in Edinburgh also features neuroscience as a theme.

There is at least one consultancy offering neuro-leadership training. It seems to be the next step after emotional intelligence and some would argue that neuroscience explains or underpins some of the EI ideas.

Apart from the change in the report title there also seems to be lots of management-speak in it eg “resource light, challenge rich” presumably means doing more with less, and L&D professionals as “chief curiosity officers”?

When I wrote about training in February, I asked if it had evolved. This research suggests it hasn’t but should.

As  a business psychologist I can’t disagree with the suggestion that we should always be looking for better ways to do things including learning. But it’s not always necessary to throw out the baby with the bath water.

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