ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

Online Edition - May 2001


Behind the Teams: We've provided you with the tools and resources that will help you in your fight to keep team efforts alive, to build a greater sense of community and unity in your organization.
Click here to check it out!

  In This Issue...

A Purpose And A Place
Do Upper Managers Earn Their Keep?
Pageturners: Effective Training Strategies
Proof Positive
Brief Cases

 One From Column B —
My Kingdom for a Team

Peter Block explores the durability of teams and why they remain fascinating after all these years.

  Behind the Teams:

Just What the Doctor Ordered
In Support of Teams
Cynthia Minor and Mike Levenhagen

Highlights of Winning Teams
Views For A Change
Pam Walsh's Unofficial Quality Tips

Return to NFC Index

    Pageturners        Book Reviews with a Twist

"Effective Training Strategies: A Comprehensive Guide To Maximizing Learning in Organizations"
by James R. Davis & Adelaide B. Davis


As members of AQP we recognize and celebrate the use of teamwork within the organization, however we probably overlook the values and importance of these team training activities. The bottom line is that learning has an incredible new importance in the workplace through the use of teamwork. As Peter Senge, the noted author of “The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization” implies in his writing, “One-fourth the organization learns as the individuals within it learn.”

  Authors Davis and Davis, using qualitative interviewing, researching over 60 organizations (business, government and not-for-profit), plus drawing from the enormous body of written work on various kinds of learning, compiled this compendium that organizations have for learning. From this they promise that the reader “... will be better at facilitating learning if you learn more about learning and then practice what you know.” They emphasize that training needs to be reconceptualized and given new status as a central activity of the learning organization.

  The authors draw on their experiences as educators, their broad-based conversations with trainers and a synthesis of the latest research from diverse fields such as psychology, sociology, philosophy and communications, to describe seven powerful training strategies—each providing an easy-to-understand framework for thinking about a particular kind of learning. The strategies are:

Behavior learning—for step-by-step skill acquisition.
Cognitive learning—for presentation-based information processing.
Inquiring learning—using critical-, creative- and dialogical-thinking techniques.
Mental models for learning— using problem-solving and decision-making processes.
Group dynamics (collaborative learning)—for group-based thinking.
Virtual reality learning—using role-playing, scenarios, games and simulations.
Holistic learning—using experiential and action-based techniques.

I think that facilitators of teams and those that strive for excellence within their organization will appreciate this book. The value of a discussion around each strategy will help readers apply the theories described to their organization.

Favorite quote: “Most important, to maximize learning in organizations is to engage in careful planning and then use theory-based training strategies to reach established goals.”

Favorite chart: To assist in choosing the most appropriate strategy the authors include a systematic overview of each strategy and a matrix that matches the organization’s needs and philosophy to desired learning outcomes.

“Effective Training Strategies: A Comprehensive Guide to Maximizing Learning in Organizations” (1998) By, James R. Davis & Adelaide B. Davis. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., San Francisco, CA. ISBN1-57675-037-X.

Reviewed by Robert Finkelmeier, academic director, Office of New Ventures, Regis University, Denver, Colo.

May 2001Homepage


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