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Courageous Training by Tim Mooney and Robert O Brinkerhoff

Courageous Training by Tim Mooney and Robert O Brinkerhoff

Courageous Training: Bold Actions for Business Results

By Tim Mooney and Robert O’Brinkerhoff
Berrett-Koehler, 2008

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3 stars: Valuable information and a good readDespite all the advice written about improving the effectiveness of corporate education and training, only 12 to 15 percent of the estimated $70 billion annual expenditures is actually applied in ways that contribute tangible value to the sponsoring organizations. Tim Mooney and Robert Brinkerhoff believe they have discovered why some groups achieve breakthrough results by having the courage to break away from the usual approaches and identify what is really needed and what really works.

The authors lay out “Four Pillars of Courageous Training,” illustrating them with examples that highlight specific concepts, methods, and tools. The pillars are clearly stated:

  1. Be a Business-Goal Bulldog
  2. Build a Whole-Organization Responsibility for Training Impact
  3. Win the Hearts and Minds of Make-or-Break Partners
  4. Tell It Like It is with Truthful Measurement and Evaluation

Next, the authors describe the mindset needed to transform training, which they summarize in the “Courageous Training Code.” Chapter seven outlines this code by identifying “seven ways to strengthen your leadership backbone.” The book concludes with four case studies, written by former consulting clients from such organizations as Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Clark County (Nevada) Public Schools, Holcim, and Insight Enterprises, to show how these leaders used the Mooney and Brinkerhoff model to produce improved and measurable business results.

The book is written in a simple, straightforward manner, and it reflects the knowledge and experience of two respected and capable consultants. Although it does appear to be designed to promote their consulting practice, the book offers interesting insight into their approach for making training more effective.

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