Article in Sunday Times 21 January 2007 by Roger Eglin
Kaisen (business psychologists) has completed research into the benefits of development courses aimed at business leaders and concluded they are largely valueless. This was because most courses focused on educating through providing useful concepts and theories, whereas what was needed was skills such as how to act and behave, how to be more assertive and motivate people.
Learning behavioural skills requires practice in the workplace. Going on a course is like trying to learn to ski in a hotel by watching videos and reading course material.
Even the practical elements of courses were of little value because people were usually paired off, which given that all were there to learn meant inexperienced people were coaching each other. Also, courses emphasised self-awareness, which has its uses for the individual but does not help them understand their colleagues.
One-to-one coaching is probably much better than sending leaders on courses.