Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2018 - 15

BUILDING LEADERS
SAM SHRIVER & MARSHALL GOLDSMITH

THE PRACTICAL IMPACT OF AN

UNFETTERED APPROACH

Andrew Burns is the CEO and chief
investment officer of a company called
Hamilton Point Investment Advisors, LLC.
Among many other things, he publishes
a blog that we find both entertaining
and educational (qualities we both
admire and secretly envy). In perusing
his March installment, we considered
this particular line to have far reaching
utility: "When faced with competing
options or theories, one should consider
the least complicated one."
This wisdom is credited to a 14th century
Franciscan friar named William Ockham.
While friars undoubtedly had several
functions to perform in their day, chief
among them was thinking. Supported by
the charitable contributions of villagers,
friars dedicated a significant portion of
their time to thoughtful consideration.
They read. They prayed. They searched
for wisdom. And, when they stumbled
across some, they documented it and
passed it along to practitioners (with
no reasonable expectation that wisdom
would remain in active discussion some
700 years later).
Andrew "unpacks" Friar Williams' advice
in his blog by referencing a recent metaanalysis that has been conducted by the
Journal of Business Research. The study
reviewed 32 papers that compared
97 simple and complex methods of
forecasting future events. The primary
conclusion:
Complexity
adversely
impacted accuracy and increased
forecast error by 27 percent.
We infer from this that effectively
employing a strategy that you can
intuitively grasp, significantly increases

your probability of success. This point
has been reinforced over (and over
again) by learning mentors we have
been fortunate enough to cross paths
with during our careers.
Peter Drucker is universally admired
for his brilliance (rightfully so). From
our perspective, the essence of that
brilliance is his ability to take the
dynamic, multifaceted forces that
constitute leadership and present them
in a manner that all of us can not only
understand but put into practice -
likewise with Paul Hersey. Early on,
Situational Leadership® was criticized
because it failed to account for a number
of variables that leaders encountered
as they attempted to influence others.
In response (and sometimes rather
aggressively), Dr. Hersey would respond
with something like this: "Situational
Leadership® is a practical model ...
that people can actually use! If you are
looking for a model that mirrors the
complexities presented by the real world
... just use the real world!"
To us, this is really kind of the whole point.
Effective learning takes complicated
things and makes them simple. It breaks
them down. The resultant impact is that
learners get it! More than that, they
not only get it, they see themselves
being able to take what they have
just learned and solve a problem,
right a wrong or take advantage of an
opportunity. As they apply the skills
they've learned (post-training) in
pursuit of those goals, the experience
they gain - in combination with the
coaching and feedback they receive -

provides the foundation necessary for
more intricate application.
So, in that regard, and in an effort to
provide targeted perspective that
accurately reflects our combined
experience in the learning industry,
we have two interrelated points of
consideration for today's learning
leaders:

EFFECTIVE LEARNING
TAKES COMPLICATED
THINGS AND MAKES
THEM SIMPLE.
1. Keep it relevant: The more a
learning experience accurately reflects
the current reality of the learner, the
higher the probability that learning will
produce desirable changes in behavior.
2. Keep it engaging: Level 1 feedback
matters! The more learners like
the learning event, the higher the
probability they will retain and use what
they learned.
If this advice sounds simplistic, we
feel we are in good company! Never
underestimate the practical impact of an
unfettered approach. Or, as Leonardo Da
Vinci offered many years ago, "Simplicity
is the ultimate sophistication!"

Marshall Goldsmith is the world authority
in helping successful leaders get even better.
Sam Shriver is the senior vice president
of commercial operations and product
development at The Center for Leadership
Studies. Email Marshall and Sam.

T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MA GAZ INE - BACK TO BASICS 2018 I W WW. T RAININGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2018

https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20200910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20200708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20200506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20200304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20200102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20191112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20181112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20171112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20171112_se
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20161112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016sales
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015outsourcing
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015leadership
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2008fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2008summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2008spring
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