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Improving with age, or past its sell-by date?

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I was born in the 1970s. That makes me experienced enough to know what I'm on about, and young enough to keep up with latest thinking. I haven't yet got 'set' in my ways, but I've a pretty good grasp on what works for me.

I don't think I'm ready to be tossed onto the scrap heap, as I have got lots and lots to offer. So why do trainers think that once a theory is over 30 years old, is should be consigned to the bin, never to be spoken of again?

There is much chat on Twitter and in various blogs about dropping the theories from the last century that have underpinned management training for so long. I can't help wonder why. I suspect that it is because AS TRAINERS we are bored with them. We've known them for years, we can explain them in our sleep, and frankly, they just aren't exciting anymore.

But wait...isn't training supposed to be for the delegates, NOT the trainer? People who are just been promoted to their first managerial position find Adair's Action Centred Leadership a revelation. The Kubler-Ross change curve is a life-saver for team leaders struggling to introduce unpopular changes at the sharp end. Understanding Maslow's Hiearcharchy of Needs (dating from the 1940s!) is helpful when inducting new employees OR selling. I could go on, but I think that you get my drift. We provide training materials especially designed for those taking their first management, customer service or in a semi-autonomous role, and these 'old' theories are referred to.

Of course we must be constantly searching for new ways of thinking, working and growing; and if someone is attending their fifth management development programme of their career, then they don't want to see the same stuff (although I ask you to consider whether they would be on their fifth programmes if they actually APPLIED what was covered?). But just because it is old, doesn't mean to say it isn't relevant. Many of these older theories form a solid foundation for more recent and less tangible ideas. They are a fantastic starting point for any development programme.

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