Performance consulting: a surefire way to survive the death of training

This week, Chat2lrn are delighted to welcome a guest post from Nigel Harrison – Author, Chartered Business Psychologist and Performance Consultant.

Performance Consultingthe practice of helping organisations to improve their performance, primarily through the analysis of existing organisational problems and development of plans for improvement.

“Death” might be a bit strong. It’s the transactional trainer role that has progressively died.  So how can we describe a transactional trainer?  It’s the trainer who took orders from clients for courses and commissioned training.  This quasi-administrative role added little value to the business and in successful businesses has all but disappeared.

Workshops that concentrate on skills (rather than delivering knowledge) are thriving. Skilled facilitators can be hired by the session rather than having them on the books.  The internal trainer who delivers business critical subject matter expertise also survives.

So who else survives?

  • The internal consultants who ensure compliance are easy to justify.
  • The e-learning team maintaining the web site with role-specific learning objects for self-service by managers and learners.
  • The techie’s who can design and support performance support


  • The Learning and Performance Consultant – an internal consultant who can      partner with clients to understand their initial requests, such as, “We need sales training”. Rather than take an order for training, they turn these requests into real needs with a justified business value and then go onto design shared learning and performance solutions.

How do I know things are changing?  Five years ago I was contracted by a major corporate to train their 82 L&D professionals; I am now coaching the 16 survivors in Performance Consulting so that they can link everything they do to justified business priorities.

I think this is why Charles Jennings sees the growth of Performance Consulting and his no. 1 theme for 2014?

What do you think? Join us for #chat2lrn on Thursday 13 February 08.00PDT/11.00EDT/16.00GMT and share your thoughts.

Nigel Harrison has his own Performance Consultancy business – Performance Consulting UK and also delivers Certified Performance Consultancy Master Classes (PCM) for the Learning and Performance Institute.

“How to be a True Business Partner by Performance Consulting” by Nigel Harrison

Available from

or Amazon

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