Simon Coath Consultancy

How we do it

Our Culture

Is different...

Our partners and consultants are not in training and development as a soft option or because they can't do anything else!

Each and every one of our team has achieved success in their chosen profession before embarking on a second career in the profession of training itself.

Each of us believes that:

  1. Training is a profession
  2. We should continually strive to develop our own expertise
  3. We have the ability to make a difference

It is these shared values and beliefs that unite us.

Handshake

Our Philosophy

Reflects modern thinking...

We're not talking about "tree hugging" here.

What we are talking about is the need to go beyond the assumption that delegates' "happy sheets" can alone be taken as an indication of how successful a course has been. We are also talking about the need to keep abreast of new developments and thinking in training and development.

Each Course throws up new and different challenges. We begin our design work by carefully analysing the proposal. This entails looking at proposed objectives and the level of experience of the group. We recognise that learning is cumulative; there is no blank slate. The training has to enter in at the level of experience of the delegate and then build on such understanding.

We are against "re-inventing the wheel" and our training courses are each designed on the assumption that previous learning is likely to affect the outcome of the training programme. From a professional training perspective this entails our planning to "bed" the training into the experience or context in which delegates work.

Space

A Holistic approach...

During a contested discussion during a Board meeting how does a CEO know how to frame just the right question, in just the right tone, at just the right time, so as to enable the Board to see at once the strength of the CEO's case and the weakness of his opponents?

Many training providers and their clients aspire no further than to bringing their people up to a level of "competence". Such an approach takes little or no account of prior learning or expertise and assumes that the delegate has to be trained in every aspect that makes up a skilled behaviour. Further, the analysis and breaking down of sophisticated professional skills into discrete statements of competence is fraught with pedagogical difficulty. Often the process means that it is the "parts" and not the "whole" that are highlighted. Such a system of analysis can be reductionist unless the course designers have the skill and expertise to assess training outcomes that strike the correct balance between the generic and the technical.

Our challenge is to take our delegates beyond competence to levels of expertise. This is best achieved by resisting prescriptive and doctrinaire approaches and instead encouraging delegates to view situations holistically rather than in terms of discrete aspects.

Training methodology is vital...

Our professional approach to training depends upon our people recognising and understanding the diversity of training methodology that can be adapted to the task in hand. If we are to deliver agreed training objectives we must exploit the appropriate training methodology and delivery.

Methodology is unlikely to be "chalk and talk" but will be dictated by a number of factors including the delivery strategy. We commonly exploit problem solving, discovery learning, structured discussion, role-play, and case study and experiential methods. Whatever is appropriate for the precise task in hand.

Training delivery can be face-to-face, open, and/or distance learning, including on-line video, or CD-ROM training.

To be honest we haven't tried "Tree hugging" yet!

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