Linking In with Matt

Matthew Richter posts daily comments in LinkedIn—well almost daily. You can follow him and join the conversation by going to For the benefit of our readers, we decided to compile and reprint some of his provocative pieces from the past. Let us know what you think.

Let Them Talk

Cliches: Those who talk the most, learn the most. Those who do the most, learn the most. Whenever I see a trainer lecturing, I know the trainer is a great expert on the topic-- unfortunately, the participants won't be, as well. Yes... I am preaching to the choir. But, I think it is a good reminder that the more we get participants to actively participate in their learning process, the more they will retain and connect what they learn back to their real lives. Short lectures are ok if immediately followed with activity. Otherwise, use other types of activities to disseminate the information traditionally conveyed via lecture.

How Much?

Is good training delivery worth $5000/day (excluding indirect costs)? Is it worth $50/day? Is it worth $5MM/ day? The answer is maybe. The skill development should directly relate to a business challenge. By applying the new skill more effectively, the business challenge should be met. If solving the challenge is worth $50, then training is worth $50 or less. If it is worth $5000, training is worth $5000. This is overly simplistic, but a good starting place when thinking whether one should pay more or less. Other factors include the efficacy and efficiency of the training. And, of course, the indirect costs. Always think about the problem that gets solved and the value of solving it.

A Playful Approach

In The Thiagi Group we like to say, "We take playfulness seriously and seriousness playfully." I recently said we weren't as important as doctors, but we add value to the universe as educators. And yet, we still take ourselves too seriously. As a profession, we should value accuracy, academic rigor, critical thinking, and strong designs that are flexible and meet client outcomes. And, we should do so with irreverence, humor, and a joie de vivre. Unless we are, for example, training medical professionals in secluded parts of the world how to provide vaccinations, we are most likely not saving lives. I think the more playfully we take ourselves, the more seriously our clients will take us.