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What Came First -- the Trainer or the Outcomes?
Monday, June 29, 2009

One of the things that was very surprising to me, being involved in training and capacity building, is the way organisations want to build the capacity of the trainers.

Organisations spend sometimes hundreds of thousands of Rands developing curricula and training material, and then try to cut corners and save costs by not spending equivalent amounts of money on building the capacity of the trainers. These organisations are then often surprised when the impact of the new curriculum is similar to that of the old curriculum.

It's sort of like a principal of the school investing in a whole library of new books, but not investing in the teachers at the school. While both the books and the teachers are important components of teaching children, I know I'd rather have my child taught by a good teacher with old books, than supervised by a mediocre teacher with access to the latest publications.

Training and capacity building within organisations faces exactly the same dilemma. New material has to be developed to communicate new facts and train new processes. But investing in your trainers is essential for them to effectively communicate these new facts.

So next time you're looking at developing new material or a new curriculum by all means spend your budget, but remember that without the trainer, the new material is going to remain that -- material.

If you're looking for someone to assist you in building the capacity of your own trainers, visit us at