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Learning Transfer at Work - win a copy

Learning Transfer at Work - win a copy

Today is a big day!

My new book 'Learning Transfer at Work: How to Ensure Training >> Performance' has arrived from the printers and will shortly be available on Amazon.

It's been a long journey and I'm grateful for the many contributions that have added a richness of thought I could never have achieved on my own...

To celebrate, I'm giving away a few copies :-)

All you have to do is join the dicussion here by commenting on this page with your thoughts and questions on Learning Transfer. What does it mean to you? What questions do you have? How do you make a positive difference to employee's skills and an organisation's capability as Robin said?

To get you thinking on the topic, take a look inside the book at the first few pages to get an idea of what Learning Transfer is all about.

Then join the discussion by commenging on this page. Let's get talking!

I look forward to reading your thoughts and picking a few winners.

Best wishes,


E-mail me when people leave their comments –

Paul Matthews, Learning and Performance Expert, makes ideas come alive with stories, practical tools and tips his audience can implement straight away, so they get better results for themselves and their organisations. He is an expert in informal learning, enabling capability, performance consultancy, learning transfer, workflow learning and how L&amp;D can be effective in these changing times. This has led to two bestselling books and speaking appearances worldwide. His third book, Learning Transfer at Work is due to be published in the autumn 2018.

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  • Hi Paul

    I not only deliver CIPD L&D programmes, I also carry out Leadership development and assessment of Investors in People, amongst other things, and I find that learning transfer is really not considered sufficiently in the workplace!  You wonder why someone would invest time, finance and effort in development without a) being sure it was appropriate to the individual/group/business needs and b) finding out whether Job Behaviour is changing as a result of learning transfer.  I look forward to reading your book and to recommending it to my clients!


    • Hi Anne,

      I have been equally dumbfounded by the lack of thought about content relevance and learning transfer. When you stand back and look at that behaviour it seems crazy!

      Cheers, Paul


  • Quite often I see the biggest challenge as structure. So many times staff attend a learning event and expect to learn everything they need during that hour/day/week. Structured follow up needs to be in place after the training - activity/reflection/follow up discussions - to ensure the learning really does hit home and that it affects that person’s performance moving forward. 

    • Hi Janet,

      You are quite right about the structure, and also right about setting the correct expectations for both the delegates and the people they report to. I usually suggest that people talk about a program rather than an event. In other words, talk about a three-day programme, one day of which happens to be in the classroom, and the other two days are spread over a period of three months. Help people understand that there is three days work to do in order to get the results from the programme.

      Cheers, Paul

  • It's an interesting one, isn't it Paul?

    My biggest challenges with learning transfer are:

    'All the gear, no idea'  - Knowing the importance of learning transfer and the potential impact it can have, but struggling to put this into practice with business leaders and stakeholders. I often feel disappointe walking out of meetings or scoping realising I didn't get what I was looking for in terms of a committment or measures for learning transfer.

    'Getting others to buy in' - Like I said know the impact and importance of Learning Transfer, and feel that I'm struggling to articulate this to those who need the support in the business. As a result I find myself frustratingly going ahead with ideas and projects even though I haven't got the important transfer framework or measures in place.

    When you're trying to get your L&D career off to a fliying start I often feel that this area escapes me, despite it being critical!

    Good luck with the new book Paul!

    • Hi Jack,

      One of the outcomes I had for my book, which hopefully I have achieved in some small part, is to set up some ideas and arguments that L&D people can use with senior people in the business to make the case for learning transfer more persuasively. At a practical level, you can do quite a lot as a course designer and facilitator, but so much of learning transfer also relies on the prevailing culture, and this requires input from a wider range of people and a more strategic approach than the trainers themselves can manage on their own.

      To some extent, we have made this rod for our own back in L&D. We have long stated that we can train people to deal with performance problems, but even if training is part of a potential solution, it can never be the only part. Now, people will give a team to L&D for training and expect them to come back to their desk fully operational with their new skills and knowledge. This is a very seductive concept for people in the business, and telling them that the world doesn't really work this way is not so easy, especially when the result of that conversation is the realisation that so much of learning transfer happens after the training on the job, and could be considered to be the business's responsibility rather than that of L&D. The business doesn't want to hear that, they want to know that you have the necessary magic, the necessary pixie dust to sprinkle on the delegates.

      By the way, does anybody know where I can find a pixie dust dealer who still has some in stock?

      Cheers, Paul



  • A great concept. I work in Education and it sounds crazy really, in that our job is all about learning, but the learning transfer between staff is rather an ‘alien concept’, that, if implemented effectively could be invaluable in organisation development and efficiency. I’d find such a book a refreshing read!

    • Hi Lynn,

      I have come across quite a lot of discussion about the differences between learning and an educational context and learning and organisational context. And in fact, in education, they tend to use the term learning transfer to mean the transfer of learning between teacher and student, and therefore knowledge acquisition by the student. Whereas in an organisational context learning transfer is extended to also mean the application of that learning so that it helps with the execution of the organisational strategy.

      I have also come across situations which you allude to in your post where an organisation considers itself to be a learning organisation because it is in the educational sector, and yet learning and subsequent application of that learning by the staff is not well understood.

      Cheers, Paul

  • Had a winner this year for the first time in my career 


    https://www.pharmacy.biz/Awards/finalists.php ;

    (Ashley Matthews) 

    without ever really getting to grips with L&D, enjoying reading peoples posts about how they transfer learning into action. As an employer who provides NHS services with little funding I always have to find ways to get the staff to the best they can be - I was milking the pharmacy show drug reps the other day.. small steps!


    My biggest issue is once staff are trained, they hit a brick a wall in terms of progression without a degree. We have created other roles such as ashleys (services lead, buying lead) to strengthen their knowledge and developement - any more ideas on here from anyone in a similar position? 



    • Hi Lisa,

      Well done on your winner!

      Sorry to hear about the brick wall. Having a degree certainly proves something, but whether that something is essential for someone to progress into more senior job roles is questionable in my opinion. It seems a somewhat arbitrary way to filter for potential leaders. It would be interesting to understand who put this filter in place and why. It may simply be that all current senior people have a degree, therefore a degree is considered an essential ingredient for seniority without any proof that this is indeed the case. In other words, hire/promote people just like us.

      Cheers, Paul

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