Discerning learning

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  • As a senior partner, whose primary task was rainmaking and developing relationships, mostly with institututions, I was always keen to get good external counsel on how to do it better (not always easy to find) and felt it was important to try and measure its value as far as possible. Now that I give this kind of advice, it's equally clear that though it cannot be entirely scientific or objective, credible evaluation matters if support for training is to be maintained and precious budgets well spent
    Fact-based training, for example on the law, or financial management, is relatively easily assessed. The more tricky area is training based on achieving long-term behavioural change and improvement in performance, where the right approach, or mix of approaches may not be certain at the outset and where, as your contributors comment, there may be many other factors at play within the culture and working practices of the firm.
    No one disputes that the benefits of good training are profound, but in a profession whose culture is based on evidence and winning, they need also to be demonstrated, particularly when resources are as scarece as they are at present.

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