Transfer Effectiveness

people at right place Oct 29, 2020

Transfer effectiveness in times like these - a rough push into the development zone.

Almost none of everything that has made up our lives so far applies anymore. We too have been pushed out of our comfort zone, and we have used the innovative power that was freed up to completely rethink our leadership development programs for the current reality and how to design them digitally. Our focus was on our promise that applies more than ever:
We deliver IMPACT.

The Power of Old Habits

Many studies , but also our own observations in different organizations have shown the same picture for decades: Many participants come back to work enthusiastically from workshops and programs, but after a few days the flood of meetings, business trips, bureaucratic duties and pressure brings them back to their old habits.

Professor Robert Brinkerhoff is an internationally recognized expert in learning effectiveness and assessment of how training programs work. His findings have proven effective in dozens of organizations and have gained popularity worldwide. He gets to the point: On average, only two out of twelve participants can transfer what they have learned into everyday life. Out of the other ten there are eight who try to apply what they have learned and fail - and two don't try it at all.



Training as a Quick Solution

Transfer research looks back on more than 100 years of history. However, there is still a huge gap between science and business practice. Why is that? Dr. Ina Weinbauer-Heidel has been dealing with the topic of transfer effectiveness for years and has provided insights into the WHY in her book "What makes training really effective" and in her underlying dissertation. One of the main reasons is that "training" has become a habit and it has been perceived as a quick solution to almost every problem. For example: "Our sales figures are bad - ah, then we'll do sales training." It is fast, available everywhere and the participants are happy when the training is varied and fun. But is there effectiveness? This is rarely the case.

Make Room for New Perspectives and Behaviour

These classic habits no longer work in times of coronavirus and social distancing. We now have the opportunity to get out of old thinking and find out what is really effective. Transfer effectiveness is only given if we internalize the newly acquired knowledge and can immediately implement it in daily practice at the workplace (and yes, also in home-office times).

Here are the important steps for transfer-effective change:

  1. The Role of Participants: I want – I can – I will
    Yes, I want it. Yes, I can. Yes, I stay tuned and pull it through – no matter what.
  2. The Design of Programs: A good development program or training design is not shown by the applause at the end, but by the practicability of the newly acquired knowledge. Our programs are therefore based on the latest scientific knowledge. This means that every training session becomes relevant and strong in transfer if what you have learned can be used immediately to solve your own challenges.
  3. The Role of Organizations: The application of what has been learned solidifies and builds new habits and behaviour through the application possibilities and not just the participation in training. Therefore, make sure that there are sufficient application options, that support from the company is guaranteed, and that new behaviour is actually expected and demanded by the organization.

Aiming for Visible Effectiveness


Transfer effectiveness includes the ability, willing and permission level of people as well as the structures, processes and habits in organizations. We have been considering the role of participants and organizations, and using the levers for effective training, development and transformation in our programs for years. We involve different scientific disciplines in our work. Epigenetics, quantum physics, neurobiology, cognitive neuroscience and biochemistry provide us with scientific foundations that we apply to the validity of organizations and people.

Let me explain that with a story

One day I had severe pain in my left knee. After waiting a few weeks and hoping the problem would disappear by itself, I finally went to the doctor. After what felt like an eternity in the waiting room, I was finally able to enter the treatment room. While I was beginning to describe my pain, the doctor gave me a prescription that promised immediate healing. Impressive. He must have a lot of experience that after two sentences he could already see what the cause is and how it is treated. And that's exactly how it was. I immediately went to the pharmacy and got the pain reliever. Days and weeks passed, I was able to concentrate fully on my activities and completely forget my knee. At least until the painkillers stopped working and I had to increase the intervals and the dosage.

A good friend of mine could no longer bear to see me suffering and recommended a somewhat unconventional doctor who made a huge effort to have a holistic view at the whole problem. Already in the consulting room I was warmly welcomed and the doctor took the time to ask me for details about how the pain felt, whether I was standing or sitting, how many hours I spent in front of the screen, about my sports activities and whether I feel the pain when I am at rest or when I go to bed. Once he had collected all the relevant facts, he asked me to take an X-ray in order to get the full picture of my situation.

Two days later he called me for a medical report. He made it clear that because of the painkillers, I had ignored my senses and made the consequences worse. He prescribed 20 hours of physiotherapy, advised me to lose weight and strengthen my leg muscles. He also gave me an ointment for the acute pain. He repeated unequivocally: no more painkillers! These would have poisoned my entire system and the seemingly quick solution would have made long-term healing worse.

Long story short: We do not believe in short-term medication which temporarily removes the pain at first, but where the symptoms return worse than before in the long run. We do not want to just treat the symptoms. We aim at working on long-term solutions to make your organisation sustainably successful and to create healthy structures for your people. Above all, we are interested in visible effectiveness.

We, at PeopleAtRightPlace, have found that the acronym of our company “PARP” also stands for a family of proteins that are involved in important body processes such as cell recovery and DNA repair. We don't have to dwell too much on medical details - important to know about PARP is that these proteins repair all kinds of errors in the DNA structure of the human body.

Our approach is exactly the same: PeopleAtRightPlace's mission is to repair system errors in the DNA of organizations.

We deliver impact.


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