Thursday, February 25, 2021

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Jim Kirkpatrick's Postings

 

We were speechless as we read an article penned by Dr. Don Kirkpatrick in 1956 that neither of us had ever seen previously. The article, published in the Training Journal, now known as T+D Magazine, is one of the earliest writings we now know of by Don on the topic of training evaluation.

As we read, we wondered what other mysteries and surprises exist in the history of the evolution of the four levels.

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As an annual tradition, Jim Kirkpatrick shares a special Thanksgiving message each year. Enjoy this heartfelt holiday note worth sharing.

Here in the U.S., the fourth Thursday of every November is, of course, Thanksgiving. This year, it falls on November 23. Many view this holiday as a day to pause, count our many blessings and express thanks for what each of us has, often celebrating by gathering with friends and family to enjoy a big meal.

In counting my blessings, I am particularly thankful for my fishing buddies, our many freedoms, my health, a company that seems to be doing a lot of good for a lot of people, and for people like you who believe in what we stand for.

This year is a bit different from past years, though.

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Many training professionals struggle to gain program sponsor and/or line manager buy-in for new programs. One of the questions Jim and Wendy Kirkpatrick repeatedly hear is, "How do you get manager involvement in your training initiatives?"

It is common knowledge that the more touchpoints a salesperson has with a potential client or customer, the more likely that customer is to buy. The same principle is true here.

We have identified four opportunities along with the life of a major initiative to partner with program sponsors and/or line managers to maximize results. Each of the four parts of this new quick tip series on maximizing manager involvement will cover one of these four opportunities.

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Written on December 22

Merriest of Greetings to You,

I just got off the phone with a customer, and we both took turns answering the question, "Are you ready for the holidays?" I am sorry to report that both of us said, "No. Still too much work to do."

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Our Day of ThanksgivingOur Thanksgiving in the United States falls on Thursday, November 24 this year. This also would have been my mother's 90th birthday. A double celebration? It depends on how I choose to look at it. One way would be to say that because she didn't live to see this birthday, it is a sad day. Another way would be for me to think, "She lived a full and rich 87 years, and I am thankful that she did not suffer in death." I choose the latter; thus, it is a double celebration for me.

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Wendy and I are back in the office after an exciting time in Denver for the annual ATD International Conference and Expo. This was my 15th year attending and presenting. During my few minutes of reflection on the 3 days we spent in Denver, I am reminded that each of those years had its own unique flavor. 2016 was my second favorite behind 2011, which featured my dad's farewell to friends at ATD and the L&D world.

What made this one special was the soft launch of our new book, Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Training Evaluation. The book was only made available to conference attendees, and will not be offered to the general public until October 2016. From my vantage point, it was not a soft launch at all. First, the sales of our book may have set a conference record, selling more copies than those of keynote presenters. Second, the foreign rights manager is working towards having the book translated into eight languages by the end of the year. No other Kirkpatrick book has been available in so many different languages.


For those of you who really know Kirkpatrick, you know that numbers are only part of a story. What encourages us the most was the collective passion of the book contributors. They shared their own stories of success during concurrent sessions and at an evening reception.



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May 9, 2016 will mark two years since Don's passing. It is still hard.

It is also good. I still hear his words of guidance and encouragement when I re-read articles he wrote or view videos of him teaching. I am still reminded of who he was when I look at his picture in my office, or put his final birthday card to me on our mantle, or when I fish in a trout stream in his beloved Wisconsin. 


Those are my private memories, but I do have something that might interest you, something that he intended to be for you.

In his final days, I sat with him with a pen and paper and asked him what he wanted to say to you -- his precious, final words about his four levels. Wendy and I took his words and included them as part of the foreword of our new book, Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Training Evaluation, published by ATD Press. Here is an excerpt:

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Kirkpatrick Levels 3 and 4 have intimidated training professionals for decades. Some think they have cracked the code with a highly standardized 90-day post-training survey, but this is not adequate and could even be counterproductive. Others think that 360-degree surveys are the key, but this is not a complete solution either. 

The time for being intimidated is over. Getting to Kirkpatrick Levels 3 and 4 is not as difficult, time-consuming or expensive as many believe. Our first tip to conquer this challenge is to remember that the end is the beginning. 

 

 

 

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