A frequently overlooked factor is management's involvement in the training process... [R]esponsibility for improving transfer of training must be shared by managers and trainees, as well as trainers.Newstrom's research at the University of Minnesota clearly identified the manager as the most important force both before and after training to reinforce concepts and skills. As Sharon [AchieveGlobal CEO Sharon Daniels] said in her Selling Power interview, “Play chess with your people, not checkers.” To leverage the unique strengths of their people, managers will always need to coach employees as they learn and apply new skills. So, does training rely too much on coaching by managers? I think not. CRAIG: That all makes sense to me, on paper. Unless organizations start making a big effort to support regular coaching – highly unlikely in the current economic climate – we can expect coaching to remain low-priority. What’s needed is a much easier kind of change. Not of the whole organization, but of training. The pieces and also the desire for this change are already in place. We need to make much better use of the available technologies. We need to leverage the intense social needs of younger workers – witness Facebook and MySpace among Millennials, even Linkedin among older workers. Of course people want to learn, but they want to learn in new ways. You might call it the Google-ization of corporate training: find what you need, now, use it immediately to solve a problem, and move on. These big societal and technological trends will drive training in the 21st century, with intense, continuing interaction among learners. According to AT&T, my 18-year-old sent or received 1100 text messages last month. I’m not saying that constitutes peer coaching – who knows what the heck he was talking about – but it points the direction that training needs to follow. We need to leverage all these forces, all these available technologies; we need to abandon outdated forms of training that rely on big events and follow-on coaching by managers; and, I believe, we need to stop shaming managers by lecturing them on their failure to do what their own managers don’t often do – and frankly don’t often require.