PATHWAYS — Volume 9, Number 1 – February 1997


When was the last time you were asked to put together a training or planning session with little lead-time? For some, who make their living conducting such sessions, that doesn’t pose a problem. But, for the rest of us it means researching the topic, perhaps going to a bookstore or library, then struggling to quickly create the materials needed to support the session.

Now a source of help is available. ASTD and McGraw-Hill have published a series of resource books designed to help you respond to such quick-response situations. The ASTD Trainer’s Sourcebook series addresses topics such as:

  • Creativity
  • Coaching
  • Customer Service
  • Facilitation
  • Diversity
  • Leadership
  • Project Management
  • Quality
  • Team-Building
  • Sales
  • Strategic Planning
  • Supervision

    The series provides the contemporary, up-to-date ideas and content required to deliver such sessions, designed and packaged in a standard format. This frees the presenter to concentrate on preparation and presentation tasks. Each sourcebook delivers fully reproducible and customizable session materials. Each includes presenter notes for sessions of varying lengths, plus overheads, participant handouts, suggested participant activities, assessment tools, and even detailed guidelines for setting up the sessions.

    In this issue of Pathways, Dr. Judy Kayhani, an FLI affiliate, takes a look at three books in the series: two that were developed by FLI affiliates, and one that I developed. I hope this information will help you quickly prepare and conduct a future session.

    John C. Wills





    At Issue:
    A Review of Selected Books from the ASTD Trainer’s Sourcebook Series

    If you are responsible for presenting or developing sessions in one of the topics listed in the" Focus" section, this series of sourcebooks can save you significant time and effort. They contain all the materials you need to present one-hour, half-day, and one-day sessions. You can reproduce the materials and prepare yourself to present them in a fraction of the time and cost required to develop your own programs.

    Each of the sourcebooks is organized in a similar fashion. Once you have gone through one, you will know how to navigate through all the others in the series.

    Typical Chapter Titles

    Typical Content

    Introduction; Background; Planning the Workshop; Workshop Preparation

    • Introduces sessions/topics. Explains how to use and customize the materials.

    Getting Things Ready; Workshop Preparation

    • Offers detailed administrative checklists help ensure workshops will run smoothly.

    One-Hour Briefing, Half-Day Seminar, One-Day Workshop

    • Presents detailed "Training Plans" (a.k.a. leader guides).

    Learning Activities; Planning Activities

    • Provides materials for student/participant activities that hone skills or knowledge presented during the sessions.

    Participant Handouts; Overheads; Prepared Flipcharts

    • Includes masters of all workshop materials in an easy-to-reproduce 8.5 x 11 format.

    Assessments; Instruments and Assessments

    • Contains instruments and trainer notes to use for pre-work, follow-up, or 360-degree feedback.

    Appendix; Glossary

    • Lists recommended resources; glossary.


    • Contains a detailed content index with page references.

    In this issue of Pathways, we review three of the sourcebooks: Sales, Leadership, and Strategic Planning.


    Sales -- The ASTD Trainer’s Sourcebook by Herbert R. Miller

    When asked what qualified him to write the Sales Sourcebook, Herb replied that he guessed it was his more than twenty years of experience developing successful sales training programs for companies around the world. The sales approach and sales/communication skills presented in the Sales Sourcebook evolved from his experience developing successful programs for companies like Eastman Kodak, GTE Phone Mart, IBM, Olivetti, and Xerox.

    Plans for sessions of three different lengths are provided:

    Herb noted that novelty is not the key benefit of this sourcebook; rather it is the wealth of field-tested material. As in every sales program he has designed, this sourcebook is based on a logical sales process. The process is presented and supported by discussions, activities, role plays, and assessments.

    Here are some of Herb’s ideas and suggestions:


    Leadership -- The ASTD Trainer’s Sourcebook by Anne Coyle

    Although Anne’s topic is somewhat more abstract than the others, it follows the same basic structure.

    Because Anne’s topic differs from most others in the series, she added a chapter on "Background." In this chapter Anne has synthesized the key contemporary leadership theories and constructs put forth by various authors. For a quick overview, Anne suggests the chart on page 13, which compares the distinctive leadership characteristics observed by the experts.

    Anne believes that one design element used in the Leadership Sourcebook is unique in the series. She refers you to the Subject/Matrix chart on pages 5 and 6. If you are planning on customizing portions of this workshop, this chart will be useful even if you are not completely familiar with the entire sourcebook.

    Anne offers these additional comments:

    Anne has produced many leadership programs. She project-managed development of the Partnering for Performance series, which won the Best New Product Award in 1992 from Human Resources Development magazine. The module she designed in that series was entitled, "Achieving Results through Leadership." In 1994 she developed the Emerging Leaders program for the Daniels School of Business at the University of Denver. In 1996 Anne was ghostwriter for coach John Robinson’s book, Coach to Coach, published by Jossey Basf. It is part of Warren Bennis’ Leadership Series.


    Strategic Planning -- The ASTD Trainer’s Sourcebook by John Wills

    Again, plans for three sessions are presented:

    John points out one thing that makes this sourcebook unique. The workshop is really a planning session (focusing on the future needs of the organization), not a training session. This requires the workshop leader to behave as a facilitator, not a trainer.

    And, as John notes, this workshop forces disparate groups of people to develop a common organizational vocabulary, which improves communications¾ a great value add!

    Here are some of John’s suggestions for getting the most out of Strategic Planning:

    John’s qualifications for authoring this sourcebook are detailed in the back of the book. As president and CEO of FLI, Incorporated, he has helped large and small organizations all over the world develop and implement strategic plans. He is currently the Strategic Planning Committee chairperson for the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI).

    Concluding Comments

    The sourcebooks should be invaluable to those responsible for the development and delivery of sessions addressing the topics listed in the "Focus" section. They offer flexibility, ease of delivery and cost-effectiveness. The Sourcebooks retail for just $39.95 each, and are available at many major bookstores, through ASTD, from McGraw-Hill, and through the Internet at

    Finally, a couple of caveats:

    Judith S. Kayhani, Ph.D.


    "The ASTD Trainer’s Sourcebook Series offers flexibility, ease of delivery, and cost-effectiveness."




    ©Copyright 1996 FLI, Incorporated
    FLI, Incorporated authorizes you to copy documents published on the FLI, Incorporated World Wide Web site for use within your organization only. When you copy documents, in whole or in part, you agree that any copy you make (printed or electronic) shall contain an attribution of its source and retain all copyright and other proprietary notices contained therein. All other rights reserved.

    Volume 9, Number 1 - February 1997 | Volume 9, Number 2 - June 1997
    Volume 9, Number 3 - Sept 1997 | Volume 9, Number 4 - Oct 1997

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