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If You Want The Best It Manager, Should You Ensure They Know Latin?

For centuries, it was the core of education: learning Latin expanded the mind and prepared a person for the capacity to learn anything. Therefore, should Latin be a core subject for the educated person?

This “transfer of learning” concept was discredited by extensive cognition research which by the 1980s had established 3 understandings:

  1. By studying Latin, a student learns Latin.
  2. There is a potential transfer of learning that occurs from learning Latin but the magnitude of this transfer is in direct relationship to the proximity of the other subject to Latin:  i.e. Latin has something to offer in the learning of French and Italian but nothing to the study of Mandarin. 
  3. Generalised transfer effects from learning Latin to learning other things are poor to non-existent.

So Why Are We Talking About Latin? Well, The “Latin Principle” Is Alive And Well Today In Management Training.

All sorts of ‘snake oil’ is sold in the management development world…And that’s about all it is very often… hot air, without real substance.

The idea that generalised programs full of excitement and good sounding goals are going to revolutionise management teams or business productivity, etc., is about as useful as saying “teach them Latin and it will all fall into place”. Yes, exciting experiential programs can have significant positive results, but if you are seeking maximal effects – then put some good thought into what you need and want. Establish a good liaison with a professionally competent team building provider and watch the results go up from good to great!

In general, well-planned and well-conducted experience-based programs are good motivational tools and can provide excellent rewards and bonding experiences. Hence, they can be a legitimate part of the armoury of management programs. 

A few people holding a long wood stick with their point fingers.
Unique Team Building designs various kinds of experience-based activities for businesses.
Experience Based Programs – Transfer: Team Building, Latin. Credit: Unique Team Building

But there is more! If what is needed is some particular new or enhanced learning about management or changes in management behaviour, then a more sophisticated approach is needed.

The processes, practices, and exercises of the program need to be as closely aligned to the outcome behaviours required by the client organisation as possible.

Easily said…not so easily done! The first step is actually identifying what changes are needed. Just answer this question: what is it that your organisation is looking for to grow or improve? Sometimes it is hard to identify this, as it’s often hard to see the shape of the forest when standing in the middle of the trees.

A good independent management consultant, given sound information and a bit of time, can often be very useful at this point. Once the goals are identified, a suitable and appropriate program can work wonders. But the wonders are greater if the program is based on the insights gained during the process of identifying the desired goals.

So the bottom line is…if you want to get a real positive transfer of learning from a management program back into the home company/organisation environment and have the results last for a suitable period of time, then the program needs to be built accordingly.

This means:  

  • Good consultation between the client organisation and the management development provider. 
  • A program provider who has the experience, knowledge, skills, and understanding of the research to get the job done well.
  • A good understanding and plan of action to maximise transfer, and 
  • The ability and resources are available to the provider and client to bring the program to fruition as planned.  
Two pair of hands of people having a consultation.
Deep and thorough planning makes your management program more effective.
Consultation – Transfer:Team Building, Latin. Credit: Aymanejed

Simple eh!

But it’s clear…one size doesn’t fit all! A program that delivers fun… delivers fun! Latin facilitates the learning of Latin!  

If you want :

  • Fundamental change;  
  • A program designed to facilitate that change; 
  • To achieve those changes;  
  • Those changes to transfer back to the workplace; 
  • To have a lasting effect

Then seek out a professional unique program provider to get those optimum results. 

Start with the question: If we engage in a management program and get good results and responses, do we want those changes and the things learnt to come back home and have an effect in the workplace…and last?

If the answer to that question is yes, then here’s the 


If you want to get the maximum results from an experience-based management program then…

1) Work out what you want, 

2) Get a professional provider, 

3) Consult well with that provider, 

4) Get on with it… 

and enjoy the results that transfer back to the workplace.

Email us or call 07 3186 1026.

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