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Presented at the Ministry of Water and Electricity Riyadh on 24th February 2010 by Professor Omar Hasan Kasule MB ChB (MUK), MPH (Harvard), DrPH (Harvard)

There is an intellectual crisis underlying frustrations in management in Muslim countries despite exposure to advanced and efficient European and American management systems. The intellectual crisis among the Muslim intelligentsia arises from the duality or dichotomy in their education. There is a dichotomy in the education system: traditional vs. European. There are competing and contradictory world-views. European management theory and practice conform to the European world view but are not 100% congruent with the world view of the non-Europeans. This incoherence explains why the best European management techniques transplanted to the third world do not produce the same results as in Europe. Overcoming this problem will require an epistemological reform in which selected modern management theories and techniques will have to be expressed within the world view of the non-European managers. Japan, Korea, and China have demonstrated success based on integrating their local values and historical experience in systems imported from Europe.

The performance gap potential and actual performance due deficiency of practical leadership and management skills can be covered by on the job training. Training is an investment in people, the most valuable organizational resource, and has a very high future pay-off in terms of better performance, productivity, and growth. Rapid advances in technology make skills obsolete and necessitate continuous retraining to maintain effectiveness. Training is needed for all skills. The mission of STP is to close the performance gap.  The philosophy of STP is training trainers, teaching practical skills, and repetitive continuous training to ensure continuing improvement in performance.

STP teaches managements skills based on empirical experience. The skills are taught in an integrated way following the tauhidi paradigm. An interactive approach allows active participation of trainees in the training process. Training aids enhance the quality of training but cannot be a substitute for good planning and presentation of the training material. Reading material in the form of textbooks and selected articles is given to the participants. Exercises that test comprehension or that give the participant an opportunity to internalize the concepts taught are used. Case-studies from Muslim history and contemporary experience are used to discuss and internalize the leadership and management skills presented.

STP starts with training needs and training objectives. Design of STP covers the trainer, the trainees, the course material, lesson plans, methods of training, delivery of training (skills & techniques), questions, and discussions. Matching trainers to trainees ensures successful interaction. Trainers must understand the trainees. A prepared and written lesson plan must be followed but flexibility is required when the actual circumstances are different from the anticipation. The pace should be appropriate for the trainees. The following methods of training are: one-to-one, mentoring, lectures, discussion groups, panel discussion, debates, dialog, brain storming, demonstration, in-basket exercises, case studies, role playing, simulation, assignment of projects, entertainment/games, self-directed learning, personal development plan, interactive video, computer-based/progammed learning, and multimedia. Training opportunities/occasions are workshops, conferences, seminars, and camps. A presentation consists of 3 main parts: introduction, body, and conclusion. Questions and discussions serve the purposes of clarification and feed-back. A-V aids help understanding and retention while maintaining trainee interest. The trainer should be speaking and interacting with the trainees for about 75% of the time. A-Vs are brought in at specific times to illustrate a point. It is a mistake to base the whole presentation on a set of A-Vs so that the trainer becomes a robot.
Training needs must be assessed, prioritized, and ranked. The target group is determined. Participants are then using the criteria of leadership potential, teachability, teaching ability, and diffussion of ideas.  The training plan document consists of trainee profiles, objectives of the training, contents of the training program, the training method, the trainers, the site of training, the budget, program execution, and program evaluation. A check is made on the physical facilities before implementation: space, lighting, access to board, access to PA equipment, and comfortable seating.

The evaluation of short and long term impacts of STP must be planned at the same time as the training program. Both process and outcome evaluation (behavioral change and impact on work performance) are carried out. The purposes of evaluation are identifying weaknesses for better future planning, reassuring and motivating workers, reassuring supporters and stake-holders, assessing the impact of training on organizational performance, and assessing the impact of training on individual performance. Evaluation is undertaken by the trainer, the trainees, or outside experts. The following are evaluated: training session, speaker, trainees, program, and training material. The evaluation criteria must be realistic, relevant, and quantifiable. The evaluation can be immediate, intermediate or long-term. Data for evaluation can be collected by questionnaire, observation, interviews, surveys, etc. The evaluation reports should consist of the following sections: background, research questions, methodology, findings, conclusions / recommendations, and attachments


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