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Jamie's School Dinners Series.

Jamie's School Dinners Series, Video, 2005, AIM Learning Group, Inc., $870-$1495.

Support: leader guide, participant workbook, customizable worksheets.

You could re-title this program, The Naked Chef Meets the Institutional Meal. In it, a kinetic celebrity chef from the U.K., Jamie Oliver (author of The Naked Chef cookbooks and host of TV cooking shows), sets out to change the dreadful quality of school meals in a London school. After succeeding there, he takes on the entire metropolitan system and its preference for processed over fresh food.

What does this have to do with corporate learning? Although Oliver never graduated from secondary school, he's an accomplished serial entrepreneur and change agent. His intuition and energy plus an overlay of current thinking on change are on display in the Video Arts DVD program, Jamie's School Dinners: Managing and Living with Change.

Principles of change

It provides a roadmap that expertly details the principles applying to the two sides of change: the people who drive it (change agents) and the people who must adapt to it. The DVD documents the process Oliver followed to improve the quality of school meals at one London school, then in the entire system. Oliver's experience is the foundation for the training sessions.

The training sessions built around Part I emphasize that to institute change, four essential principles must be present: passion, people, planning, and perseverance. Part II describes the process employees go through when they are subjected to major change.

This process is alliterative too, but with four r's rather than p's, beginning with "Reject it" and ending (in theory, at least) with "Resolve it," the stage where individuals embrace the new opportunities that change affords.

All programs on the change management process assume that the change is reasonable and well designed. Realistically, this is a large assumption because many change efforts are neither. In those cases, "Reject it" can be a reasonable response to the proposed change. In training, the facilitator should acknowledge that the best change management skills cannot compensate for ill-conceived initiatives.

Full support

The accompanying support materials contain several fully developed program outlines, which are supported by visual aids. The diversity of program outlines makes it easy to tailor training sessions according to the skill level of the intended audience.

Jamie's School Dinners provides real value both in content and ease of use-a combination not always found in DVD training resources. The video is well made and easy to watch. The English is easy for an American audience to follow, but the setting (schools) and the location (the U.K.) might not seem relevant to some audiences.

Recommendation

If you are responsible for managing change or training people on it, Jamie's School Dinners is well worth considering as a way to increase the skills of people responsible for implementing change.

Review by Ursula C. Mannix
Product Ratings

Jamie's School Dinners Series

Acting/presenting *** 1/2
Diversity *** 1/2
Production quality *** 1/2
Value of Content *** 1/2
Instructional Value *** 1/2
Value for the money *** 1/2
Overall rating *** 1/2
COPYRIGHT 2006 TMR Publications
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Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Author:Mannix, Ursula C.
Publication:Training Media Review
Article Type:Video recording review
Date:May 1, 2006
Words:509
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