-part of the N4L Series; celebrating Learning at Work Week-
It’s my great pleasure to introduce Phil Edwards…
An engineer and designer, quiet, gets bored easily, likes a challenge, contrarian
What networked for learning means to me
To me, networking is the ‘exchange of ideas’ and comes from the people, places, social groups, and organisations that you interact with.
I’m not a ‘people person’ preferring my own company and doing things my way, so I don’t network to find people; I network for ideas, opinions, interesting concepts, and new approaches. Of course, people, and the inspiration they bring, are inextricably linked so I can’t live like a hermit, but it means I primarily network in other ways.
The internet and (some) social media are great networks because they extend your reach to people you never would normally meet. They open new ideas and perspectives and lead you to things you’d never discover otherwise (ask me about electric motorbikes sometime!).
Yes, you need to make sure you don’t restrict your networking to “people you like and people like you” (the echo chamber) thus missing the inspiration of different viewpoints.
I would also argue that reading; books, articles, blogs, is a valid form of networking; that is if networking means expanding your knowledge rather than your contact book.
My personal learning insights
Being accepted onto the SPARK ‘Social Enterprise Innovation Accelerator Programme’ (SEIAP) with the training, coaching, site visits, and advice sessions has helped me understand our target audience better (and be able to describe them in some detail). That new confidence feeds into in my approach to clients, partners, and collaborators and is being seen in the results coming back. It has taken me a long time to get right to the heart of what the business is about, and it’s so powerful once you do.
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