It was beautiful Friday morning when Simon B* and I arrived at Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking to share our Learning to Thrive seminar with a group of our fellow Gatwick Diamond Business (gdb) members.
Simon and I have known each other for several years and have followed very different career paths. As well as trust and mutual respect, what unites us is our shared belief in the power of lifelong learning. Enabling personal and commercial success through learning really matters to us both.
Our aim for the gdb educational seminar was to help others re-think and re-energise their attitude and approach to learning. Why? Because staying relevant and creating value in a dynamic business landscape means individuals and organisations must continually adapt and evolve. Learning is at the heart of achieving success and maintaining momentum in this ever-changing environment.
When we came together to create the session, armed with plenty of A3 paper and coloured pens, we shared broad-ranging experiences, frustrations and successes. The more we discussed our varied insights certain themes began to appear. We found that, regardless of the setting or scenario, there were consistently four elements which, when combined, enabled people to thrive through learning.
How I / we roll: Learning is natural and we do it all the time. Recognising this encourages us to do more and inspire others to the same. Lifelong learning is the name of the game.
Whole human: We are all so much more than our job titles and areas of expertise. Taking a more holistic view of ourselves and others opens the door to untapped talent and capabilities.
Scaffolding: Accessible frameworks help support learning. Forget bureaucracy and keep it simple. Include milestones and measures to monitor progress.
Accountability: Although self-motivation is a powerful thing, adding in external accountability brings a different dimension. Trusted confidants can give that extra ingredient for continued success.
Simon and I both recognise that everyone is different and has varying aspirations when it comes to learning. So when we pondered on tips to share we were careful to take this into account. Here are 3 to help you get the ball rolling…
- Personal Pledge: Whatever you decide to do in relation to personal development and learning make sure you make a commitment to yourself that you are going to see it through. Be honest and purposeful about what you choose to do.
- Outside Input: Develop your own trusted external network based on mutual respect and complementary values. Their insight and input from a different perspective can help you maintain momentum and motivation.
- Personal Portfolio: Create and curate a story book of what you’ve achieved, what your aiming for, the progress your making. It can provide a rich, powerful reference and resource.
It was great meeting everyone at the seminar. Thank you to all who joined us. Thanks also to Sally and the gdb team for the opportunity. We had a blast!
Simon and I are now off to get on with our nautical and art-themed learning objectives. How about you?
*Simon Bland is Head of Economic Prosperity for Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, a community champion and a truly excellent fellow 🙂