Well another quiet Sunday morning – my best time to learn, reflect and share what I’ve been doing in the last week.
It’s been a while since my last blog post but that’s because my Onboarding & Role Based Learning program that I have been working on for new branch managers is being rolled out and implemented across the business – so it’s been a busy time.
In the last week, I conducted Webex sessions across Australia to all managers of branch managers to make them aware of this program and their roles and responsibilities in onboarding and training their new starters into the role.
Developed as a portal (using Sharepoint as the ‘one stop shop’ for all module activities, discussion forums, video podcasts of stories and other references), the program consists of weekly modules of blended learning activities (70-20-10) around key themes that new starters as well as an “assessment” (I have that word in inverted commas because they have to create a set of tools and interpret and analyse reports to create an action plan to close performance gaps in their people and branch).
The cost of developing this program was…zero.
Initially we sought vendor solutions for e-learning content development but I argued to the business that for what they wanted to achieve, the vendor solution as not the right solution fit for the purpose of closing performance gaps. I explained that we already had the tools in-house to create a blended learning program underpinned by the use of Yammer to build and create a peer network of branch managers who would support the new starters through their journey and beyond.
Of course, I will write up a full case study and blog post of this program one day soon but my focus now is influencing people to consider the use of social platforms such as Yammer in their programs. Although the concept of the blended learning approach (the “70-20-10” is part of our vernacular) is not new and understandable, I find the curiosity now comes from both business and learning teams on the use of Yammer within our programs and how building a social element pre-, during- and post- program are now considerations. But not just building these but also role modelling. Much of my time is spent coaching business managers on how to use Yammer and more importantly, why use it.
But one step at a time. My focus now is to ensure that I close off the final steps in this project and then hand it over to the business to own. My role then moves to ‘maintenance’ but I am also keenly aware of how this program is conducted so will be moving to the evaluation phase soon.
Last night, I read Luis Suarez blog post The Trials and Tribulations of an Independent Freelancer: The Path to Self Discovery and much of what he had written resonated with me. As many know, I’m down to 3 days per week at my current organisation until the contract ends on 30 June (of which I renegotiated from full-time to allow me to move into ‘freelance consulting’). Luckily the organisation I work for is quite progressive in workplace flexibility and supported me in my request. The other 2 days have been spent networking and meeting people from all around Australia and the world to prepare me for the life as a freelancer.
Although I don’t know what actual work will transpire down the track, I see the opportunities will be many and varied – and it’s a lot of fun meeting people and sharing their inspirations. I have a whiteboard that sits on my desk with all my To Do items and there’s a mix of various article and case study writing and ideas for my blog.
Also my Third Place group is slowly growing and I’ve been mulling over some ideas of re-invigorating the “Field Trip” idea to include short tours of knowledge sharing and workplace learning tours in some organisations. Some potential ideas would be to see some training in action with Navy recruits or the Bureau of Metereology Vlab of Excellence…but all just ideas floating in my head…
Through my days though, I do have my “moments of concern” as things to be “mindful” so as that my life remains balanced and fair when it comes to what I devote my time and focus on.
These “moments of concern” mainly relate to the following:
- How to explain my value to organisations in simple terms when they don’t “get” social
- The quandary over contracting vs consulting (as I can both DO the work or should I guide, coach others – I prefer the latter but is this dependent on the type of business?)
- People want services for free (bartering is now a potential new area here but does it pay the bills?)
- How to manage and maintain my reputation and my own work ethic when partnering with others whose work may reflect badly on me
Overall though, it’s a positive time and I’m looking forward to the next couple of months as I wrap up my current contract and look forward to the new opportunities in whatever format they’d be.
I was chuffed to see that the Centre of Management and Organisational Effectiveness rated my blog in the Top 50 Most Socially Shared Learning blogs. (It’s my old free WordPress site but nevertheless, I transferred all the content into this new one that you’re reading today – so it’s the same content). Big thank you to people who follow and read my rambles and share it to others. I hope that it provides some tips and ideas for you in your work. Thank you!