Learning on the go: a collaborative approach

There are many examples that I could put forward relating to my title ‘learning on the go’ – such as the time I was ruthlessly knocked off my bike by a BMW. I won’t bore you with the details as most people who know me will have switched off by now, thinking that I’m going to try and drum up sympathy votes. Suffice to say that what I have learnt from my accident is that if you are going to get run over then it’s best done at the start of the week in the morning (as opposed to Friday evening), but more importantly I’ve learnt that you should always wear a helmet and never second guess what other people are thinking.

On a more topical subject my title clearly relates to my role at Saffron, and after more than 15 months at Saffron I’m still learning from my colleagues. It never fails to (pleasantly) surprise me how knowledgeable my fellow colleagues are in this industry, from those with just a couple of months’ experience to those who have worked in the industry for years. One of my colleagues and I presented at the last e-Learning Network event (Creating effective and engaging content), and together we wrote a presentation that I was proud to present next to her. If I was to do the presentation on my own then I would have missed out important elements that can only come from reaching out for someone else’s experience and knowledge. As an individual trying to make a mark on the company it’s often hard to ask people for help but what I’m constantly learning is that adopting a collaborative approach is the best way forward, especially when working in a fast paced environment in such turbulent times. Allowing yourself to learn from others is important for the success of a company as well as personal development. We all have a range of different skills, and a new perspective or a fresh pair of eyes can without a doubt turn a proposal into a winning proposal and an e-learning module into a great e-learning module.

Tom Sant recently stated on his Messages that Matter blog that ‘people instinctively want to make the decision that gives them the best ROI for their effort’. This is clearly a double barrelled logic and can relate to the work we do internally as much as with clients. By working together internally to develop an outstanding piece of work, we are more likely to engage the client and develop a trusting and long standing relationship, thereby providing us with more work as well as energising the team and keeping them focused to carry on with the high level of work – it’s a win win situation all round.

Failing to work together and allow yourself to learn from others is like riding your bike with no helmet on – it might not get you very far very successfully.