Our New Learning Journey
The field of organisational learning is unique in the sense that it is very unlikely we will ever reach an endpoint or a halt in development and rethinking. Rather, it is a fluid concept continuously reshaping and moulding to suit individuals as well as groups of learners. The scope for change and development through organisational learning is never-ending, as long as it remains impactful, engaging and continues to add value to an organisation. Here at Roffey Park Institute, we have dedicated the last 75 years to be at the forefront of dialogic and group learning approaches. Knowing full well the need to innovate and develop in the forever changing world of work around us, we have developed a new learning journey dedicated to our participants having a real and sustained impact on their organisations.
The Four Stages of the Journey
Our new learning journey is made up of four distinct stages, some of which run simultaneously, but all of equal importance:
Engage – Deliver impact and realise potential by engaging your stakeholders
The first stage is ‘Engage’ and this phase begins with the learner understanding what areas they need to focus on in terms of their own behaviour and thinking along with what changes are necessary. We ask learners to engage with the stakeholders around them to deepen their ideas for their development. These stakeholders will work with the learner across the programme as supporters and champions of their development. We have created an Engagement Plan Tool that forms part of their pre-programme work and we will help them to continue to refine it in every phase of their journey.
Our Engagement Plan works in three ways:
- Helps learners to ask others about the strengths, gaps, and the impact they could be having in their role. This enables learners to prioritise what behaviours to focus on throughout the programme.
- Provides a mechanism for them to share their experiences and enables stakeholders to provide support and encouragement.
- Provides a framework to gather feedback on their learning application, providing them with meaningful data on their organisational impact.
Learners will learn through experiential exercises. These are designed to optimise deep learning, maximise communication, challenge thinking and behaviour and create space for reflection and refining of the Engagement Plan.
Workplace Practice Development – Realise difference in your behaviours and contribution to your organisation as you apply your learning
The next stage is where learners go back to work and practise new behaviours. Change is not always easy, or smooth, so the value of having engaged stakeholders means learners have somebody to talk to in terms of their practice and development. Behaviour change takes time, practice and feedback which is why we give learners a one or two-month window before the start of the next phase.
Connect and Reflect – Reconnect and reflect to evolve your development and refine the next phase of your journey
Learners are invited to reconnect back with Roffey Park Institute and their programme peers. Learners will discuss their development journey, their behaviour change and the types of blocks or barriers they have come up against. We know working with peers is a very powerful way of enhancing and embedding learning and so we designed peer interaction to enable learners to acquire fresh perspectives, meaningful reflection and support to refocus. Learners will progress into the next phase with forward focus outlooks, new insights, and new energy. The connect and reflect phase ends with the refinement of their Engagement Plan for the final phase of the journey, back in the workplace where learning and new behaviours are applied.
Change and grow – Create sustainable change in your organisation by applying new behaviours and thinking
The final phase is all about embedding their learning into their context, to create the sustainable behavioural change needed to have maximum impact on the people around them. Roffey Park Institutes stays on that journey with learners as we work with stakeholders for one month, three months, and six months after the programme officially ends. The trickiest part of behaviour change is when the support of a programme is taken away and so we stay there with learners through that journey.
How does this approach benefit you and your organisation?
This is an active, engaging learning journey. Beginning the journey with a deep understanding of how they can optimise the value they can bring to their organisation is important. Through our programmes, learners extend their network which, in this ever-increasing global world, reaps reward for managers and leaders, understand the power of building relationships within and across organisations, and understand the power of meaningful conversations in yielding business results day-to-day.
How does this connect to the world of work?
The world of work has changed. We are seeing changes in terms of value, what people value in the workplace and from their peers as well. For learners coming on these programmes, it is about helping them to think about and work through change and disruption. The programme is helping to create a readiness for the next step that learners have to take or the next challenge that they face. It just so happens that the pandemic was extensive, but change and disruption are constant in organisations, so this is why this journey is very timely in terms of its approach. Environment, sustainability and governance will be a factor that will drive a lot of decisions in organisations and this will require people to think and act in different ways.
We know that people can support others through their development and we know that practising feedback and reflection means that these activities are going to lead to much better and much deeper behaviour change and sustained behaviour change. The best way to do this is through practice.