Friday, 17 June 2011

Find 15

During my session at the LSG Conference on Tuesday this week (14/6/11), I talked briefly about the Find 15 campaigns that I've run successfully with many of my clients.  As lots of people asked for more information on how Find 15 works I hope this answers some of the questions:

The proposition for Find 15 is that if staff argue that they don't have the time to take advantage of the learning opportunities that are available to them, challenge them to find 15 minutes each day to devote to their own learning.  If they want skills development; that promotion; a bigger bonus; to keep their job (if under redundancy threat) [insert your own reasons here] ask them what they are actively doing to acheive that particular goal?

You see, fifteen minutes is not long.  You can lose 15 minutes by engaging in corridor or kitchen (drink making) conversations in the office.  But in 15 minutes of concentrated focus, they could - watch a video; listen to a podcast; read something; write something; reflect on an event; contribute to a forum; take a short e-learning module etc.  And, if they get into the habit of doing it every day that becomes 75 minutes a week of personal development.  Of course if you are the L&D person anything you can do to make short learning opportunites available will help tremendously.

To make this work, engage with the line managers and ask them if they would really notice if 15 minutes was deducted from the working day?  In many cases they wouldn't.  So when you point out that the personal development gained will hopefully benefit them, their team, their business, it's difficult for them to refuse to give it a go.  If you work with them to help them direct their staff to use the 15 minutes wisely - all the better.

In some organisations, I've asked staff to track their Find 15 each week and keep a log of what they used the time for and later to reflect on what the impact was from each 15 minute investment. 

In a couple of my clients it has become so much part of their culture that even on formal training courses Find 15 is a part of the formal learning day as the formal delivery stops so that staff can do their Find 15 even though they are in a formal learning setting.

Since instigating Find 15 for the first time (7 years ago) it's now a practice that is part of my life and as natural to me as brushing my teeth in the morning.  It's truly amazing what you can learn with a regular short investment in your own skills.

In large corporates I've run Find 15 marketing campaigns to raise awareness of the idea and encourage staff (and their line managers) to participate.  However, one of the best ways of getting this adopted is just to simply talk about it. 

Find 15 - It's simple to do, it's not time or cost hungry and it's personal.  If staff/line managers want development but don't want the cost/time of a formal course, try Find 15 - they just might discover for themselves the benefits of informal learning.

Why not try it yourself for a week?  Afterall, when did you last really put time aside to invest in YOU?

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