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The Learning Academy: invest in yourself and your people

Published on 27 April 2020

The Learning Academy: invest in yourself and your people

Our bite-sized learning modules, launched in Jan 2019, are now available on-demand, as well as in live online events. Based on the knowledge and experience built up over 20 years, this learning has been refreshed and updated. It’s also shaped into longer learning programmes, fit for the challenges of the coming decades.  

You can signup for series on a key topic (the ‘box set’). You can gain credits for Professional Accreditation. We run bespoke Learning Academies, tailored to the needs of specific teams. Moreover, all learning can now be accessed virtually, not just face-to-face, and students can choose an approach to fit their learning style, budget and travel constraints.

Over 150 modules of learning
Some love our famous interactive workshops. “It was brilliant”, explains Justin Whittle at Sykes Cottages. “Descriptive Statistics really helped how I look at and communicate forecast data”. Some love to tap into online modules. “I like the recorded learning modules so I can re-visit and learn at my own pace”, says Fiona Hanlon at Aegon ATOS, and “LIVE modules remind me that I am connected to a community of professionals”. 

Recently, Covid-19 has spurred take-up for new approaches and we set up nine new modules within three weeks, gaining some of our highest audiences yet, with brilliant virtual networking too. By evolving new materials, we can draw on both a long-established base of knowledge (‘crystallised knowledge’) and the latest experience among pioneers (‘fluid thinking’ for new or unexpected challenges). 

Takeaway activities & tutorials
Each module has a different focus, with ideas or exercises that students can take away to look at in more detail. You can build your own mix of modules, tap into a series or join a workshop. The new Assisted Learning Pathways (ALPs) bring together people, so you can learn from other teams. Tutorials provide touchpoints, to hear what others are doing, raise questions in a safe environment and learn how to apply new techniques. 

Andrew Griffiths from Cooperative Service Centre loved the recent kickoff workshop in London, “great food for thought”, and the ALP offers six months of practical support and mentoring in putting his ideas into practice, always a challenge, with the chance to gain specialist accreditation at the end. Moreover, our June ALPs are running as an entirely virtual course, given the virus situation, which opens it up to a wider tranche of members. 

A learning opportunity for all
The Academy is a great resource for experienced analysts/managers, with new resources each month, as well as those totally new to planning, like Amy Hill from Assurant. Students, like Deborah Nicholson at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, find foundation modules reassuring. They confirm what you do already know and help you “reach out to more departments than I currently do” as Deborah says. It’s all too easy to get put off by difficulties in the past. 

Training gives the confidence to express what we need as planners, in ways that engage our colleagues and gain the response that is required. In-house academies tailor this balance to the specific needs of their team, at organisations like Student Loans, ADT & RSA. At BT/EE, for instance, the group setting up the Academy, led by Helen Kemp, saw that key priorities were aligning teams to a common purpose and giving people confidence and empowerment in developing themselves. An onsite workshop can bring together a whole team to share, learn and build consistency. Online modules can develop specialist interests or pace learning differently. What’s certain is that everyone can benefit from learning and the Academy makes it uniquely accessible for all.

This article was first published in the 2020 Best Practice Guide - 2020 Vision: Crystallising your knowledge

To download a full digital copy of the Best Practice Guide, click here

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