49 | Eclipses and Learning

January 21, 2019

At 4.10am on Monday morning I was tramping around my frosty back garden in old shoes, boxers and an overcoat. I wasn’t sleep walking or locked out - I was looking for the moon.

For many of us on Monday morning, it was a chance to see a full lunar eclipse - a super blood wolf moon as the experts called it (click here for more on that). There won’t be another one like this for 10 years. 

We’d been talking about it on Sunday evening at dinner and my kids (13,11,9) decided they wanted to see it.

For me, the most important part of being a parent is giving kids the opportunity to learn new things and gain new experiences every day. And so it was that I set my alarm for 4am, pulled on an old coat and headed outside! 

The similarities between parents and leaders are strong in this regard. It is the absolute responsibility of every leader to give their team members opportunities to be better in the same way as it's my job to do it for my kids.

And that's not all about ‘training’ them

If you look at the 70-20-10 Model for Learning and Development that was developed in the 80s by three US researchers, very little is about formal, classroom training.  When it came to what made leaders great leaders, the research showed that :

  • 70% - on the job training and experiences

  • 20% - from interactions with others

  • 10% - from formal training courses.

So the main source of impactful learning was in role, every day. And those opportunities can range from holiday or mat-leave covers to short term project secondments; all the way to running team meetings, MCing town halls, writing blogs or creating podcasts. 

 

But it's important to track that and to label it as 'development' for your people - unfortunately people often only think of development as sitting in a room with 12 other people on an online course.

I did a project for a large bank about 10 years ago where we produced a desk calendar and gave them to every staff member. On the back of every month was a ‘Learning Log’ - a place for then to record ALL their learning (not just training!) through the year. We wanted to reinforce that learning happens all the time. And when it came to annual reviews, the learning logs opened up a discussion not about what training people had done, but what individuals had learnt.

So perhaps one to think about as you kick off annual review season and start creating personal development plans with your teams.

Oh, and on the moon- it was a beautiful night, freezing cold and half cloudy. Unfortunately the moon (as eventually spotted by my wife) was behind the cloudy bit!

So we left the kids asleep and showed them pics on the iPad the next morning. :)
 

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