Learning on the lunch pad

It’s no secret that our Fused!2019 event back in June was a roaring success. One of the presentations that particularly resonated was Louise Donnelly’s talk on Cancer Research UK’s L&D journey – and why learning plays a vital part in the battle against cancer.

That got us thinking. Charities and the third sector as a whole play an increasingly vital role in society, often with little in the way of reward or even recognition; they face a unique set of challenges, and implementing and integrating an effective learning and development strategy is no exception.

So it made a lot of sense for our next event to be one that focussed on the third sector – an opportunity to network, collaborate, and share and look at ways to crack some of those issues. And because nobody can brainstorm on an empty stomach, we laid on a three course lunch at the Balcony Room above Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

But although the spectre of Banquo didn't put in an appearance (at least, as far as we were aware), the third sector L&D challenges were indeed present at the feast.

During the day we learned some of those pertinent challenges. These went right across the board – a common issue was finding the right information to give to the right people at the right time. This is something that can be made trickier when a learning system is dependent on email integration, with people without access to email losing out.

Digging down, we looked at some of the industry-specific problems. With much of the third sector dependent on volunteers, there’s often a need to deliver different levels of learning to different people, a task made more complex by the fact that it can in some cases change a person’s employment status.

For those volunteers and for people without email, learning has frequently been delivered in face-to-face courses or roadshows, with the resulting impact on time, travel and expense. We also found out how CRUK face the challenge of maintaining momentum and keeping the learning going after face-to-face events and workshops.

And there were some great ideas on how L&D can better support communication between managers and employees, including creating buddy or mentor programmes to share best practices.

The day was bookended with welcome drinks and a networking reception, and to paraphrase Bill S., knowledge was the wing wherewith we all flew.

Charity is something that's close to all of our hearts here at Fuse, and to our CEO and chief storyteller Steve Dineen in particular. If you'd like to find out more about where we're going with all this (and get the inside gen on upcoming Fuse events), he'd love to hear from you.

Ant O'Neill
Sep 16 2019

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