Personal development is critically important to your career and to your mental wellbeing. It helps you improve functional skills, leadership skills, interpersonal skills and can significantly increase your self-confidence and self-worth. But the phrase personal development implies that it is just about you. You own your learning and development plan. You go through the training. All by yourself. But most of us work in teams, and enjoy working in teams. At LockSmith, we’ve identified a number of benefits to team learning.
In fact, back in 1990 Peter M. Senge wrote, “Team learning is vital because teams, not individuals, are the fundamental learning unit in modern organisations. This is where ‘the rubber meets the road’; unless teams can learn, the organisation cannot learn.”
In the past year, we’ve trained over 250 people in marketing, customer marketing and innovation skills. We’ve had the greatest impact on both people and businesses when we’ve trained teams rather than groups of individuals. Here’s a summary of the huge benefits we’ve unlocked when learning as a team:
Shared understanding of the theory
When learning new marketing and innovation principles as a team, everyone comes away with the same theory and philosophy. It enables plans to be built on a common understanding of the issue. And it allows for healthy debate on solutions as everyone now has the same foundations.
A common language
Marketing is awash with jargon and acronyms. Learning as a team cuts through this quagmire by providing everyone with the same understanding of what the terms mean, leading to a common language across the business.
A unified approach
Many businesses lack clear processes for planning and implementing marketing strategies and campaigns or launching new innovations. It means every project is approached differently – increasing the risk of errors and inefficiencies. When a team learns the process together, all members of the team then know what needs to be done at each stage and those risks start to be mitigated.
Successful embedding of the learning in the wider team
Too often, we learn something new and then don’t practice it. Which in turns leads to us forgetting what we’ve learnt. It’s such a waste. All LockSmith training courses include a session on embedding the learning and turning it into immediately actionable plans. This is enhanced when learning as a team as the commitments are shared and more public.
Solving a live business issue as a team
In the 1960s, Edgar Dale proposed a theory called the Cone of Learning. In it he identified that people only retain 10% of what they read, but 90% of what they do. When learning as a team you have the opportunity to work on a live business issue to immediately embed the training and simultaneously get the issue solved. At LockSmith we love designing our training around a live business issue – it makes the training more successful, and it allows us to apply our extensive marketing and innovation experience to assist the business in solving the problem.
Shared experience builds towards a high performing team
Finally, learning together as a team can strengthen the bonds between team members and help the team reach new heights of performance. Setting up the right learning environment in which team members feel safe to experiment is key. Importantly, having created this environment in training it is then much easier for the team to continue to operate that way in the day job.
Our focus at LockSmith is in providing world class marketing and innovation capability training to teams of all sizes. The benefits to the business and to the individuals are clear. Please get in touch to chat about how we can help your team and your business grow. Your team will thank you for it!
And for a little more reading on the subject, check out this article from McKinsey, ‘Are you a “team of learners,” or do you learn as a team? And why it matters.’
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