Learning on the frontline

We talk about lifelong learning but amongst constant and concurrent change and reducing funding, staff rarely find the time to learn, even if you might think that in change, you learn all the time, so we need to identify how staff would use the learning.

We need to develop skills to cater to different learning styles, but why not challenge people to try diverse ways of learning, so they can become more adaptive, like logical thinkers experiencing learning where they need to work collaboratively or creative people focusing on what they can deliver.

What is critical for learning to be effective?

What? The relevance of the learning is not just about how it relates to your job, but our career and particular “trigger” points or transitions where the need for learning is more pronounced, for example, changing jobs, becoming a manager or coming back from maternal or paternal leave.

Why? The motivation for getting better at a specific task or function helps orient yourself in your career and your life.

Systems Changers

“Frontline workers have a unique vantage point for the systems they work within. They are able to see the life context of the people they support and the complexity of public services and support systems.”

Frontline staff are often the anthropologists, detectives of entrepreneurs of systems change. Often by default, as they see the cracks and contradictions, and find the workarounds.

The Systems Changers funded by Lankelly Chase helped people on the programme:

  • Move from “head down” to be able to “come up with air” to make sense of their journey
  • Connect with others in their situation, not just people telling them what to do like their managers
  • See their power differently and being supported to experiment with their own power and to support others develop theirs

What about if you developed not just a programme for frontline staff in a specific local area, but that included residents, entrepreneurs, or other workers, like construction staff or shopkeepers?

Head of Strategy (Communities) @camdencouncil #localgov Director @euroalter Co-founder of #systemschange & #servicedesign progs. inspired by @cescaalbanese