On Friday 27 November 2015 I attended the annual Australian Institute of Training and Development Excellence Awards. These awards recognise achievement in training, learning and organisational development.
My team in Supply Chain at Coca-Cola Amatil was a finalist in the new award category of ‘Best Use of Social/Collaborative Learning. I was also a finalist in the ‘Dr Alastair Rylatt Award for Learning and Development Professional of the Year.’ I had prepared acceptance speeches as I wanted to take the opportunity to acknowledge some of the people and organisations who had contributed to both of these achievements. I also wanted to share an idea about professional development for Learning and Development (L&D) practitioners. Unfortunately I did not get to use either of these speeches. So I’ve decided to use my blog to express my appreciation and share this idea.
Best Use of Social/Collaborative Learning
Coca-Cola Amatil in partnership with Activate Learning Solutions were Highly Commended in the inaugural award in this category for our work on the Supply Chain Systems Certification Program.
I lead the Supply Chain Technical Academy at Coca-Cola Amatil. The Academy has had the privilege of working with others across Supply Chain to develop and implement a more open, collaborative approach to learning which seeks to integrate learning with work.
Thank you to the Supply Chain leaders who have been willing to adopt a modern approach to learning in our business, especially to Jeff Maguire, Head of People & Productivity, and David Grant, the Supply Chain Director. Thank you for supporting innovation in learning.
Thank you also to the AITD for introducing this award category. It symbolises the progressive work you’ve undertaken in the past 12-18 months to remain relevant as a professional association and reflect the changing nature of L&D. I appreciate the validation that CCA Supply Chain is on the right track with our social and collaborative learning initiatives.
It takes a lot of collaboration to create and sustain such initiatives. Thank you to Justine Jardine and Karlo Briski from our Technical Academy team – both have been creative, bold and resilient in developing and facilitating the program. Thank you also to the Community of Practice members, who were represented at the awards by Matt Hay, David Barker and Sreeni Barmalli. They have been active program participants and, as part of their daily operational roles, have taken a lead in Communities of Practice and supporting others to engage in the certification program.
I’d also like to acknowledge the fabulous support of Helen Blunden from Activate Learning Solutions. Her guidance was critical in launching our communities of practice, and developing the networking and social learning skills of participants with the Work, Connect and Learn program. She is a worthy co-recipient of this award.
The Dr Alastair Rylatt Award for Learning and Development Professional of the Year
This award is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to learning and development in the past 18 months. Congratulations to Dr Denise Meyerson, Director of Management Consultancy International, for being the 2015 award recipient.
Austin Kleon has written a wonderful little book called ‘Show Your Work.’ The first chapter is titled ‘You Don’t Have To Be Genius’ and it opens with the words ‘Find A Scenius.’ It’s a term that Kleon has picked up from Brian Eno who defines it as follows: “Scenius stands for the intelligence and the intuition of a whole cultural scene. It is the communal form of the concept of the genius.”
My selection as a finalist is largely due to my use of working out loud to find a Scenius, which is a funkier term for what is commonly called a Personal Learning Network. If you are not familiar with the term ‘Personal Learning Network’ I suggest you Google it, consider the state of your own network, and how you can build it. Being part of a network or scenius is a key factor in accelerating your professional development and making a contribution.
To quote from Austin Kleon:
“Being a valuable part of a scenius is not necessarily about how smart or talented you are, but what you have to contribute – the ideas you share, the quality of the connections you make, and the conversations you start.”
Thank you to the people around the world who are part of my scenius. It is all of you who have made it possible for me to transform my professional development, to learn from and alongside you, to make a contribution and as a result to create new possibilities. The specific people I am about to mention are representative of those in my scenius who collectively enable me to develop and contribute, but ths is well short of an exhaustive list. They include thought leaders from across the world such as Jane Hart in the UK, Charles Jennings and Jane Bozarth in the US, Harold Jarche in Canada and Simon Terry in Melbourne. There are also other L&D practitioners who work out loud, generously talking about their work practices, challenges and ideas about where L&D is headed – people such as Ryan Tracey in Sydney, Sunder Ramachandran in India, and Shannon Tipton in the US.
Thank you to the people and organisations who are connectors, creating opportunity for L&D professionals to engage in conversation, and share experience and practices – such as Third Place founded by Helen Blunden, the Ozlearn community facilitated by Con Sotidis and, of course, the AITD. (Note – blog post updated in October 2019 – neither of these communities remains active.)
Closer to my day-to-day work are my colleagues at Coca-Cola Amatil, represented at the awards night by Justine Jardine and Karlo Briski. It’s a joy to learn and figure out what works alongside you. I extend this sentiment to my ex-colleague and peer-mentor, Lynette Curtis who travelled from Melbourne to join the celebrations.
Finally, to my manager of the past four years, Jeff Maguire, thank you for your unwavering trust and support, and the autonomy and flexibility you have granted me to create and embed the Academy and Capability Community in Supply Chain. Thank you also to seeing the value in sharing stories of how we work outside of our organisational boundaries and granting me the freedom to work out loud.
If you take away one thing from my selection as a finalist for this award, it’s to build your network – create your Scenius in order to unlock your Genius.