Tuesday, December 13, 2005


The learning journey continues...

Like many people around the world who celebrate Christmas, the next few weeks are packed with shopping, card writing, present wrapping, food organising and then collapsing in a heap in a warm cosy place with a drink in hand to enjoy the festive season - and I am no different.

Many thanks to all of you who come and read this blog and here's wishing you a wonderful Christmas season and a very Happy New Year!

See you in 2006.

Click here for some special tuneful greetings and cheers!

Help me celebrate my first three years in business by sending this blog to just ONE person you know that would find the contents helpful to further their own personal and/or organisation's training & development plans. If your referral turns into their company commissioning work from me, YOU will earn 12 weeks personal eMentoring support across a wide range of Learning & Development, Training Design & Delivery or Management Development areas - totally FREE OF CHARGE (normally worth £300).

Thursday, November 10, 2005


The learning journey continues...

I hope you are all enjoying the 'virtual me' that welcomes you to this weblog. Those that are re-visiting will notice that I have recently had a major hair re-style, hope you like it!

One of my newest ventures is to re-start my voice over work for corporate training videos. Meeting with my voice coach recently got me thinking about offering this as part of my business portfolio. So if your company is considering making an in-house information series, online virtual newsletter, training or eLearning production, then why not send me an e-mail or even give me a call on +44 (0)7778 382 056 and learn how I could help you promote your message with clarity and impact.

Help me celebrate my first three years in business by sending this blog to just ONE person you know that would find the contents helpful to further their own personal and/or organisation's training & development plans. If your referral turns into their company commissioning work from me, YOU will earn 12 weeks personal eMentoring support across a wide range of Learning & Development, Training Design & Delivery or Management Development areas - totally FREE OF CHARGE (normally worth £300).

Friday, October 07, 2005


The learning journey continues...

Well it is precisely three years today (7th October 2002) that I set up as an independent learning practitioner operating through The POL Experience and what a jam packed three years it has been.

So many different clients, a wide variety of international conference speaking events, exciting learning opportunities, blogging and the chance to share my range of learning and knowledge development expertise with a wide range of readers from across UK and Europe.

Talking about this blog, I started it in February 2004, and so far have had 326 visits from people across 33 different countries reading my postings on a regular basis (see last posting SO WHO ARE YOU).

I am now eagerly looking forward to many more years of building upon this success and finding ways to improve it all the time. My newest addition is a brand new 'virtual me' (and yes, that is my real voice). Turn up your volume or load a sound card and you will hear what I have to say. Just be aware that if you click from one posting to another on the blog, I WILL keep popping up again and again, if you get fed up of this, just turn the volume down!

So go on, help me celebrate my first three years by spreading the word of this blog to maybe another 300+ readers. Just send the URL http://jozefa.blogspot.com to just ONE person you know that would find the contents helpful to further their own personal and/or organisation's training & development plans.

And, as a very special thank you for helping me to continue to spread the word about exceptional and effective organisational learning and development practice, any contacts or referrals you instigate that result in a client commissioning work from me will earn YOU 12 weeks personal eMentoring support in any areas that link to Learning & Development, Training Design & Delivery or Management Development - totally FREE OF CHARGE (normally worth £300).

Now that's an enticement to spread the word, isn't it?

Just send me an e-mail stating who you have recommended me to and I will contact you if they purchase one of my 'Training the Trainer' learning programmes or contract some interim/temporary learning and development support. Then you can start to think about what eMentoring support you might need from me, it's as simple as that.

Many thanks and keep coming back to read this blog.

E-mail: jozefa@thepolexperience.com

Please note that I have had to take drastic action to prevent anyone from posting comments on this weblog. This goes against my better judgement but is due to various parties abusing this system and flooding it with unwanted and highly unsuitable and material. If you would like to make a comment, then please still do so but send me an e-mail to blog@thepolexperience.com and I will post this on your behalf.

Sunday, September 18, 2005


The learning journey continues..

Exciting news, people from 33 different countries are regularly reading my blog - how fantastic!

With over 48% from the UK, nearly 25% from US and over 5% from Canada this is an amazing result for an independent learning practitioner like myself, and what a wide range of other countries, including:

Netherlands; Singapore; Belgium; South Africa; Sweden; Greece; Germany; Poland; Malaysia; Morocco; Australia; Ukraine; Belarus; Luxembourg; India; Hong Kong; Mauritius; Spain; Portugal; Philippines; Switzerland; Kenya; Chile; Finland; Romania; Cote D'Ivoire; Denmark; Azerbaijan and Italy - phew!

Welcome to each and every one of you, glad to have you on board.

Do come back and maybe even post a comment or two about what you read.

Józefa @ The POL Experience

Please note that I have taken certain action to prevent just anyone from posting comments on this weblog. This goes against my better judgement but is due to various parties abusing this system and flooding it with unwanted and highly unsuitable material. If you would like to post a comment, then please send me an e-mail to blog@thepolexperience.com and I will post this on your behalf.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


The learning journey continues...

After a wonderful summer break with the family and time to stop and take stock I have been refining the products and services that I offer through The POL Experience.

So much of my time over the last three years has been spent working with organisations supporting local changes through people involvement and training that I have decided to offer, as part of my portfolio, a small range of learning programmes that can be delivered in a organisational context and venue.

These reasonably priced 'knowledge-chunks' are a sound investment as they can really make a difference to the way an organisation approaches its learning and development. Take a look at some of my client testimonials and then at my new expertise portfolio here and the range of learning programmes here.

Once you have seen these you will start to consider how they can be of use to you and maybe to others. Do feel free to pass on the details of my learning programmes to friends and colleagues who you think might also benefit from enhancing their organisational training and development activity.


Thursday, August 11, 2005


The learning journey continues...

Time for just a short post during what is turning out to be a typical English summer.

Time to stop and reflect upon the things in life that really matter - like family and friends and work colleagues based all around the world.

Time to make contact again with the long list in my address book, in my distribution list on MSN IM, and Skype and in the many discussion forums that I frequent. All to often time and work prevent such luxurious and thoughtful communication. The norm is usually just a quick-fire question, response and a goodbye!

Time to stop and take stock of my own personal development and the future direction for POL.

Time to nurture and develop new initiatives and exciting new projects and explore others' new ideas, like Fiona Robyn and her blog entitled 'a small stone'

So, slowly sipping my Pimms and Lemonade, watching the kids playing happily together in the garden, counting fluffy clouds as they go by, I am taking some TIME out for me!

Enjoy your summer everyone..back soon!

The POL Experience website

Sunday, July 17, 2005


The learning journey continues...

WOW, what an awe inspiring time I have had over the last few days speaking, mingling, dancing and drinking with nearly 200 Russian, Mongolian and New Independent State [NIS] nationals from Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and Uzbekistan.

The reason? I received an invitation to speak about People and Change to this group of participants on an EU-funded Management Training Programme at their end-of-programme Europa Seminar at Manchester University.

JF at Europa medley

Here was a group of people who were not only motivated by this programme but firmly intent on doing something with what they had learned back in their own countries to affect much needed change. In talking to them further [over a few vodka's as you do], it became apparent that this was not going to be easy for them to overturn many years of traditional management style and former regimes.

What was clear however, was their determination in the face of adversity. Former MTP1 alumni participant, Tatiana, proffered a shining example of someone who had achieved such major change in her home town through the development of her real estate business newspaper. She clearly inspired those on MTP3 with her words and the raptuous applause said it all.

My thanks go to all those that I met, I am afraid that I remember only a few names such as Max, Vadim, Natasha and Natasha, Iryna, Christyakova, Eugeni, Mikhail, Nelya, Elena, Evgeniy, Yulia, Lesya, Carine, Christiana, Sergey and of course Oleg [who danced me round the floor to the Beatles tribute band most of the night] and to those with whom I drank and sang Russian songs and finally played volleyball on the grass at 3am! [thank you for the present of the ball, my daughter loves it].

JF at Europa dinner

Hobbling back to the hotel [to do with my having broken the heel off my shoe - never play volleyball in high heels - and not from the drink or my age you understand] I carried with me some wonderful memories from a group that I hope get to realise their ambitions and dreams.

Perhaps, this then reminds us in the UK that it is good to have ambitious and far reaching dreams and strive each day to turn them into a reality. For those of you who have promised to get back in touch with me, please do, and also when you read this blog, perhaps post some comments in the box that pops up with your own memories of your trip to UK.

Some pictures that captured the themes and the feelings are posted here..

The POL Experience website

Monday, July 04, 2005


The learning journey continues...

After a wonderfully tiring and brain stimulating four days, I return home from Greenwich, London with a wealth of ideas and applications for Dave Snowden's Cynefin approach.

This medley of pictures shows only some of the story, but serves to highlight the concentration levels that were needed (even when we were set to task to communicate with our eyes closed). It will take a while to truly understand this completely different approach to changing organisational mindsets and supporting knowledge development and sharing, however, the potential benefits are so great that it won't be long before I am using some of the techniques in my work with existing and new clients.

Cynefin medley

I will have more to say about this once I have recovered from a now (half expected) nasty cold..

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


The learning journey continues...

CPD has always been important to me and I have been an active participant for over 15 years, thanks to an old healthcare manager of mine, Steve, who clearly explained why it was so vital and was a good role model himself.

Managers like him are far and few between, mainly because he relished in the fact that I was learning and developing and challenging him and his ideas, often during our time in the photocopying room preparing for an imminent training session, he and I would play mental ping pong and find that from such an exchange, new and interesting models and concepts would be explored and created.

Keeping up to date with professional practice, irrespective of whether your professional body requires it of you for re-registration or not, is an absolute must, and certainly something that should be offered as evidence of competence and quality when speaking to clients during the commissioning process.

My current involvement in CPD is extremely active here are just a few of the things I am involved in: attending and speaking at conferences, doing research and writing papers, undertaking additional training and qualification, participating in new and exciting discussion forums and public speaking.

Phew, this should keep me busy for a while!

Why not try it for yourself?

Józefa @ The POL Experience

Monday, May 02, 2005


The learning journey continues...

So often we find ourselves coming up with ideas regarding things that we would love to do, some needing just us and some needing the support of others to fulfil these dreams.

In our personal lives as well as our business lives commitment features strongly and without it momentum and motivation is lost and slowly the idea dies. As someone who is just in the process of starting up a new organisational venture, I find myself dependent on the commitment of others to make it work.

Which is why I was so encouraged to read the set of 5 guiding principles from a group of young individuals calling themselves 'Pioneers of Change'

Their five principles are centred around:
  1. Be yourself
  2. Findwhat really matters to you
  3. Start now
  4. Engage with others – don’t go it alone
  5. Never stop asking questions

In terms of 'engaging with others' they go on...

"Engage with others.. Connect with something bigger than yourself. Search for those who are working on similar or related things, share ideas with them,ask them for help and work with them where useful. Be willing to offer them help when they need it as well. Engaging with others is about engaging with those who share your visions, but also about engaging with those who think differently from you and are doing something that may seem completely different and unrelated. Engage across diversity, for that is how we learn. That is how we will create and make new discoveries. If you cannot engage directly with those who conflict with you, then seek to understand and to learn from your differences and work based on that learning. Engaging with others is about recognising interdependence. And about practicing humility."

Perhaps,one final addition to the above, as this takes time to develop and nurture is - have patience and understanding and allow others to catch up in their own time.

Commitment it seems really IS our greatest resource, and as such we should use it well.

Józefa @ The POL Experience

Thursday, April 14, 2005


The learning journey continues...

Well what has it come to when we need the expertise of David Gurteen and Mick Cope to get us to talk to each other?

Have our communication skills deteriorated so much with the increased use of computers that we need to attend a Knowledge Café and have Mick encourage us to stand up and walk round and introduce ourselves?

Speed dating was muted, same principle, but you didn't necessarily leave with a 'partner' for the evening, though it has to be said a few of us DID frequent the local hostelry to continue with the 'relationship -building' - and a great time was had by all!

My thanks to David and to Mick and and also to those that I did meet and would have like to talk to for longer, these included Jonathan [from Oxfordshire] , Lloyd [podcasting], Tricia [weblogs], Lesley [HMCE], Diomiu [ex-student], Andrew [IS], Jason, Mark [Middx] and two guys in the pub [one American and one Sri Lanken sorry I don't remember your names] who always had 'just one more question'. Just to let you both know, I did finally catch my train, but only just.

Look forward to seeing some of you again at the Knowledge Barbeque at University of Greenwich on 9th June.

Józefa @ The POL Experience

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


The learning journey continues...

Just a few posts ago I was extolling the virtues of a new online photo management system I had discovered called Flickr. Well it now seems like others are catching on aswell, because it has just been bought up by Yahoo and is being heralded by no other that the award winning Tom Coates, recent winner of a Lifetime Achievement Award for his weblog plasticbag.org.

Check out the BBC article and try Flickr for yourself, it is really cool

Józefa @ The POL Experience

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


The learning journey continues...

If you do nothing else this year then do investigate a wonderfully inspiring event called 'Be the Change' due to take place in London between 5th & 7th May 2005. This second event will again bring together individuals and organisations at the forefront of change to address some of the urgent issues facing humanity today - in our environment, our communities, our economic system, in our very consciousness.

At the 2004 event, the words and deeply moving presentation from Hafsat Abiola, Human Rights Activist from Nigeria and Founder/Director of the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND) could not have failed to inspire.

"The only way we can solve problems is when we actually say yes to the unreasonable ideas that form in our minds, that will give us new experiences that will help our mind become a different mind"

Visit their website and view the 10-minute preview from their 2004 conference and more information about this years's event, and maybe see you there?

Józefa @ The POL Experience

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


The learning journey continues...

I have been tidying up my communication channels and can now be found for quick Instant Messaging (IM) chats when I am in the office, my MSN address is


If you don't have MSN go to their website and download the software, it is FREE. I use version 6.2 but the Beta version 7 is really great. It is just that until more people have this, the slightly lower version is better.

Why not log in and have a 'chat'?

Józefa @ The POL Experience

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


new logo

This is my new company logo and icon for my website, click on the link to find out about the kind of work I am currently involved in and previous projects and experience.

Why not visit my online slide show at http://www.flickr.com/photos/thepole/sets/121681 where there are a series of pictures of the groups I have worked with over the last few years - you never know, you might see yourself there!

Józefa @ The POL Experience

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

GLOBAL BLOGGER ACTION DAY - 22nd February 2005

Today is "Free Mojtaba and Arash Day" here in Blogoshpere. Mojtaba and Arash are two Iranian bloggers currently in prison for, well, blogging. For "Free Mojtaba and Aresh Day," we free bloggers are urged to hold a day of "silence" (i.e. refrain from blogging) and to put up a banner instead.

For more information read the latest BBC news

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Solitary tree
Originally uploaded by estan.

testing blogging entry - liked this picture from Flickr so decided to see if I could upload it on here - whoopee I did it!



This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing. There is also a companion blog to Flickr, almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world (their words, not mine, but try it and see for yourself).

This new free tool allows me to post a series of photos for a specified group to see or go public on a specially dedicated web space, and even offer a slide show facility. If I come across photos that I like I can send these straight here onto my blog - so expect a fair bit of practising for a while.

If any of you try this out do post your comments here.

The POL Experience

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


The learning journey continues...

Having recently been involved in a series of training sessions and University lecturing around Personal Development I find myself constantly referring to reflective practice, Learning Logs and blogging. As this was the case, it seemed sensible to share what I have been saying here in my own blog.

But hey, is this a weblog, k-log or a learning log?

David Gurteen, a lovely man and a wonderful source of knowledge about almost everything describes weblogs as a
“..an informal personal journal that is published publicly on the web. It is updated frequently - often several times a day or at the very least several times a week. At its simplest a blog consists of a number of entries or items. Each item has a title, a short description, a URL, the name of the author and the posted date. More sophisticated blogs can contain further information such as categories or multiple links”.
Another definition comes from Wikipedia and of course there are variations on a theme.

There are Knowledge Logs or K-Logs: which is blogging to record one's knowledge about work issues, this can also be used as a reflective practice vehicle instead of a paper-bound ring binder file

There are also Learning Logs – which are not necessarily online unless you adapt the format and add this to your k-log. Have a look at how Andrew Gibbons describes his approach to learning logs http://www.andrewgibbons.co.uk/documents/50tips2.doc he also offers a simple yet reasonably sufficient format http://www.andrewgibbons.co.uk/documents/logsheet2.doc

There are News Logs - these could be an information blog (online), the purpose of which is to comment on and point to web resources on a specific topic or relevant news entries pertaining to a particular site or subject. Some sites have built in functions that allow readers to post directly such as they do on Wikipedia or through an intermediary source that acts as part of an authoring process to validate the news item before it is uploaded onto the News Log.

And I am sure there are plenty more... The key point is documenting in some way, shape or form, things that you want to be reminded of for future development, or reference or to share with others.

I shall leave the last word to David who so clearly outlines how you should feel about your blogging activities.

  • Own it and take pride in it
  • Use it as a record of your thoughts and ideas
  • Create a learning journal
  • Let it be very personal - an extention to your own voice
  • Write primarily for yourself
  • There is no pressure to publish, comment or reply
  • Make it open and dynamic
  • Create the feeling of having a 'conversation' not one of 'publishing'

If David and others are right, then blogging is soon going to be bigger than e-mail and such rapid growth and development in this field of communication will undoutbtedly change the web presence but also organisational life. Happy blogging.


The POL Experience

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


The learning journey continues...

My colleague (and friend) Brigitte mailed me from Wavre, Belgium last week to introduce me to the very latest in communication tools, SKYPE

It is a great new P2P (person-to-person) vehicle that allows you to actually talk to your friends and colleagues through your computer.

Registration is FREE and talking to other SKYPE users is also FREE. You can see when they are online (just like with IM - instant messaging) and if you link it through your NetMeeting facility can see them via your webcam, just like having your own large videophone. Calls to non-SKYPE lines wherever they are in the world is really cheap and you can buy credits (in euros) online.

You will need a microphone and your computer will need either built in or free standing speakers, but apart from that, downloading takes just a few minutes and you're away.

So back to Brigitte, my colleague at the European Consortium for the Learning Organisation, well she and I can now have regular update chats (the FREE bit comes in handy when we do one of our 45 mins calls) and I can also have conference calls with my other ECLO ECLO Board member colleagues aswell.

Why not try it for yourself?

The POL Experience

Thursday, January 13, 2005


The learning journey continues...

A very belated HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you reading this Blog, and in particular to my past (and future) student groups from Westminster University, London where I now lecture on a part time basis on a range of CIPD Centre of Excellence modules including: Learning and Development; Management Development and Learning, Training & Development workshop. A special ‘Good Luck’ as you study for your L&D exams on the 17th January.

I realise that it has been some months since I last put fingers to keyboard to reflect and share key learning from my work commitments and projects on this site. This in the main is to do with family 'caring' commitments for sick and elderly relatives over the past six months.

However, like most people I now enter 2005, with the desire to consider new ways to juggle a rather hectic work / life schedule so that I can offer the best of me in each area and still remain sane.

There are many sites available offering support, one of the best I have found is from Fiona Hall, check out her blog on http://creative-living.blogspot.com/

Also worth a mention, and to create that pause in your busy working day, try out Richard Bandler television (RBTV). Richard was one of the founders of an approach called Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and offers some guiding thoughts as to how to get your life back on track. It is worth a listen with a cup of soothing chamomile or peppermint herb tea. Being on a GI healthy eating kick at present coffee, tea and chocolate are BANNED!

Just click on the link for some soothing words to start your day

Here's wishing you a happy and healthy 2005!

The POL Experience