Sunday, December 17, 2006


The learning journey continues...

With Christmas nearly upon us and thoughts turning to time with the family eating, drinking and being merry, I chanced upon a wonderful example of how, even at this time of year, the new communication mechanisms that are afforded us by technology are being embraced by not just the younger generation, but us 'oldies' too!

Take a look at Marguerite Patten, who at 91 has just got into video podcasting and at the same time learn how to use other technology (like the microwave) to conjure up a tasty home cooked Christmas pudding in here

Have a fantastic Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

Friday, November 17, 2006


The learning journey continues...

The 13th - 15th November has been a whirlwind of activity as I have been in Cardiff speaking at the Institute of Healthcare Management's Annual Conference.

Monday evening was a wonderful Civic Reception, hosted by the Mayor of Cardiff and NHS Wales in the beautiful Cardiff castle. Whilst Tuesday evening was a black tie Awards Dinner celebrating the services and experiences of many healthcare managers. During the conference on the Tuesday and Wednesday I spent hours talking to delegates about networking and its value to management and personal development.

A surprise opportunity also came my way, a chance to be interviewed by, not one but two, TV production companies, GBTV and NICE TV (a part of ITN consulting). Once the films are edited and produced, there will be a link to them from this blog.

Back home time is now being spent following up contacts and developing new friendships... and in a couple of weeks, I am doing it all over again in London.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006


The learning journey continues...

October has been busy teaching on UG and PG programmes with a total of 48 new students and November is proving to be the same.

In addition to the teaching I am speaking about knowledge sharing and networking at two exciting conferences, one in Cardiff on 13th - 15th November for the Institute of Healthcare Management the other in London on 30th November for the NHS Networks Annual Conference

With all of this talking, I am going to need some throat lozenges!

Monday, September 11, 2006


The learning journey continues...

Having chanced upon this reflective piece [author unknown], written just after 9/11, it seemed appropriate to post it on this blog today.

The Paradox of Life Today

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.

We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time.

We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness. We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years.

We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space.

We've done larger things, but not better things. We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.

We write more, but learn
less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait.
We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than
ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom.

You can choose whether to share this insight, or just hit delete. The reactions, as cited on the discussion forum where it was found were mixed with some stating that this is an “..example of overgeneralization leading to an unwarranted negative view on life.”

Make up your own mind!

Monday, September 04, 2006


The learning journey continues...

No, don't worry, I haven't lost my marbles, well not yet at least. It really IS the start of a new year for many people across the country.

First of all, there are the school children, ready to go back to their new classrooms [and a new school year] and see their mates, whom they have been without for over six weeks now.

Then there are the mature, adult students, who are embarking upon new courses in a new Academic Year in Further Education [FE] and Higher Education [HE].

Not forgetting the working staff who have to find time to study alongside their normal day to day jobs, often embarking upon new distance learning and eLearning programmes around now.

Then there are the lecturers, like me, who are also starting a new year of teaching.

My newest lecturing role is part time at Birkbeck, University of London with my 'new year' for them starting in October on their Certificate in Management.

Then there is my other part time lecturing role for University of Westminster [where the 'new year' starts a little earlier at the end of September] on their CIPD Post Grad Masters in Personnel & Development.

Finally, I have just trained as a marker and assessor of student assignments for a new distance learning management programme designed to be more flexible and fit in with the working staff in the NHS across the UK.


This New Year thing comes round really fast, in just four months time it will be Christmas, and then another New Year!


Friday, July 21, 2006


this is an audio post - click to play
Transcript of short interview with participants shown below picture for those without sound card

Here is the new CEO, Sue Hodgetts at the event I helped organise in Birmingham on 20th July.
Sue (IHM) & Network participant

More pictures coming soon...

[Sound of knowledge sharing at meeting]

“OK I am just going to start interviewing some of the participants at the first Regional Management Network here in the West Midlands. I am here with Wendy would you tell me what you have thought about this evening?”

“I really didn’t have any particular expectations so it’s always a pleasant surprise and I certainly would suggest to other members of my team as a valuable learning experience by attending”

“OK Wendy thank you, I am sorry I can’t see your name badge ….Chris… where are you from?”

“I am from the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust”

“Is this your first networking event here with us?”

“I have been a long time supporter of the IHM I think it is important at a number of levels, for managers to keep themselves up to date, to be able to tap into the network and learn from each other and thirdly in terms of ensuring the skills of the workforce are equipped to meet the demands of the NHS that we find ourselves in today.”

“Chris that’s fantastic will you come to another event, if we hold one say in a couple of month’s time?”

“I might do”


“What will we need to do to ensure that yourself and others perhaps might come along with you next time?”

“I think specifically targeting certain areas and projects as you’ve done tonight and highlighting whether we can reach the management service improvements in patient care if you target that you’ll get a more specific audience coming along to hear about the issues”

“Would you agree with that Wendy?”

“Yes, very much so, I think if you focus on areas that will bring in a very specific audience with certain developmental needs and I think that making it more specific will consolidate some extra learning for a particular group of individuals”

“Thank you both very much indeed”

-end of interview-

I am really enjoying this project for the Institute of Healthcare Management and the Department of Health and learning so much as well.

If you need help with organisational learning and training, then visit my website to find out more about my range of services.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


After about three months or so of not posting on this blog, I am back and with a brand new toy to experiment with, Audio Blogger. To hear my first posting just turn up your volume on your computer and play.

this is an audio post - click to play

Come back soon to 'hear' more of my ongoing learning journey..

Sunday, February 26, 2006


The learning journey continues...

During a short trip home from Brussels where I was attending an Executive Board meeting of the European Consortium for the Learning Organisation I had the time to reflect upon the exciting and stimulating and extensive discussions that had taken place over the previous 24 hours. My thanks go to Ruud (Netherlands), Olé and his wife Elly (Denmark), Ulrich (Switzerland), Marc and Brigitte (Belguim), Jim (Scotland), Mary (Ireland), Andrew and Richard (UK) for their wonderful company and innovative ideas which will help us to drive forward the latest developments planned by E.C.L.O. across 2006/2007, things like:

  • an International conference in Prague on 22nd & 23rd May (mentioned in last posting below)
  • a Corporate Learning Think Tank focusing on Academic & Professional Practice
  • The E.C.L.O. Book
  • The ECUANET (European Corporate Universities and Academies Network) an EU-funded project conducting action research into Corporate Universities/Academies and strategic corporate learning with a view to creating a best practice network of European players – adopters and providers

Thinking about Corporate Universities/Academies and from online discussions with some of my Post-Graduate students (studying Management Development as part of their Masters programme in Personnel & Development), there are varying views regarding the benefits to organisations considering developing their own CU/A.

One student wrote:

“CU’s can create a strong culture within an organisation which in itself would have advantages such as unity and understanding amongst all employees, getting everyone focused with organisational goals leading to business success”

Another proposed:

“…why not industry academies, where all organisations, regardless of size, can send their employees?”

As an alternative argument, another contribution raised issues such as:

“…CU/A’s are complex and I am not convinced that this is the right way forward…might these become vehicles for corporate socialization and propaganda?”

Wow, powerful thoughts and worthy of this further ECUANET research.

With an agenda as extensive as this, E.C.L.O. promises to be an interesting consortium to be involved with over the next few years and I am delighted to be part of these emergent themes.

If you want to get involved yourself then send an e-mail to Brigitte Jack at or even try and come to the conference in Prague in May. Readers of this blog get a special discounted rate resulting in a whopping €100 off the conference price but only if they quote my name. So review the programme and maybe see you in Prague?

Click here for more from The POL Experience

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


The learning journey continues...

As part of my continuing learning journey I am often in deep discussion with individuals and clients alike about what it means to be a Learning Organisation. Is this an unattainable goal or do organisations really stand a chance to benefit from their existing expertise to further business improvements, reduce risks and enhance quality control?

E.C.L.O (European Consortium for the Learning Organisation) - the longest serving Community of Learning in Europe - certainly believe that this is a concept worth fighting for and encourage individuals from around Europe to join and develop a deeper understanding of what makes a organisation learn from itself.

This year, I have again been invited (with my colleague from KnowledgeWorx) to speak at their 13th International Conference which focuses on 'Creating Capacity for Change' the four key strands are:
  • Understanding Organisation Dynamics (academic papers)
  • Organisation Dynamics in Action (working case studies)
  • Leadership and the capacity to change (leadership and management)
  • Facilitating the capacity to change (corporate universities and other innovative tools)

As a member of the conference committee I can tell you that there are some exciting proposals for the programme outline. In addition to the conference E.C.L.O is also revamping its Academic and Professional Practice Board who are already working on developing a variety of very intersting research projects for 2006.

It seems like the LO concept is NOT dead in the water and with this European emphasis more organisations from the corporate and academic worlds as well as consultancies and the public sector remain committed to explore new directions for successful business and people development in a learning organisation perspective.

Józefa @ The POL Experience
Link to website

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


The learning journey continues...

As a part-time lecturer, I am now embracing the start of another academic year, you know it is easy to forget that tutors can also gain so much from teaching such eager and enthusiastic Post-Graduate students. Many of my students are part-time, balancing a busy job during the day and then studying until 21.00hrs at night twice a week however, they come to class with smiles on their faces and a level of energy that makes the evening appear to just fly by.

Some of us have of course been there and done that ourselves and so can empathise with the tiredness and the frustration of trying to fit it all in within the extended working day.

Still - that aside - I had 11 eager students on Monday [with more to follow in the next two weeks] on this HRD specific 'Management Development module', and I am certainly looking forward to some healthy debates each week.

In my opening address I directed them here to learn about blogging, so if you have made it and are reading this posting - welcome!

Hopefully this PG programme will increase the profile of HRM & HRD as bona fide professions in their own right, then HR can finally start to have a real influence on business development issues as well as improving people management skills in the workforce.

We have a long way to go, but it will be worth it!

Józefa @ The POL Experience

Sunday, January 01, 2006


The learning journey continues...

After a few weeks of eating, drinking and being merry it is time to pull in those waistbands, make and break those New Year resolutions and start to ponder what the next twelve months will bring.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!