Most people have the memory of starting school aged 5, excited (..or not!) at the prospect of what learning is to come.
That’s the point in time we surrender ourselves as children to the foreseeable future of mandatory learning, very aware our parents are going to ship us off to school every day until we turn at least 16.
Aged 16 we’re officially released and if we’re one of the lucky ones, we may have figured out what we enjoy, or what we don’t. What excites or what motivates us.
Then onto further/higher education and so forth, or employment, which is the point in time we were led to believe the learning (or at least the exams) would stop.
For most of us who have found our vocation, or even for those of us who are still searching for it, there is a quick realisation the learning never ends.
As Pablo Picasso said, “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”
That’s the beauty of education, we can find a way to be educated in everything we do.
Hopefully through our studio diaries to date, we’ve highlighted how passionate we are about our people and our culture here at MMC.
A big part of our people focussed culture is allowing our team the time and space to continue to learn and educate themselves in areas that excite them.
For the design and development team, that simply may be keeping abreast of the latest technical news or a slightly bigger ambition of finding the time to learn a new development language.
For our client and commercial teams, it may be trying out a new tool to make our workflows a little smoother or thinking about a new way to communicate a key message.
Whatever it is, we’re big believers in every day being a school day.
We informally learn from each other and from our client base through most of our interactions. Asking for advice, sharing a problem or simply watching how someone else does something.
As well as those informal daily actions, we’ve also embraced opportunities to learn in more formal settings during this strange year that is 2020.
I’ve recently re-embarked on a Leading Growth program (following a slight COVID pause) ran in conjunction with our local university here in the North East of England, Teesside University. The program delivers numerous learning sessions focused on equipping leaders in business with the skills they need to navigate the ever-challenging commercial landscape.
For me, stepping outside of our business for even a few hours a month, has been invaluable in viewing so many things differently. The opportunity to engage with like-minded colleagues has brought multiple new thought processes to my day to day role.
One of our Directors, Ian, has recently embarked on Seth Godin’s altMBA. An intense one-month program that sees him submit three different assignments a week, alongside bi-daily seminar sessions with fellow learners from across the Globe. He will receive no formal grade at the end of the month, with the focus being on coming out with a new perspective on many daily and professional challenges.
It’s showing us that blending informal with formal opportunities for continued learning is nothing but beneficial to our efficiencies as an agency.
The secret also to continuous learning, is to do it because you want to learn. It sounds easy, but it means you say ‘no’ to the courses where perhaps the certificate or the badge is the most important thing.
You choose to learn in the ways that enrich you through the experience of the learning. The learning that joins you together with others who share this philosophy and help you along, or where you see a true change from the knowledge you gain.
Many of us are viewing 2020 as a year of education. So many businesses have had to learn and adapt how they deliver to fit with the current climate.
Saying hello to 2021 is something that so many of us are ready for, however we will certainly be continuing to embrace the mindset of learning that 2020 has brought us.
By Aimee Greensmith, Account Director.