Its always good to hear inspiring stories of how organizations have gone that "extra mile" in their knowledge sharing and learning efforts.
I recently learnt about how Plan Zimbabwe - part of the Plan international development organisation
that promotes and protects the rights of children around the globe
share and learn through regular learning circles and bi-annual staff conferences.
Every three weeks, country office and field staff gather for a two-day ‘Learning Circle' to share their successes, challenges and experiences, and at times to engage with external participants and speakers.
These have helped them understand key developments in their specific area of work, and gain new knowledge and skills from their colleagues and visitors.
Examples have included their finance director sharing insights on global economic markets, the Office Drivers sharing their safe driving techniques and a local attorney advising staff on estate planning.
Staff also attend bi-annual conferences to reflect on and share their learnings, and engage with external speakers such as
Robert Chambers (see this interesting article by him on Participation: people power by putting the first last?).
Initiatives such as these are simple and effective.
Not only do they encourage people to reflect more deeply and more broadly on various aspects of their work, they also encourage them to interact and learn from one another.
Yes - that's two whole days every 3 weeks for the Learning Circles - I'd love to see more organizations take such initiatives.