We have been working with a very large government security agent for quite some time. They have about 7,000 staff across the country. Our most recent work has been with a group of 8 staff members where they undertook ‘Practise Workplace Experimenting’.
The learning was blended, some face to face, some live online, some online on their own. At each of the stages ‘enough’ knowledge was provided for the participant to be able to apply the pattern to a real situation in their workplace, thus really learn. A key ingredient for success (success being ‘real learning through doing’) was choosing a real workplace situation that wasn’t too complex. One participant chose to focus on their groups daily planning meeting; another focussed on how they and a colleague sorted and prioritised emails into their department. There were some terrific and simple wins that accompanied participant learning. For example, the daily meetings in the department were improved in quality of content and reduced in time by about 50%. (There were 2 or 3 experimental cycles to achieve this.)
What really stood out was this. Each of the 8 estimated they spent about 4-6 hours of their time over 2 working weeks in planning, doing, checking and adjusting – about 6-8% of their time assuming a 40-hour week. They felt that to allocate this amount of time every two weeks wouldn’t be an unreasonable expectation. Now here’s the maths …
7,000 employees X 50% who have the will to do this X 1 (reasonably simple) workplace experiment every 2 weeks = 91,000 workplace experiments every year. I’d suggest this organisation have landed on an opportunity to really continuously improve.
Please do similar maths in your organisation. If you then feel you’ve identified an opportunity, please contact us.