– By Damian Killen
This summer I found myself on the other side of the fence so to speak. I went to cookery school and rather than being the facilitator/teacher, I was a participant/pupil. I loved it and I learned a lot. (Anyone who wants some recipes, please just drop me a mail and I will gladly share them).
First there was a demonstration of numerous dishes to everyone, with handy hints along the way. This concluded with a tasting of what had been cooked. Needless to say, it made queuing a pleasurable experience. Then we chose three of the items that we wanted to cook ourselves. The following morning we turned up in aprons and with the correct knives to the appointed work station. Miraculously all the ingredients we needed were ready for us with one chef available for every 6 students!
Over the next three hours we toiled away, cooking delicious bread, slicing onions to perfection (before burning them), making a sweet chilli and tomato jam to go with a lamb dish and a soup to die for. Learning by doing, making mistakes, having someone to ask for advice and tasting, tasting, tasting until things were just right.
The following week I found myself inexplicably watching Toy Story 3 in the local cinema. It has been dubbed one of the top ten weepies for men, so I was prepared. Apart from being another excellent production visually from Pixar/Disney, it had the typical number of diverse characters, humour and morals for both children and adults.
The final scene (don’t read the next paragraph, if you don’t want to know the ending) when Andy gives his toys to young Bonnie, before going to college and plays one last time with them, the theme of “use it or loose it” is reinforced. Andy realises there is no point in keeping the toys as they would have a better time with Bonnie, who would play with them, giving happiness to everyone.
Both the film and cookery school, reinforced the importance of instantly applying what you have learnt, otherwise it will be lost or at best, may take longer to imbed if left too long. Not everything can be perfect first time out (I still have to remind myself of this) but when there is help close at hand, somehow this can be overcome (I still can’t believe I burnt the onions).
How many times do we promise ourselves at the end of the course – “I must do that when I get back to the office” – only to forget about it or not make the effort. It has been well documented that 70% of development happens on the job, 20% is training and coaching based and 10% external (e.g. doing voluntary work, coaching a sports team, travel, etc.).
For us, through development programmes, coaching, team interventions, etc, we are working with the 20%. However, it is only when we collaborate with our partners and clients, and agree to work with the 90% or 100% that we experience development leaps. Many of you reading this can only influence the 70%. Wherever you sit, imagine yourself as Woody or Buzz Lightyear, be prepared to follow the dream, prepare for a bumpy ride and fulfil some your development goals this year.
As Buzz Lightyear would say “To infinity and beyond”.
Your Development Goals
If you are thinking of your development goals for the year ahead, be they personal or professional, please write them down somewhere, tell someone or drop me a mail. That way having told another person, you are more likely to work towards that goal.
For the person with the most interesting or audacious goal (personal or professional) that you let us know about, we are giving away a copy of our book on innovation.
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