Learning Journeys

Introduction

ELLI has played a leading role in given renewed impetus to the learning and development of many individuals for whom personal growth, training and their employer’s curriculum offer have either fallen on deaf ears or been a perfect excuse for a day away from the routines of everyday work. ELLI’s profile, the contradictions it depicts between perception and reality, has frequently served to kick-start a desire for change, often borne out of an innate concern many have to better see themselves as others see them.

We have chosen to share with you here some particularly interesting cases that will demonstrate the power that ELLI has to provide the guidance, objectivity and milestones  that every learning journey requires.

Pathfinder Profile – Junior Civil Servant

Junior Civil Servant

 The original profile taken shortly following the Government announcement of a 25-40% cut in Central Government employment. This individual’s over-riding pre-occupation was not so much with her survival within the Civil Service but with her ability to remain employed. She was extremely aware of her lack of experience in any but the public sector and prior to joining had found her university degree of limited value as a passport on the open market.

Self-preservation was acknowledged to mask this ‘Junior’s’ ability to put her head above the parapet and was limiting her capacity to embrace change. Nonetheless, she acknowledged that she had failed to identify her key skills, to consider the opportunities created by the new knowledge she was gaining and to think strategically through her career options. She had been offered access to a portfolio of personal development programmes, had a boss whose approach had been that of coach and mentor but she had only reluctantly engaged with the internal ‘buddy’ initiative for new joiners when under pressure to do so.

The introduction of ELLI enabled the ‘Junior’ to become much more open with her boss without having to directly articulate the matters on her mind. With a series of monthly ‘get-togethers’ off-site and after work, the ‘Junior’ had begun to find her confidence by the time that the second profile was due and to realise that to resist change was destructive not only in career terms but to her as a person. The second profile has recorded change, however slight, and provided the impetus to use both mentoring and the available CPD programmes to much greater effect.

Pathfinder Profile – Research Scientist

Research Scientist

 Sam is an ambitious young man but ambitious for the projects in his care rather than for his own future and his personal success. He has strong and often uncompromising opinions that prevent him from listening to the views and arguments of others with similar if not superior qualification. He is laborious in collecting and collating information but has a tendency to take information at face value rather than dig into the underlying facts to compose his own views and ideas.

Sam believed that he knew himself well and found ELLI’s findings difficult to come to terms with until he was caught out once too often by having regarded newly published information as truth without scrutinising its sources as fully as he should and is paid to do.

Sam’s second profile, 6 months after the first, records an improving self-awareness and, in particular, shows a growing understanding of not inly his shortcoming in his present role but his increasing willingness to change and to respect the work of others.

He now realises that he is not an island and that his own personal growth is as important to the success of his projects as it is to finding his future.

Pathfinder Profile – Middle Manager

Middle Manager

Liam is a well-respected team leader and hugely popular not only with his and other teams within the call centre but a favourite with senior management.

When Liam received his first profile he took it to be a clear picture of how the company sees him and also how he sees himself … a well-rounded individual and worthy of his managerial status. However, Liam is frustrated that his success in his current role has not enabled his promotion when others around him, whom he sees as less capable, have by-passed him.

Liam is ‘one of the boys’ and had failed to realise that to take on ‘the power of hire and fire’ would mean him needing to distance himself from his troops, not accepting appearances but being prepared to get under the skin of issues and challenging team members when things went wrong. He admitted too that failing to listen to others and learn from their mistakes was an Achilles heel. Before his ELLI profiling, Liam’s line manager had not been entirely honest with him but now encouraged him to improve his Learning Power and focus on developing those attributes that would earn him the promotion he sought.

Most importantly, Liam has begun to realise, as his second profile shows, that now he is getting married, he needs to think more constructively about a career path. He is now much more aware of himself as a learner and is making it his business to ask for help when he feels that he needs it.

Pathfinder Profile – Financial Controller

Financial Controller

 Neil is having a tough time at home. His wife, to his knowledge, is having an affair with another man and from time to time is being physically violent towards him. He is burying himself in his work and for someone who is normally quiet but engaging, he had become withdrawn and irritable. Inevitably, Neil was reluctant to undertake any profiling of any kind whilst his life was in such turmoil but was persuaded by the fact that ELLI is environmentally sensitive and it gave him the opportunity to have perhaps greater insight into what his domestic troubles were doing to him as a person and more importantly, his Learning Power and his ability to embrace change at work. As it happened, the company was deep into the implementation of a new financial management system which Neil would usually have absorbed naturally but was now finding it tough to concentrate and thereby, engage with the new technology.

ELLI would, of course, not resolve Neil’s domestic difficulties but his profile did alert him to a recognition that the power to put his life in order was in his hands. He has now reported domestic violence with the assistance of his colleagues. This has taken a huge weight off his mind and slowly but surely he is regaining his confidence at work and beginning to make the contribution to the Finance Department that his colleagues had, over the years, come to expect.

Pathfinder Profile – Board Director

Board Director and ELLI Purchaser

 Lucy is the Marketing Director of the UK subsidiary of a US parent and has always had a commitment to the forging of relationships with her HR colleagues in order that the workplace becomes an essential participant in the totality of the strategic marketing process. She worked with HR to persuade her fellow directors into purchasing and engaging with ELLI.

She was, however, mortified when receiving her own first profile and its low scores for Strategic Awareness, Creativity and Critical Curiosity, the very attributes that she believed underpinned her success in her role. Lucy had failed to recognise that ELLI assesses Learning Power and not her abilities as a commercial strategist. She had become arrogant and self-important and simply been less than responsive to change in technique and technology. This was now beginning to limit Lucy’s personal marketability and, to quote her peers, lessening their confidence in her to think outside the box, use new knowledge effectively and invest in the market research that would secure future competitiveness. Lucy ‘always knows best’, often fails to listen and is inclined to dismiss alternative suggestions’.

ELLI has already changed Lucy’s ways of working and she is not alone, some of her Board colleagues have had parallel rude awakenings, their teamwork has improved and the 2015/16 budget and strategic plan reflect a camaraderie that had been missing for some time.

Pathfinder Profile – Executive Assistant, Policy

Executive Assistant, Policy

Vicky now has a young family and has returned to work having taken several years out to bring up her two children. She is tri-lingual in English, French and Welsh and has spent at least two periods working on Regional policy in Brussels. She is now working part-time on UK regional policy and the deployment of European funding.

But, Vicky has become bored finding that her original career enthusiasms are no longer motivating her in the way that they were. She had come across ELLI by chance and asked to see whether or not ELLI as an instrument could give her a better idea of where she should seek greater engagement for the future.

Working through Vicky’s profile together, we found that she was really seeking a complete change and, in particular, involvements that would make a material difference to the performance and social awareness of her two children. She had herself lacked direction and admitted to being socially inept.

Vicky has now taken up hockey coaching and in the process of obtaining the necessary qualifications. She is also working with one of her previous bosses, CEO turned consultant, with a view to learning how to assist her best friend with a business she has just acquired from her parents in law