Last week, I attended, with my clients, the ScaleUp 2018 Summit in Denver Colorado and wow - what a great lineup of speakers! Each speaker provided a unique take on a shared theme and provided useful tools and stories to apply to our own businesses and lives. But personally, a highlight of the Summit for me was seeing that so many of my clients – full leadership teams – attended as well.
From attending too many educational conferences to count, I can honestly say that when you allow yourself to give full attention and go in with an open mind, any speaker can leave you with a piece of knowledge or tool that can help you grow. This is why I strongly encourage our clients and their teams to attend, and set them up for success when they do.
From the past two ScaleUp Summits, we have found that the most impactful way that we set clients up for success in team learning and growth is with our additional half-day post-summit. With our clients, we meet in a conference room in the hotel of the summit, for about 4 hours the day following the summit, to discuss what they just experienced over the previous two days. We call this the “Summit Roundup”. The Summit Roundup provides an opportunity for all who attended to work together to decide what they should implement in their company, when they should implement and how they should implement. It is a proven fact that leadership teams (and whole companies) that learn together, win together – and that is exactly what the Summit Roundup fosters.
This is one of the highest rated sessions of the week by our clients because they get a chance to interact with the rest of their team and discuss the speakers. They talk about the impact the content might have their companies and then decide together, as a team, what they should do. It is not just the CEO coming back to the office with the latest and greatest “fad” idea or system! It’s the leadership team coming back to the rest of the company with what they feel will be most impactful at this time to move the company forward, AND a plan on how to implement.
We now know team learning is essential, but other than conferences/summits, how do we encourage and practise it consistently? Here are 5 “drills” to increase team learning, and the practising of it, at your company:
- Instill a Regular Rhythm of Learning 12 Months in Advance –From my experience as a CEO,we learned that if you don’t plan for learning events in advance that you are too busy to attend. our leadership team planned in our annual planning session our rhythm of learning for the year. We booked in all events, internal and external, that we would be investing time and money into. We did this as both a team and on an individually level. By doing this, we had committed to learning and to the “practicing”, together.
- Make Learning a Forecasted Annual Investment – Because we made a plan as outlined in #1 – we agreed upon the amount of dollars to invest and ensure this was in our forecasted P&L plan for the year.
- Implement a Team Book Club – As a CEO, and as a coach, I cannot recommend this step enough! It is so powerful to get the whole company reading the same books at the same time. Then as a team, as a company, as a leadership team, we can decide what and if we should implement to evolve how we are “playing” to win.
- Attend a Conference or Workshop as a Team – Make this a priority for the leadership team. As you know, my client’s leadership teams just attended the ScaleUp Summit 2018 in Denver. These summits take place twice a year and have the top thought leaders that are trending now speak. They get the leadership team together to evolve cohesively and get them learning together. This is one of the best investments you can make. For the rest of the team, look for local opportunities for workshops and conferences for all the same reasons!
- Lunch and Learns –L+L’s are a great way for people to grow in two ways: one, by being the presenter, or a team of presenters, of the learning, getting to mastery. And two, by learning from one another.
Currently, we are all in the fourth quarter of the calendar year. Make sure you add a “Team Learning Plan” to your annual planning agenda. You will not regret you did! This is one of the best discussions you and your team can have around Investing in your team for growth. Remember: teams that learn together, win together!!
-Shannon Byrne Susko
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