The Impact of Self Managed Learning

Case studies

Self Managed Learning

Self Managed Learning

We are privileged to work in partnership with great organisations and wonderful people. Below we share the positive impact our Self Managed Learning programmes and content-free frameworks have delivered for three of our clients, Sainsbury’s, PPP healthcare (AXA) and Ericsson. Get in touch to explore how we can partner with you to deliver measurable performance improvements.

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Self Managed Learning

Organisational Change - PPP healthcare (AXA group)

The Challenge

During a period of considerable organisational change, Self Managed Learning was specifically chosen as a leadership development strategy for 120 senior managers to facilitate that change.  

The Results (conducted via Masters degree research)

  • Measurable improvements to business performance – e.g. new product development; fresh approach to market research
  • Leadership development shifted to business focussed, flexible, innovative and cost effective
  • Increase in confidence of senior managers to take action and manage their own learning
  • Created culture of working collaboratively and inclusively

The CEO (at the time of the programme) described six benefits:

  1. The obvious networking benefit of people finding out what’s going on elsewhere. 
  2. This may not be an obvious one, but I think it’s apparent from where I sit, I think there’s been a huge increase in self-confidence in the managers who take part in it. It may be a bit unconscious for them…but I think it’s quite important. 
  3. As a way of, a method of, working. So not just the networking benefits of simply knowing what’s going on in other parts of the business, but of understanding that where we ultimately want to get to is that you don’t need a dictat coming down from the Policy Group, that, actually, managers see that we need to do this, to get together and get things done…there’s no sitting back as a spectator and waiting to be told… They [leaders] see from that the power of just getting on and doing things. 
  4. Another important benefit is the challenging side of it. This sort of process also gives people confidence in understanding that, in terms of our values, they have the right to be heard as managers, to say what they think, openly and not subversively. 
  5. In terms of an organisation that is in an environment where change is going to be a constant bedfellow, then, clearly, this type of working is also conducive to that fresh approach all the time. 
  6. There is the hard learning bit, what it enables people to do through the Strategic Learning Contract…where they need to learn new skills or gain a new qualification.

These are the things I see and applaud from it.

blue sky through trees

Culture Change in HR - Sainsbury’s

The Challenge

Nigel Broome,  Director HR – Operations in Sainsbury and Judith Evans, HR Director for Homebase set the context:

“As a company, we needed to move away from a rather over directive style of management which had inhibited creativity and innovation.  With over 120,000 employees HR was (and is) a vitally important activity in the company. … it was apparent that the function had not responded adequately to the needs of the business in a number of areas. When we surveyed managers around the business they told us a number of important things about the changes they wanted to see.”

The Self Managed Learning programme was designed to facilitate a major shift in the way the function and all 700 HR professionals worked. Nine aims (success criteria) were identified.

The Results

Quantitative measures were devised against all nine aims of the programme. A ten-point scale was created. Starting mean scores prior to the programme were around 5.  In addition to the individual learning for each participant that had been evidenced, all scores against the nine business aims improved significantly with a positive 2.5 average shift to 7.5.

Nigel Broome and Judith Evans summarised their own conclusions as follows:

“The value of the programme has been enormous to the company in times of change and turbulence in our markets. The principles of Self Managed Learning, such as using real work as a basis of learning, have underpinned a major change management programme for Directors. Without the success of the programme we would not have been able to pursue that and other new projects.” 

tree bark in autumn

Personalised, Lifelong Learning - Ericsson

The Challenge

The Self Managed Learning approach was chosen to facilitate a change of culture to lifelong learning in line with the organisation’s strategic direction and local business strategy. It was initiated and run by senior line managers with 114 participants across two divisions with the following aims:

  • To encourage people to take charge of their own development so that we avoid the situation where people are waiting passively for others to organise courses or learning activities 
  • To get the most out of the time that people are investing in learning activities 
  • To provide an approach to learning that people will enjoy, is collaborative, highly visible and where people will take a creative approach to identifying sources of learning.

The Results

Through an MBA research study (questionnaires and focus groups), it was found that the Self Managed Learning programme had had a significant impact on participants. People were taking a proactive approach to their future direction and viewing their careers in terms of learning and development. There was increased networking, coaching and support between participants with 88% of respondents stating that their learning group members had helped to generate ideas and solutions to problems they shared. 

Example quotes, firstly from a Project Manager:

“… it [Self Managed Learning] will build a different type of culture where people are responsible for their own futures as opposed to thinking ‘My manager knows what I need to learn – I’ll just wait for him or her to let me know’. ‘Empowerment’, that’s the word I was looking for.”

and from a Software Designer:

“I was surprised it worked. In the early days, I couldn’t see how a bunch of people from different areas would be able to help other people learn different things. But I guess with Self Managed Learning you don’t always need to be told the answer. Sometimes people suggest something that leads you to the solution indirectly. Often just the opportunity to discuss an issue makes you realise that you knew the answer all the time.”