In 2015 I ran a daily tweet campaign to encourage sharing of practical ideas to support L&D practitioners on how to move into a more modern learning space. I called it #NoPlasters because we need to stop sticking plaster solutions in learning, we need to get to the root cause and evolve workplace learning. I believe whilst change hurts, it doesn’t hurt so bad if we do it together; so we don’t need a plaster for these small wounds. I planned to run the campaign for one year and my pre-determined success criteria was to support at least one in-post L&Der.

Job done. Hence Endings.

Generous people have asked me to continue telling me how useful and inspiring the daily tweets have been. Thank you for your kindness, and to be honest, I am tempted, perhaps with weekly tweets instead of daily, or monthly blogs with greater detail on practical ideas. I’m still deciding on that, so feel free to chip in with your preferences. But essentially all in all, the #NoPlasters daily tips ended in 2015.

And so onto Beginnings. They always come from somewhere, particularly at this time of year post-Christmas when we’ve had a little Kairos time to open our minds to possibilities and be inspired. Inspiration may be unconscious yet it can often be traced back; a song, a glance, a smile, a tweet, a speech, a video, a feeling, a frustration. The original inspiration for #NoPlasters came from a feeling. A feeling I was familiar with, yet one which I was remote from at the start of last year, having been away from the corporate world for a time. My new beginning had rebirthed from an old feeling which had had no ending. It came from the frustration of my time in corporate L&D, knowing I wanted to do a better job yet wondering ‘How to Do’ that. In these later times with a clearer picture of the how to do, and a good understanding of the value of a network of supportive inspirers through Twitter, #NoPlasters was born.

On reflection, I can see that running a Twitter campaign to reach frustrated L&Ders who want to change their practice wasn’t quite the right place. L&Ders on Twitter already know the value of a great network and where to find inspiration for change. They know the value of making time for Twitter from 8am to 9am every Friday for #LDinsight, they know the importance of an active blogsquad at a conference, and they know how to draw on their #PLN (Personal Learning Network) when they have a question. Therefore an already informed Twitter audience was actually the wrong audience for #NoPlasters. They didn’t need me, they knew this stuff already. I guess I offered the practical ideas and the enthusiasm to try, which complimented Twitter’s wider support, but in order to affect a wider cohort I need to go where the frustrated L&Ders are. And if not Twitter, where do they play?

In my consultancy, luckily I am often where these L&Ders are by working with businesses who are looking for practical ways to improve workplace learning. However I need an invite in, and perhaps those most in need are not likely to invite me in; they don’t necessarily know they need #NoPlasters in their world. In part, it was this inspiration which pushed me to try an experiment working in an L&D role; but that’s for another blog.

So this year is beginning, like the last, with me looking for a place for #NoPlasters to ensure maximum impact in helping as many people as possible understand we can do workplace learning more effectively, efficiently, enjoyably, and in a more engaging way, drawing on private life experience in social learning and digital networks. Where is this beginning exactly? I’m not entirely sure. As often with my blogs this is somewhat of a working out loud piece. Without arrogance, but with genuine curiosity I ask, where do the as yet modern learning uninitiated frustrated L&Ders hang out? Is it conferences? Is it within their organisations? Do I need to go to books and classrooms? Courses and workbooks are the language of the frustrated L&Der, even if they may know it isn’t the best way. This is often still the expected learning space of their business operations. Perhaps this is the learning space in which I can reach more people to lend a hand to their journey of discovery? Is this is where I am headed for in a new beginning; a #NoPlasters book of some form and a classroom offering? It sounds like an interesting beginning to the year, to write a book and design face to face courses, even if it feels a little like going back to the future. It worked for Marty McFly, so here goes…

I would love to know your thoughts on where my new beginning for #NoPlasters should take me. It is all about practical ideas on ‘How to Do’ workplace learning. Where would you look for that?