Life-changing stuff happens every day, like a birth, a death, or a trip of a lifetime. At these times, you get clarity on what’s important. It’s not unusual then to realise it’s time for a new change.

When the third general election in four years is announced, people hope for clarity, for reflection, for their future. And depending which side of the fence you are on, it’s not unusual then to realise it’s time for a new change.

When the end of the year comes around, many people like to reflect on what has gone before, and anticipate their future. It’s not unusual then to realise it’s time for a new change.

It is with all this on my mind, I share my clarity, my reflection, and my new change.

Clarity

A six week family holiday this summer gave me time to think (well, it would really, wouldn’t it!) I concluded that in six years of trading as Kairos Modern Learning, my best times are always when I was working alongside others. Having a tribe is important and I really miss working alongside people when I’m working alone in Shedquarters. I miss the creativity and energy found in being around others. I also love managing others, especially developing others, and I noticed I was missing this too. This clarity of purpose pointed towards a new change.

Reflection

In reflecting on 2019, I noticed I have seen a lot of ‘new’. New clients. New projects. New experiences. New memories. New countries. New York. New thinking. New way of life. New negotiations. New vets bills. New puppy. New deaths. Newly forever different. New strength. New CV. New direction.

I realised I actually like new (not the new deaths bit, but you gotta take the rough with the smooth). All this new has led to wanting more new coming up in 2020. New job. New car. New commute. New house. New year. New decade. New life choices.

Change

This year has been quite the year of paradoxical extremes. There have been soaring highs and tumultuous lows.

  • The excitement and success of the Girlguiding Trainers Conference, marred by the sad death of one of our much loved Volunteer L&D team.
  • The ending of a contract with one of my favourite clients, which enabled time out for a long holiday of a lifetime to North America.
  • A new series on Learning Now TV showcasing the work of charities in L&D, and the tough, lonely challenge of writing my book.
  • The welcoming of a new puppy brought to us by love, then the sad untimely death of my young niece, robbed from us by cancer.
  • Having our best ever financial year at Kairos Modern Learning, to the realisation it was time leave it all behind.

Yes, there it is, out there, you’ve heard it. I’m going out on a high. Kairos Modern Learning has handed me a P45, and I’m proud to announce I’m taking it to CIPD today. Following the first CV and application letter I’ve written since the early 2000s, I applied, I interviewed and I have a new job. My new role as Commercial Learning Manager is in a fab new team lead by one of the most energetic, kind, excellent L&Ders I know, Andy Lancaster. To say I’m excited is an understatement!

Au revoir KML

I’m not gonna lie though, I am also a little sad. Kairos Modern Learning is my work baby, birthed in 2014, and it has been the gift which has kept giving since. As I often Tweet, the past six years have been #TimeWellSpent. I’ve worked on some outstanding projects and with some truly exceptional and visionary people. Recent stand out memories include working in a field with Virtual College, coming home from Lindt & Sprungli with an abundance of advent calendars, and the excitement of supporting The OCM to design the first accredited online coaching programme. And there’s fab older memories too;  building Shedquarters and enjoying work in there immensely, hiring my sister and loving that we worked really well together, and of course, winning a gold TJ Award and silver Learning Technologies Award with CIPD. Despite all this success and joy, the two consistent things missing at KML were working in a collaborative team and leading others. I love working alone in SHQ with my dogs alongside me but they are not so good at ‘col-labs’ and ‘paw-sentations’. Actually about as good as I am at jokes.

In 2015 I set up #LnDcowork with Fiona McBride to offer a space to others like me in L&D who work alone, be that freelance or within a company. I’m proud to say that space is still shared monthly up and down the country. And for many a year, #LnDcowork, along with my wonderful Girlguiding L&D team has been enough. But after good reflection time in the summer, I realised the team at CIPD are my tribe. I’ve worked with them regularly for a number of years. My contract ended in June. And wow, have I missed them!? Their energy, their creativity, their ambitions for our industry.

So it won’t be a surprise to many that I have decided to step away from KML to give my energies to our profession through a new role with CIPD. I feel drawn to CIPD now that our industry’s Institute has really charged forward over the past few years to lead our profession. Through Andy Lancaster’s leadership so much inspiring work has shifted the dial on learning at CIPD, it is hard to not be impressed. I know more is coming for members and I am thrilled to be part of the team to support that. I am delighted to lead a team of experts and be part of the wider L&D team as CIPD Learning takes off. It is an exciting time to be around it all. I am honoured they’ll have me join today, just in time for the office Christmas party, my first in years!

So there it is, my newest news – actually not so new as some of you will have heard this already via Twitter, which is, after all, my favourite comms channel, so it felt right to break it there. Rest assured though, some things won’t change. Kairos Modern Learning will remain in action to support practical L&D through my voluntary roles such as #LnDcowork, Learning Now TV, Awards judging, conference back channelling, Lead Volunteer for L&D at Girlguiding, writing my book and a few other bits and pieces. My blog will stay here too, as I reflect on my new journey and where that takes me. I remain me and continue to live my values of transparency, excellence and challenge. I remain keen to serve clients and the profession. I remain strategically-minded yet focused on the practical. I remain committed to ensuring modern workplace learning is accessible for all.  Really, I’m just swapping location!

See you again in the new decade folks. Bring on the new roaring twenties. Its time for new change. I can’t wait.