We're always curious to hear how our members and contributors tackle the challenges that the ever-changing world of L&D throws at them. We've got a wealth of experience and knowledge across the site, and what better way to showcase the diversity of our community than to get them to walk us through an average day?
Want to tell us about your way of working? Email us at [email protected], or let us know in the comments below.
David Cartwright is the founder of the OBD Academy, a coach supported online learning platform offering six business disciplines. He set the company up after a career in corporate turnarounds where he observed that only 5% of the work force gets onto the development radar. We caught up with David and asked him to tell us a bit about his routine.
So David, tell us about your day...
07:00 - Meditating with Sourdough: Bread making is my new passion. I use it as a form of early morning mediation. It grounds me, gives my hands a creative workout and helps me connect with the nurturing aspect of myself. Coaching is about nurturing individuals and I do a lot of that. Bread making is about nurturing not only myself but the sourdough culture too. It’s a reminder that we have to make time for ourselves if we are to remain full focused on our business and business relationships.
09:00 - My working day starts by answering emails and reading my action list from the night before. I have a tidy and structured mind and love attending to a task thoroughly so that it can be ticked off my list. One of the key skills we coach in the OBD Academy is how to manage time and projects. Having a daily action list is a great framework to ensure tasks are completed. My wife taught me this skill 30 years ago and its proved to be an invaluable asset in my professional and personal toolkit. I have noticed that men tend to keep their action lists specific to the workplace, but women’s incorporate all aspects of their lives.
11:00 - Connecting Conversations: At mid morning I like to speak to either my coaches or my clients. Running a coach supported on-line learning company means that regular communication with clients, coaches and learners is a vital aspect of triangulating and harmonising these interconnected relationships. I am the hub and basecamp for everyone, so having rich conversations in addition to email contact helps to keep the relationship web energised. I have a very loud voice, so try to find a large open space to talk to others!
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I have a tidy and structured mind and love attending to a task thoroughly so that it can be ticked off my list.
13:00 - Non-Lunch and Numbers: I am not a great lunch man, so make do with an oatcake or caramel wafer for a midday energy boost. At this time of day I like to look at numbers - either the accounts of my own business or the assignments of learners completing the financial awareness module of the OBD Academy. To me, numbers tell stories, and I like to help others find the stories in the numbers of their own organisations. I like to demystify numbers to give individuals the confidence to ask questions about how their organisation ticks financially. A business isn’t a business unless it makes a profit, so understanding where the money comes from and goes is essential knowledge for everyone.
15:00 - Our Content Management System – We developed our CMS from scratch. It’s been like giving birth to a baby and then seeing that baby go from toddler through to adolescent. I speak to Douglas, the man behind our CMS, for hours at a time. We really are akin to its devoted parents, but like all carers, we sometimes fall out about how we should tackle the naughty behaviour of our offspring.
I like to demystify numbers to give individuals the confidence to ask questions about how their organisation ticks financially.
17:00 - Tennis and Coaching: I play tennis and watch tennis, so at this time of day I am usually doing one or the other. Tennis tells us a great deal about how two people interact. Coaching is about two people interacting as well, so the tennis metaphor helps me keep my eye on the ball in terms of how our business trains our coaches. We have recently launched our Coaching in Leadership discipline, specifically to train a new generation of coaching leaders.
19:00 - Meat Matters – The end of the day sees me back in the kitchen getting my evening meal. We don’t have a TV, so evening entertainment centres around the drama of food. My wife is almost vegetarian, but I love my meat, so there is a tussle between whether it’s pulses and tomatoes or steak and mushrooms. We are thinking of getting a coach to help us deal with our eating preferences!
Now, tell us…
What would you say are your main passions in L&D?
Equality and diversity - L&D should consider the needs of all and not just the top five percent that get on the development radar.
What part of your job do you enjoy the most?
Nurturing ideas and people – seeing something grown from a tiny seed to a sapling to a big tree.
Which tools & apps do you use the most for work?
If you could make one aspect of your job more productive, what would it be?
Get a second wife identical to the one I have; I run the business with my wife of 30 years. She is hyper-efficient and productive. She challenges, supports and steers me in all that I do. If anything needed improving she would be the one to either do it or help me sort it.
One tip you’d pass on to your peers?
Everything takes time: there are no short cuts to embedding learning. You have to put in the blood, sweat and tears to transform the learning in action and meaning. It can take a lifetime. Its always about the journey and never the destination.