Thanks Ian. Brilliant initiative, really hope it takes off.. - happy to chat about it!
Thanks Robin, yes that's a really good point. Learning groups benefited hugely from the contributions of very busy, expert and senior people - I think the trick is to make all the logistics really easy for them (just turn up) and to invite them to talk about their special insights - whether into a technical subject or a competence like leadership. Everybody likes talking about what they've learned, people usually enjoy the chance to reflect, and people usually really want to share insights with colleagues - in an altruistic way (ok there's a touch of ego as well, we're all human) - but you really need to provide the platform and clear away all the hassle involved in setting it up.
On L&D Champions as an organisational role, we've seen failures when people who aren't particularly interested or motivated have been asked to be the driving force of a learning group - but spectacular results when the role is picked up by an enthusiast. So different things I think.
Hi Linda, thanks for the comment. We were also uncertain whether learning groups would take off, and they haven't in all parts of the organisation, and some groups started and then ran out of "oomph" - but overall we feel it's been a success - and probably the beginning of a long journey..
On the virtual learning, we provided a curriculum structure of 40 separate units of learning, divided into eight modules (themes like Security, Prosperity, UK and the World etc). Each unit represented an hour or two of learning and consisted of a blend of: e-learning (maybe 50-60% of total), other digital resources (docs, slides, videos, links) and workshop guides for people to run their own sessions locally. Example of a "self-facilitated workshop" was a workshop on Parliament - we provided some slides, some video of Ministers and MPs talking about Parliament, a background doc, a quiz and a suggested workshop structure - whilst encouraging our Embassies to adapt it as they saw fit, using local knowledge and making it relevant to local work as far as possible.
I could go on and on..!! - but hopefully that gives an idea.