Workplace Championing

WORKPLACE CHAMPIONING
This is the philosophy behind applying the Integrated Triangle. When personal and team confidence develop and a co-operative atmosphere prevails again, it will be ready for application!You’ve possibly experienced some of this co-operation already, in a fairly informal way. Perhaps you’ve struggled with, say, a particular computer function. This might mean you cannot complete the work you’re trying to achieve. You seek the help of a colleague who is competent and experienced at performing the function. S/he spends some time with you, responding to your specific shortfalls and helping you succeed. Co-operation – it’s the name of the game!There’s another added and crucial benefit – s/he is also around subsequently to help you through any post-learning “glitches”, so your learning can be consolidated …. with a much stronger guarantee of success.

Expand this one hundred-fold, build in the infrastructure …… and you have the concept behind the Championing Integrated Triangle.The “added ingredients” in my Integrated Triangle model over naturally-occurring co-operation are:

a) making this integration widespread within the organisation –
b) putting the system management and organisation in place to make it function effectively and
c) ensuring the long-term success & consistency of the on-going support.

The Model
As the diagram displays, the three corners of the equilateral triangle are – Individual learner, Workplace Champion & Development Support.

triangle

The Individual is anyone who requires an “injection” of skill or knowledge, to get him/her progressing again;

The Champion is someone possessing that skill or knowledge, who is both capable of and willing to pass it on – and

The Support is the infrastructure and people in place (HR/Management/Training etc) to make the Champion’s role as easy as possible.

They must work dynamically together – if one fails, interaction between the other two will suffer.

The philosophy behind the model

This proposes that anyone with a skill or knowledge pool which s/he is willing to share with someone else can become a champion. The emphasis is on each champion being able to pass on this information in a clear, structured way, using simple resources where required. This might require some initial training and assistance – notice, however, we’re not attempting to produce skilled presenters; merely facilitators who can understand the learner’s problem and help him/her move forward again – and provide any additional support and advice as required subsequently, to get over any initial glitches.

So, for a champion – having the correct mind set and getting the message across clearly and at the correct level are important ; being a wizard at using Powerpoint™ is not. This is coaching, NOT training.

Workplace championing techniques are ideal for one-to-one learning, where the individual learner is aware of his/her specific problems requiring clarification and/or resolution. This is important – that the learner feels empowered to improve. Using in-house champions means that the problem can be responded to rapidly and specifically. The all-important follow-up support (so often lacking in more formalised training interventions) will also ensure that the learning is consolidated through positive – and directly relevant – practical experience.

Championing will slot in with other learning and development techniques – no-one is claiming that this (or indeed any other form of learning) can be the “total training solution” for all learning needs. Learning styles vary between learners and also subject matter. However, Workplace Championing has a valuable place in the toolkit of learning interventions.

Key Elements of the Model

The Integrated Triangle model takes the naturally-occurring potential for people working co-operatively together and grows it to become a major development resource in the workplace, through –

  •  reaching agreement and support for the philosophy at senior level
  •  developing a specific structure to meet the organisation’s needs/priorities
  •  identifying champions who can impart particular skills & knowledge
  •  coaching/mentoring these champions in the basic skills required
  •  emphasising the importance of establishing clear learning objectives
  •  creating a self-motivating atmosphere where individuals seek help
  •  encouraging HR/training/management to provide necessary support
  •  building a matrix to link learner and champion together for each need
  •  developing a system to resolve learning needs rapidly and specifically
  •  preparing learners for the responsibilities of a self-managed system
  •  integrating this championing within the full range of learning activities
  •  establishing a management system to plan and record outcomes.

IT IS CRUCIAL THAT THE FOUNDATIONS ARE CAREFULLY PLANNED AND POSITIONED, THROUGH CONSULTANCY IF NECESSARY, BEFORE THE INITIAL CHAMPIONING ACTIVITIES ARE ATTEMPTED.

An atmosphere of CO-OPERATION, FAIRNESS, OBJECTIVE-THINKING, TRUST, SKILLS SHARING  and PROFESSIONALISM is necessary for positive progress to be feasible. Ensure that the foundations are in place and functioning properly before attempting to build any new structures.

See the Books section for details of the three supporting books. It is recommended that anyone interested in developing Championing within their workplace should at least read “Growing Workplace Champions” to gain further insights, before setting the wheels in motion.

Chris would of course be interested in advising you on the implementation of any such scheme, on a consultancy basis.

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