Achieving Excellence Through Learning

Improving the performance of an individual, a team, and an organisation is critical to the success and resilience of any business. One way to achieve this is for leaders to focus on a range of simple measures that can easily be enacted and self-managed to build greater knowledge, expertise, and cohesiveness in an organisation; in short, achieving excellence through learning.

But where to start?

One of the key actions to building a development plan for a division or a department is to talk to the people involved first. Get to understand their needs and ideas on how to deliver better outcomes. It is important the investment you make yields a return for the individual and for the enterprise. So, you need to seek their buy-in.

People need to be able to relate to the topics and understand the benefits of any learning initiatives. Providing information without context is wasting resources (the information goes in one ear and out the other!). Using real-world examples, however, is a great means of providing context. Demonstrating to people how information is applied can give them a great framework for how they will use it themselves.

And, as we all know, practice makes perfect. Giving people opportunities to practice can help them confidently handle the variety of situations they may face on the job.

Great organisations are committed to learn constantly from everything they do. They use their experience and that of others to improve their performance. They are consistent in their approach and use both successes and failures as learning opportunities. Continuous learning is systemically built into a successful organisation’s DNA and infrastructure*.

How do you continuously improve?

One key mechanism to continuously improve performance is to debrief your successes and failures; spend time identifying what went right and what went wrong and what you would do differently in the future. And, importantly, conduct the debrief in a blame-free and safe environment so everyone is confident in sharing their experiences enabling you to get to the truth of the real lessons you need to learn.

Good organisations meet regularly as a whole entity rather than in departmental silos. To be effective people need to understand the whole system otherwise they only improve their part of the system. While these small improvements can be important, they do not optimise the success of the entire system. A ‘whole of business’ approach will generate a competitive advantage for your organisation.

By providing people with the opportunity to work in cross-functional teams you will get greater collegiality, innovation, and cohesiveness in your organisation. You’ll also win hearts and minds as people learn to grow their skills and develop their careers.

Nuffield Group’s IEMR team can assist your business in emergency management & recovery training. Call 1300 308 257 or +61 404 852 062 Or email us direct at

*according to Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2016 report “Employees at all levels expect dynamic, self-directed, and continuous learning opportunities from their employers”