I’ve become a little bit obsessed with this blog post from Matthew Partovi of ResponsiveOrg and the grafter behind #culturevist. Something about the idea of putting in the effort where it has most impact.

At Helpful we do a lot of training, and for us it can be one of the most energising projects we work on. It’s exciting to help people deliver better communications online and overcome their fears or barriers.

I’ve also noticed that when the occasional red dot appears – someone who has asked for training, but isn’t prepared to participate – it can be quite debilitating. So, as Matthew’s blog suggests, we focus on the green and yellow dots – people who are prepared to participate or at least try – and ignore the rest.

Increasingly we are also looking for opportunities to help people become practitioners. As this post put it, ‘you can’t learn about the network society without being a part of it.’ In order to help people achieve this, we have put a lot of effort in to the Digital Action Plan: a set of personalised digital goals, achieved during three months in bite size chunks, with access to some of the best thinking and case studies around digital communications. Crucially, the goals aren’t just focussed on tools – we want teams to become better at listening and sharing: with each other, as well as their audiences, on- and off-line.

Our third cohort of press officers, marketeers, digital and stakeholder teams are just starting their plans now, and it has been incredibly rewarding to get under the skin of the experience, knowledge, ambition and fears of the participants. We’re lucky with this cohort: all green and yellow dots. Even if there were some red ones, I’m not sure it matters with the Digital Action Plan, because it is entirely centred on delivering practical work. As my Granny says, you only get out what you put in, so red dots are responsible for their own progress . That leaves us to focus on where we can deliver most value for the team and their organisation.

This is a constant learning curve for us too. If you have thoughts about how this approach can be developed, then I’d like to hear them.

Graduates from action learning received a goody bag of inspiration

Graduates from action learning received a goody bag of inspiration