Friday, 23 May 2008

The need to keep learning

A conversation today reminded me of something that happened a number of years ago at a conference. I was talking about how we at WIRED wanted to provide an information resource for the field to help practitioners and commissioners.

An agency boss stood up and said this would be of no value because her staff had no time to look at the internet and read because they were too busy with their clients.
I must have been feeling wimpish that day, or just in a polite mood, because I gave some bland comment about the need to keep informed. What I should have said was, "I would get rid of them because they were not doing their job properly. No one is above learning and improving their professional development and practice. No, sorry, I'd get rid of you for allowing this to happen."
Does your boss encourage you to read and keep learning. Or does he/she discourage it?


Peter O'Loughlin said...

Judging by the type and quality of 'treatment' statistics issued by the NTA, one would imagine that as long as the right boxes are ticked in the right colour and, submitted at the right time, to facilitate the claim that targets are being met, why worry about the eventual outcome? I.E in recovery? employment? social reintergration? etc.

Whilst all three of the latter are key objectives of the current treatment strategy, the NTA claim not to have any records of those who have achieved any of them, so why worry about further training?

Ian Sherwood said...

I don't think this is a rare experience at all unfortunately. Its also tends to be true that such short sighted comments are always heard at conferences with great networking opportunities but of doubtful educational value! I do get very weary hearing managers who go to lots of such conferences talking about how hard pressed their staff are. This may not be the managers fault as such if they are working for organisations that have bid for activity based contracts with such low overheads there is no room for staff development but there is also a breed of manager who having no investment in development themselves cannot see why anyone else should.

Antony Heaven said...

I'm a Learning & Development Manager so I might well think this, but there is always time for learning. It's more likely to be the motivation to learn which is in question.

We have all chosen to be in a field that expects service users to learn new ways of living. Unless we approach this from a point of view of shared learning, we're unlikely to make much progress.