Enterprise Evolution’s Alison Price takes time to reflect on the global impact of COVID-19, delivering development training, and how consultancy services have adapted to change.
My work is creating entrepreneurial outcomes in others. Building the skills and confidence as well as highlighting which new areas of knowledge to explore. The philosophy for our approach within ‘EnterpriseEvolution’ has always been ‘learning by doing’ and the tools of our trade were based on interactivity involving group work, teams, and personal challenges.
The work that I do and the way that I do it was designed to be done in groups, with people and face to face. I always travelled to work with clients, my bags filled with posters, blu-tac and ‘post-it’s’, all perfect for capturing ideas, levelling the playing field of who can contribute to any discussion, tracking thinking and showing the development and the journey travelled. But when COVID-19 restrictions hit, everything changed.
Working from home should have meant that enterprise education took a step back from the vibrant co-creating, active and authentic learning experiences that have developed over the last 25 years. In that time, Enterprise Educators moved away from the traditions of workbooks and textbook answers to explore the realities of the ‘real-world’ with all its emotions, tensions, difficulties, and challenges. Lockdown should have meant that our learning has become more separate, remote, and more individual, but many colleagues report that they see on-line learning providing opportunities for the unexpected.
Whilst significant reports evidence a loss of opportunity that has limited skill development, there are also educators reporting a new confidence in some working in the online space and a change in the dynamic. There have been innovative uses of tools and techniques that see students working together, compiling ideas, and sharing dynamically and opportunities to counter the threat of isolated learning. It seems that skill development has been taking place, albeit not as originally planned.
In all honesty, I said it couldn’t be done. We reacted quickly and adapted our working practises and even though it is being done remotely, on-line and from a distance, we’ve proven that the learning can still be achieved.
Reflection remains the essence of experience, but it has been possible to engage. Working with a wide range of clients, we have had the opportunity wave at each other, stand up, step back from the computer or grab something from around the house in order to connect with each other and demonstrate an understanding of topics, challenges and to showcase lessons already learnt.
I have seen the opportunity to play, create new products and work with others being relished, despite the constraints of breakout rooms and unstable wifi!
It is now time a great time to review the last 12 months, celebrate those unexpected successes and plan for a new approach that builds on the skills we have all learnt to prepare us for the road ahead.
Enterprise Evolution, the consultancy service from The Women’s Organisation offers a range of consultancy services for organisations and small businesses that are looking to make a change through their own development, and that of their staff.
To find out more, head to Enterprise Evolution here.