3M Visit- Hannah Tyreman and Stephanie Moakes

A few months ago, Steph (S_Moakes) and I (@hannahtyreman) had the privilege of visiting 3M to learn about their organisation’s culture and approach to learning.
What follows are some of the thoughts and reflections of the day.
Sharing journeys, rather than outcomes, is a huge part of their culture as that’s where learning comes from and, ultimately, problem solving discussions and solutions explorations.
Due to this fact, it’s vitally important that the journeys shared are honest- warts and all. This kind of an organisation is one where it is likely that development will take place as staff are able to realistically learn from one another rather than having to worry about saving face and therefore failing in silence behind a mask of success.
Emerging talent is nurtured and celebrated.
The organisation’s development model puts the onus for learning entirely on the individual but they offer a range of development opportunities and approaches so that staff can take care of themselves and their career in their own way.
The 70,20,10 theory is one I was already familiar but it was good to meet people within a company where it exists.
It’s an approach to development, which suggests that 70% of what we learn is through doing our jobs, 20% from other people and 10% formally.
Their development structure is simple. Staff and their managers assess the areas for development, the possible routes towards development are explored and then the development occurs.
One phrase apparent on their site and paperwork was the one above. Not just to achieve something but to reach your FULL potential brings with it high expectations.
There are other phrases that encompass the culture of the organisation:
Volunteer for things that make you nervous.
Developing your know-how by expanding your know-who.
The structure of the organisation is fluid- moves within the organisation are encouraged- they recognise that staff may be more motivated working on a different project or in another area of the company- leaders work hard to recognise this and encourage it where suitable.
Experiential learning is high on their agenda- they’ve recognised the natural ways in which people learn- from colleagues and from experimenting.

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