Is your organisation making the most of the ripple effect

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How does your organisation view learning? Is the value of 'learning in the workplace' at the heart of enhancing organisational and personal capability? Or is learning more about knowledge-based, trainer-led events, digital or e:learning?

Of course everyone needs to acquire knowledge (and qualifications too, if career progression is on the agenda) but unfortunately not all individuals or organisations maximise the value to be gained from that learning.

Does your organisation maximise the value of learning through the 'ripple effect' so enhancing your Return on Capability Investment (RoCI)?

If your capability development is mainly focused on trainer-led learning - and that learning is not applied in the workplace, then any investment is like a small drop of water in a large ocean - one splash and it's gone!

But imagine another scenario - that newly gained knowledge is still a drop of water BUT instead of a creating a splash, it creates an ever increasing ripple effect across your organisation.

How powerful would that be for you, your colleagues and your organisation's performance?

It's an enticing image isn't it? Increasing your RoCI through sharing development experiences but without increasing your costs.

So how does it work?

Initially the ripple gets started by simply sharing new thinking, knowledge and experiences with colleagues - discussing how you might best apply new techniques and approaches in your projects and programmes. By talking and sharing, you uncover further new approaches that will benefit you, your colleagues and your change initiatives.

And that's without the organisation's support - consider now how much more powerful and wider the ripple could be with your organisation's backing!

One valuable element is having a community. But remember that this doesn't have to be formal - a good social network can be extremely effective too!

However, if your organisation already has a project and programme community in place or is thinking about setting one up - then maximising your investment via the ripple effect is definitely something to consider!

There are many techniques and approaches you can use, which become more effective and more valuable as the ripples widen. Consider the 70:20:10 approach, use of which can only enhance the power and the effectiveness of the ripples.

If this approach is new to you:

I have added some of the potential approaches to the image (above) but of course there are many more. Some are driven by the individual whilst others need the support of the organisation in order to be truly effective.

I have been working in the project and programme environment for over twenty years and one of the most valuable lessons I have learned is that enhancing capability is a continuous activity - there is always a way to be more effective!

And as this new experience is shared the benefits are magnified. An individual being more effective leads to greater team effectiveness which in turn enhances the performance of the department, then the wider community, ultimately influencing the performance of the entire organisation.

This virtuous circle pays real dividends in terms of increased staff retention, more predictable project performance, reduced re-work, reduced costs of recruitment and - as important - increased staff engagement.

Given these outcomes as an incentive who wouldn't want to see the ripple effect in their organisation?

And the thing is - it really works. I've seen the ripple effect in action. So what's stopping your organisation?

If you are not sure how to go about it or would like to find out more about how the ripple effect could be of benefit to you, your colleagues and your organisation, please do contact me. I can always be reached via email at JNichols@citi.co.uk


Jane Marshall-Nichols
COO, CITI Limited


Jane Nichols

Jane Nichols

Working for CITI and our clients has allowed me to realise my passion for developing change management capability in both individuals and organisations
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