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Sink or swim - the L&D strategy of some of my managers

Updated: Jan 22, 2020

As I launched my new venture many people have asked me what motivated me to do it. The catalyst can often overshadow the original mission so here is the founding reason why ivity the dream became ivity the reality.


All the certificates and no direction

I recognise that I’m fortunate. Unlike my Mum who was forced to leave school early and work in a job that seriously limited her career potential, I was allowed to enjoy a good school education. There was no clear direction as to what this education would lead to - there were a lot of hopeful teachers who hoped some of us might become Nuns. But I trusted I would have choices and that learning was a privilege to be enjoyed. I went to uni to experience ‘the best years of my life’ knowing full well that the Geography degree I studied would not exactly lead to a defined career but would suit my analytical and enquiring mind in between the late nights and parties. Post graduating I suddenly found myself ready to work but feeling ill-equipped to find a rewarding job. I drifted into a role as a HR Advisor completing a Human Resource Management Masters degree. That HR degree and job was pivotal to what I wanted from my career. Culture is everything, people are priceless and everyone matters, training and continuous learning is important and everyone needs space and support when dealing with life traumas. Employment Law is there to protect you from unscrupulous people.

I was ready for industry.

I ensured my fortune again. I chose a big corporate business that invested in people. This organisation put the customers at the top of the organisation chart and hired people with nowse and desire to serve those customers profitably. My degrees gave me transferable skills (they were worth it) but the skills needed to do my job were given to me on the job by my employer. The Tesco Academy was available for you to stretch yourself. The managers were people managers in touch with the purpose of the team and they knew what their team were actually doing in their jobs and how talented that team were. Knowledge sharing and developing your skills to help us grow as a team was core to the values of the organisation.

In my career since then, I have often been thrown in the deep end.


The management style of some of my managers since Tesco has been I’ve hired you cos you know what to do, now sink or swim.


I thrive in that environment. I’m a problem solver with the skills to cut through the noise but I regularly see people struggling with the volume of work who just need a bit of data upskilling and I find I’m good at sharing my skills.


I think to myself, what if I had not had access to the Tesco Academy and investment in my data skills back in 2007. My career would have been very different.


In my last week of working for a firm, I was doing some forecasting with a very experienced supply planner and I used a data function that she’d never seen before and she asked where did you learn how to do that? And I replied Tesco. I’m an advocate of continuous learning. This world is always changing so we need to move with the developments but openness to learning lasts forever.


So here I am, launching ivity to provide somewhere for businesses to go to inject data skills and learning into their teams. The lack of data skills in the digital age is the biggest barrier I have witnessed to teams achieving what they desire. Ivity works with your existing teams to remove the data and communication barriers in their job and help people improve the visibility of what their business is all about.


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