Last week I went to central London to deliver some training. It’s a rare trip for me – usually southern-based workshops are run by our southern-based trainers, but on this occasion, it was me.
I get quite a buzz out of going to London: the sheer size, pace and diversity fills me with awe. I love to be a part of it…for a little while anyway. London is so unlike anywhere else in the UK. Yes, Manchester, Birmingham and even my home city of Liverpool can feel busy, metropolitan and multi-cultural but they don’t feel like London, or work the way it does. The underground system is simply amazing in it’s efficiency. ‘Boris’ bikes – brilliant. The sheer diversity of restaurants and eateries is mind boggling. Even the clothes that people wear are somehow different (I’ve never seen a man in his mid-thirties wearing skinny jeans in Liverpool and it looking normal, yet in London this somehow worked!).
And this is why I love to visit: It’s so different to my home town. The difference is striking. What works in London would seem bonkers up here. What works here wouldn’t work in London for a whole host of reasons. A small village on the outskirts of Merseyside has different needs to London. The people are different: our situations, expectations, needs and preferences aren’t the same as our city-based friends.
The same is true of companies. Everyone seems to hold the likes of Google, SAS, River Island and Nissan in the highest regard when it comes to defining what great HR and L&D looks like. True, they do wonderful things, but that suits THEM: THEIR industry, THEIR culture, THEIR goals, THEIR people. What suits THEIR company probably won’t suit YOURS.
So whilst it may be tempting to do what Google does, you won’t get the same results. Every company needs to find it’s own best practice: it’s own way forward and to define it’s own L&D strategy. It may not be cutting edge (but then it might be); It may not grab the headlines (but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring); but it will be right for you and your organisation… and that’s why I love working with businesses to create their own bespoke learning and development programmes. Every project is an adventure. Every brief a challenge. Every outcome unique.