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How Peer to Peer Networks and real world learning can drive productivity

Last updated 30 September 2020
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Jeannie Satchell

Two people will collectively know more than one,” wrote entrepreneur and former Google CIO Douglas Merrill. “Three will know more than two. And when you have…smart people sharing their knowledge, there’s very little you can’t accomplish together.

This knowledge exchange between leaders is the so-called action learning premise behind the Peer Networks Programme. The initiative is funded by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and being delivered by LEPs through their Growth Hubs.

The scheme has been warmly welcomed by  JEANNIE SATCHELL, Enterprise M3 LEP’s head of Careers and Enterprise, who is a highly experienced skills and business strategist with qualifications across education, business advice and business coaching

I’m delighted action learning has hit the government psyche. I was implementing it for health and corporates a long time ago and it’s a respected method of learning, so I am really pleased I will be able to bring it to the business world as part of the Peer Network Programme.

The beauty of action learning in a Peer-to-Peer environment, is that it is ‘real world’ learning; the sharing of information in a secure, confidential environment breaks down barriers and enables the cross-fertilisation of ideas and experience which delivers genuine solutions to individual challenges. Peer to Peer learning unlocks the power of knowledge”.

The Peer Networking programme is a new national initiative, delivered by Local Enterprise Partnerships, which will help business leaders find practical solutions to strategic and operational challenges, improving resilience, productivity and supporting them to adapt their business models to the ‘new normal’.  It also forms part of the UK Government response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Small cohorts of business owners and senior decision-makers will meet regularly in a high impact group of their peers, where facilitators will take them through a range of business topics where all members can share their internal insight and develop group-led practical solutions which are implemented and feedback provided to enable all members of the cohort to learn the lessons.

It’s vital time-out from the delivery side of the business, where SME business owners can really focus on what is important, and develop their strategic thinking . It’s real strength is it replaces a ‘tell it and do’ style of training with each member’s commitment to solving problems in an action learning environment. That’s why it gets results.

I have had a career both in education and in business, and I still get excited by solution and delivery. I love seeing how  people can develop and change. I always knew whenever I was coaching, mentoring or training, that if the peer group had left a business leader motivated and inspired to move from where they were, to where they wanted to be, then I had done my job.

I am confident this scheme will make a real difference on the ground to our business leaders and I am looking forward to seeing the results.

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