It’s coming up to the end of the year so I thought I would take some time to reflect and take stock. I started my role in January excited. The pioneering nature of the Fulfilling Lives programme interested me but above all was the hope that lives would be transformed both during the life of the project and in a real on-going way into the future. The opportunity to take any part in this, however small, seemed both a privilege and a responsibility.


My role is to design and deliver a national learning programme. For me it is always going to be about applied experiential learning. I am not someone who enjoys listening and pontificating about abstract ideas that I can see no application for, although I should not say this too loud working as I do in a university where knowledge and papers are currency. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy thinking and hearing new ideas and theories but I always search for how this applies to the real world. I believe in what Reg Revans the creator of Action Learning said;

“there is no learning without action and no action without learning”

This statement implies that we cannot start the real learning until we start the doing! I love this as it challenges me to get going, take a risk, try something! If it fails, and of course sometimes it will, I can learn from that. Where there is learning nothing is wasted.

Conversely the problem is sometimes we are too busy doing the doing that we genuinely fail to learn. The learning is there but it goes unacknowledged then fades away. Those of you who have attended any of my learning events will have heard this before, but I want to create a space where people can reflect, can share, can learn. I want to host a space that is conducive to people learning, not by disconnecting from what they do on a daily basis but by allowing them enough time and space to actually think about what they are doing. This was always my vision for the learning programme but it is not an easy or a quick thing to do. It requires people to take ownership of their learning, be honest and open to change.

I guess I want to finish this blog by saying thank you for all the input and willingness to get hold of your own and the programmes learning this year. I have been amazed by the level of professional generosity in sharing what you are learning through the website, the action learning sets, at the seminars and webinars. My final recommendation would be for you to take a moment to just think, acknowledge all that you have done this year, and recognise all that you have learnt. Then rest.

See you in 2016

Naomi Gibbs