Ultimate Learning — What the Boatman Said

What is the best learning experience you’ve had?

Chances are it did not involve sitting passively staring at slides on a screen or listening to someone drone on. But it probably did involve you in the truest sense of the word, in some sort of active discussion or reflection on a real life experience -- your own or someone else’s. And you most likely had a fresh insight about how you could do something better, which also gave you a boost of optimism and energy. A good learning experience does this. It builds our confidence and our capacity to be more effective.

I recently asked this same “best learning experience” question to 50 franchise executives at a Learning and Development Forum organised by the FCA. It stimulated some vibrant discussion on what works in boosting the learning and success of franchisees and franchisor executives. I have captured the key points from this discussion, which you can download by clicking this link: 17 + 1 Strategies to Improve the Effectiveness of Franchise Learning. If you have an interest in professional development you’ll get some great value from reading this.

The Professor and the Boatman

Before signing off I’ll leave you with a story about a Professor who needed to cross a river to deliver a lecture. There had been a flood and the bridge to the University was under water. As he considered his options he spotted an elderly man sitting on the river bank next to an old rowing boat. “Old man” he called, “I have to deliver an important lecture so would you be so kind as to take me across the river.” The old man shrugged and nodded. He had nothing better to do and was happy to help.

The Professor settled himself at the back of the small boat reading his notes, leaving the old man to do all the rowing. The current was strong and the river wider than usual. The old man was working hard so the Professor thought he would humour him with some conversation. Looking over his glasses he asked: “My dear fellow, have you ever learned philosophy?

The old man shook his head. “What a pity” continued the Professor with a patronising smile. “I am sorry to say this but you appear to have wasted half your life.” He then returned to his papers. The old man continued to quietly row. As they approached the deepest part of the river the boat started to take on water. The old man put down the oars and coughed politely. “Excuse me Professor, have you ever learned how to swim?
The Professor looked up alarmed. “No I haven’t.

“What a pity” said the old man. “I am sorry to say this but you appear to have wasted all your life.

The moral of this story is, when it comes to learning, practical knowledge is definitely best!

Speaking of practical knowledge, we have now finalised the program for this year’s Field Manager Summit. This is an amazing, two day professional development event for all franchise field consultants across Australia. Stay tuned for early bird registration details.

Until next time

Greg Nathan

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