The Benefits of a Learning Culture and How to Build One
Change consultant Yamini Patel shares her unexpected journey into consulting, how she’s developed since joining Afiniti and her insights on the necessity of creating a strong learning culture to successfully embed change.
What first led you to change consulting and then, ultimately, to Afiniti?
Becoming a consultant wasn’t what I originally planned for my career. Following my graduation, I ventured into a technical role in the software industry. My responsibilities extended beyond the technical work, exposing me to the nuances of people management, which piqued my interest.
I then decided to pursue further education, which eventually led me to a consulting firm. Although I hadn’t worked on major change projects yet, I liked consulting because of the diverse learning cultures that come with each client. I knew change consulting was something I wanted to explore further.
At the end of 2022, I moved to the UK and was looking for something similar when I found Afiniti. The company and its culture checked all the boxes on my list and I am truly grateful to be part of the team today.
What is your favourite thing about working at Afiniti?
There are lots, but the biggest one is transparency. I have previously worked in organisations with a strong hierarchy, and as a result I was not always aware of everything happening in my own projects. The communications at Afiniti have been refreshing, and I really like how information is shared across all teams. There is a spirit of camaraderie that encourages open dialogue, and everyone feels comfortable expressing their ideas, which demonstrates our value of ‘people at the heart’.
How has your learning and development been encouraged since joining Afiniti?
The learning culture at Afiniti means that every day there is always something I take away, however big or small it is. I remember mentioning during my interview that I wanted to be more involved in the change process and not confine myself to a fixed set of tasks. Fast forward to my first day at Afiniti, and I was brought into a client meeting. While there was a detailed discussion happening, I instinctively knew there was a lot to explore here.
Everyone at Afiniti is very approachable and ensures you’re working comfortably, which in turn boosts your willing and confidence to learn and grow.
Why is learning so important in successfully embedding change?
A good learning culture helps to build a strong foundation for implementing change. People are at the core of any organisation, and their buy-in and active involvement play a vital role in successful change adoption. Learning equips people with the skill and mindset to embrace the change. It empowers individuals to be active participants in the process, creating a sense of ownership and commitment. In the process, it also reveals change champions who can further steer the initiative and motivate colleagues to support it.
What advice would you give to organisations looking to enhance their learning culture?
Establish a learning culture that focuses on building a growth mindset and foster an environment that values continuous improvement.
You must also inspire and drive employees towards upskilling themselves by having leadership actively participate in learning initiatives and communications.
You can strengthen your foundation for continuous development by providing opportunities such as tailored learning initiatives and peer learning sessions, and you can nurture a learning culture to enhance employee engagement, boost productivity and foster adaptability in volatile environments.
By Yamini Patel, Change Consultant
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