Highly Commended - Findcourses.co.uk Impact Award for Innovation in Learning and Development
Westminster City Council took Learning at Work Week as an opportunity to address how it can be a future-fit organisation in the new age of technology – especially Artificial Intelligence (AI) and ChatGPT. The council aimed to create events for the week that gave employees a space to explore future ways of working with technology from the perspective of culture change, future skills and individual mindsets. The approach was to involve colleagues in contributing to the journey of future-proofing the organisation by encouraging open dialogue about the future to inspire a culture of innovation and collaboration.
The council’s Organisational Development team led the planning for the week and developed a series of innovative events. These included:
- ‘Leading the Future’ event - a collaboration with tech-leader Microsoft to give a global perspective and uncover ideas of how roles will change with the help of AI, and provide a myth buster about AI and ChatGPT
- Workshops showcasing the benefits of using technology for front line services with HoloLens 2, a next-generation holographic headset that uses augmented reality for enhancing learning and productivity
- A panel discussion event which challenged colleagues to be future ready with the council’s Chief Executive, Stuart Love, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer, Aruj Haider and Bob Shorten, a professor from the Dyson School of Design Engineering.
- A whiteboard activity to encourage people to reflect on cultural norms with their team and challenge change
- Themed courses promoting innovation and a more skilled workforce including on ‘developing a growth mindset’ and ‘how to be a world class leader’.
- Sessions featuring resources, applications and tools such as ‘What’s new in tech at WCC?’ where the Technology Adoption Team showcased the latest apps to support work-life balance; an interactive activity ‘mapping your future’ which encouraged people to tap into their unconscious and intuition to plan their ideal future; and the council’s career’s portal and one-to-one coaching.
In partnership with the internal communication team, the week was promoted across the organisation via the staff intranet, e-newsletters, weekly online staff forums, staff networks and the learning and development Champions. A dedicated Learning at Work Week hub provided a space for staff to explore all the themes and events of the week. A further resources page listed external learning platforms such as EdX and Google Digital Garage.
The week proved a success in stimulating curiosity and inspiration about technology and what it can do. Over 400 colleagues visited the hub and over 250 attended the activities, with 300 people viewing the recordings. The activities supported the council and its colleagues to think about and develop future ways of working together: from understanding that everyone has the power to make decisions that will benefit them in the future, to learning the different practices that can be put in place to help the council be future-fit. Colleagues were able to evaluate how they currently work and compare it to the future way of working.