The Closing Gaps program in Colombia holds routine team meetings to keep all staff committed to the program strategy and goals, and involved in the continuous improvement, learning and innovation process.
At the start of every program year all employees participate in a week-long training to communicate and build individual and collective commitments around the program strategy, goals and targets. No matter their role, be it technical, administrative, logistics, contractual, or financial, all staff are required to learn about all aspects of the program to make sure the entire team and understands the shared strategy and goals.
Blumont Colombia uses didactic and game-based methodologies to promote creative thinking and enhance learning. Content and messages about the program are transformed into game pieces and symbols to facilitate communication and encourage interaction between team members. Using these game-based methodologies the program is able to demonstrate to team members how to communicate effectively without the use of PowerPoint presentations or printed guidelines, methods that have proven to be less successful.
This October, for the start of the upcoming program year, Blumont Colombia will continue its use of Lego Serious Play, a tool designed to enhance innovation and business performance through hands-on learning, to unite the program team behind a shared strategy and goals. Employing this methodology, the activity starts by activating employees’ minds and bodies. Then, using Legos, each individual creates a small model that represents their own role in program implementation. This is followed by the collective construction of a model of each regional office, which is then transformed into a model of the whole program shared by everyone.
At the start of every quarter, review and planning meetings are also held with leaders of regional teams, monitoring officers and national coordinators to discuss achievements, failures and lessons learned; review program performance; and, based on the review, define priority activities that will make up the new quarterly implementation plans. Involving everyone in the design and monitoring of quarterly implementation plans guarantees that, beyond their individual responsibilities, everyone knows what will happen in the next quarter and how it will contribute to the program strategy and goals.
Throughout the quarter, collaborative program management is maintained using simple yet effective technologies including Blumont Colombia’s online platform that manages implementation plans with shared calendars, documents and photos as evidence of program activities. Quarterly monitoring visits to regional offices and monthly operations meetings, with regional teams joining via GoToMeeting, complete the management habits of the program.
These actions follow the Blumont Way for effective program design, program management and applied learning.
This piece was adapted from an article written by Juan Pablo Franco Jimenez, Director of Operations for the Closing Gaps program.