Taking a networked approach to staff learning and development


The challenge

At The Social Change Agency, we have a decade of experience creating powerful human-centred networks for social impact.

We are the creators of the Network Building Canvas, a tool to help changemakers of all kinds set up successful peer networks, that has been tested with network and community managers, membership-based organisations and start-ups. 

In 2021, Chanel approached us to learn more about network building, and think through how a networked approach could help foster staff learning and development.

They wanted to know what areas of development and infrastructure would need to shift, to enable employees to take leadership of their own development journey, connect and share that development with colleagues, and contribute more deeply to the goals of the company as a whole.

Our approach

Using our expertise in network building, coaching, workshop development and facilitation, we: 

Facilitated an informal session with select colleagues, to gain a better understanding of the context and objectives of our time together.

Facilitated a workshop based on our Network Building Canvas, attended by Chanel staff. This workshop gave an overview of how networks are built and sustained and offered opportunities to discuss how networks could be built within Chanel to encourage staff learning and development. The workshop covered: 

  • Network identity – What holds people together beyond sharing an employer?
  • Value creation in the network – Why do people join a network? What do they stay for? What makes them feel like they own it? 
  • Empowering, power and decision making – Where are decisions being made in the network? Who is making them and who is responsible for them? Where do they get this authority? 
  • Infrastructure and resourcing – What different roles need to exist for network members? What does the network already have? Who does the network work with?
  • Change management – How can the network adapt to changing contexts?

Put together a package of recommendations for the future development of a network at Chanel, based on the insights gathered during the staff workshop.

The impact

Chanel used the learnings and recommendations from our work together to develop and strengthen their internal network for staff learning and development.

Are you a business or organisation looking to build networks?

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