ScoutingU to Combine Volunteer and Employee Learning and Development
A couple of years ago, two executives from the BSA’s Center for Professional Development were discussing the nine stages of team development. One of the executives had recently returned from a local council where he had presented the topic. When asked to name the nine steps in team development taught at CPD, he responded, “I don’t remember. I’ll check the lesson plan and get back to you.” When this same executive was asked to name the steps taught in Wood Badge, he immediately and accurately replied, “Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing.”
This conversation illustrates two important points:
- Careful design and organization of information is critical to learning and, even more importantly,
- We are not teaching the same things to our employees and volunteers.
If we do not create good learning and are not consistent in our information, how can we expect to be successful as an organization?
With the changing technological and social environment, consistency and good learning design are critical to developing our workforce to achieve the mission of the Boy Scouts of America. It only makes sense, therefore, that the learning experiences of our employees and volunteers be combined. We cannot continue teaching different philosophies and ideals and expect to achieve exceptional organizational performance, let alone deliver high-quality service and programs to our members and youth.
To address this dilemma, a team of BSA volunteers and executives has spent much of 2013 creating a framework for learning that will ensure consistency in the language and content of all programs, create learning experiences in multiple delivery formats to reach all types of learners, and merge employee and volunteer programs to encourage collaboration and sharing of experiences. The result is Scouting University (or ScoutingU), and you’ll hear more about it in 2014.
The framework was only the beginning; there are many other pieces to the strategy that require further planning and will take time to implement. Currently, the team is developing a Scouting University Web page to keep you up to date on activities and progress, and you may be asked periodically to provide feedback. In the meantime, please email your questions and comments to Scouting.U@scouting.org; you can expect a response within 48 hours.