image“Freely you have received, freely give…” Matthew 10:8

In the west we are rich beyond the imaginations of the majority of the rest of the world. This BBC news clip echoes this:

On current trends, Oxfam says it expects the wealthiest 1% to own more than 50% of the world’s wealth by 2016. 

And yet, I meet so many people who are less than generous with their resources, time and “stuff”. These are the “small pie” thinkers. These people hold onto everything with clenched fists because they are scared of losing what they have. When they give, it does not have much value and is used as a lure for what they might be able to sell. They believe that there is only a small(metaphorical) pie and they need to keep as much for themselves as possible.

If the statistic above is true, the “small pie” is not our reality. Our pie is big and we have lots. Yes there is always someone who has more…..but we have lots already……So here is my take on “big pie” thinking. We have a big pie and we in the west have a big portion of it, so if we give some away (even to the poor in our society) we will still have lots. Here is the great thing about giving away your pie… get loads back in unexpected ways.

So some of you who follow my blogs (and I know you are out there Astrid!) may be wondering what this has to do with L&D……. as always there is a link. I have worked with some pretty generous people who share lots and love to collaborate…. great “big pie” thinkers. I am going to name a few, but apologise if I miss out anyone….

  • Sharon Young of Pearlcatchers
  • Lisa Price, Clarity People
  • Mike Collins, DPG
  • Andy Pearce, On Track Learning
  • Julian Kettleborough, The Studio
  • Karen Foundling, creative coach
  • Jane Hirst, Developing your potential
  • Lucy Hayward, Freelance consultant

I have worked with Sharon and have been associated with Pearlcatchers for a number of years – great collaborators.  Lisa, as HR Director gave me my first role in soft skills, moving from IT training. Mike Collins has been a great encourager in anything digital – he is a real guru! Andy, a client of mine who generously has given of his time to help promote the Learning Loop. Julian, a director of the Studio is collaborating with us on our Showcase event in November for the Learning Loop, in what will hopefully be a mutually beneficial project.

The remainder, I am proud to call my associates and friends, because they give their time, share resources, ideas and support. It is not always possible, as a small business to be able to pay everyone for everything they contribute, so if you “freely give” your time, resources, ideas and support, all of which are free…… you can collaborate on projects you never even thought possible.

Every month I give away a brand new training activity(that I have designed) to my monthly subscribers. Why? Let me list a few reasons:

  • I love it when others can use my ideas – sometimes I get to hear their stories about how it went (*see below)
  • I love the idea that I may have saved time for someone, somewhere or made them smile during a training session
  • I know that this idea or activity will not be my last, so I have “freely received” and so know I can “freely give
  • I get back so much more, not expecting to get anything in return

*At the World of Learning September 2015, I met a Astrid Ennis, a reader of my blog, who came to my stand and thanked me for sharing and told me how much she enjoyed receiving her free activities and my updates. It made me smile and made my day…..

So what would be the effect if we, as L&D professionals all started to think in a “big pie” way? How would L&D consultants benefit? How would organisations benefit? What would it be like? I would love to find out!

By the way, the concept of “small pie” and “big pie” thinking came from my husband Gareth Gadd, who so generously donated his thoughts on this!

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