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In Volume 4 of Cultural Cookbook, Cameron tells us how he creates a team culture that prioritises learning and development.
Hi, I’m Cameron Stavert and I’m an Underwriting Capability Manager, supporting colleagues in our SME team with their learning and development.
My role is to provide support and opportunities for individuals to grow in their role and their career, as well as to work with the team as a whole to ensure they have the knowledge, skills, and behaviours to adapt to the fast-changing market we work in. Here’s my recipe for success for professional development.
Time — make room in your schedule for learning
Courses and learning materials — take advantage of anything you have access to
A clear plan — make sure you know how you’re going to reach your goals
Informal learning — learn in the way that suits you
Appreciation — take time to acknowledge what you’ve achieved, even small steps
Step 1: Be strict about setting aside time to learn
One of the best ways that I build personal development time into my diary is by time locking. This involves blocking off my calendar to create periods of time that are completely free from distraction, so I can focus on the goals that I’ve set for myself. It's a simple yet effective way to stay on track. I’d recommend being tactical about when you schedule this time — think about when you’re most likely to feel productive and motivated to focus on your development.
Step 2: Learn in a way that works for you
It might sound surprising, but informal channels like TikTok can be powerful learning tools, especially if, like me, you prefer to learn by watching or listening. In between the football, how to cook the perfect steak, and cat videos, I’ve found some great TikTok accounts that bring insurance to life in a simple and engaging way. This allows me to learn on the go and on my terms, pausing on content that I’m interested in and scrolling past anything I’m not.
Podcasts also help me to learn in a less formal way. There are some great insurance podcasts that I listen to in the car, on a walk, or at the gym. And the best thing about both these learning solutions? They’re free!
Step 3: Have a clear plan on how to achieve your goals
Self-doubt and fear of failure are some of the biggest barriers to professional development and learning. Setting goals or thinking about professional qualifications can be daunting, and it’s easy to think ‘have I taken on too much?’ or ‘this isn’t for someone like me’.
I recommend sharing your plan with your line manager or colleagues who can give you the push you need to believe in yourself. I’d also suggest reaching out to others who’ve accomplished what you want to achieve — it’s a great way to fully understand what’s involved and help you feel confident about whether it’s the right path for you.
Step 4: Remember the four Es
The four Es can help you figure out what you need to reach your goals:
- Exposure: What new people, perspectives, groups, ways of working, cultures or systems might you need exposure to?
- Education: What new knowledge or skills do you need and where can you get them?
- Experience: What practical experience do you need in a specific area or behaviour?
- Environment: What context, culture, team, or support network will help you succeed?
Step 5: Visualise your end goal
It’s okay if your achievements end up looking a little different to what you imagined, but having a vision of what the end goal looks like will help you know if you’re on the right track.