Questions from the sceptics: 2. Show me the “learning”. This is the second in a series of short blogs about common questions we receive about LfE.
I’m sometimes asked to demonstrate the “learning” from learning from excellence. Often, LfE is regarded as a mere “pat on the back” for a job well done: a harmless initiative, but not of any tangible utility. What is the actionable intelligence? Where is the “learning” which can be transferred from one situation to another? This view of LfE is missing the effect of feedback on performance.
The core of LfE is a simple, formal positive feedback tool, which allows peers to show appreciation to each other. Recipients of excellence reports are made aware of the positive effects of their actions. This gives them the opportunity to reflect and think about why their actions were so well received. This may prompt comments like “I was just doing my job”, yet staff members often go on to make changes in their future behaviours based on the new awareness they have of their positive actions.
So the principle type of “learning” in LfE is the same as the learning we experience from any type of feedback. The main difference is that LfE is exclusively positive feedback – an extremely rare phenomenon in today’s NHS.