How to Adopt a Strategy for Potentially Big Incremental Learning Development and Growth Steps

The Steps: Go Big or Go Home. Step Into Unknown Territory. Explore Beyond The Edges

Photo by Robin Schreiner from Pexels

Declan, a Career Coach, had worked for five years helping people manage, develop and transitions their WorkLives. He wanted to reach more people with his work. The way he identified he could do this was to move from one-to-one coaching to group training events. So, he developed his coaching programme into a two-day residential workshop.

He had never facilitated a group workshop before, but because it was material he was familiar with, he was reasonably confident it would go OK.

He has also never run an event before, he was less confident about that, but he figured by taking a common-sense approach, it would go OK.

He knew the perfect venue that would cater for his needs. A country hotel that had a range of conference rooms to facilitate larger group work, along with breakout rooms for smaller group work. It had the rooms required for the overnight stay, and it provided the catering needed. But as Declan discovered, there was a lot more to organising an event than it just being the perfect venue. First, he had to commit to the venue rental, and it didn’t come cheap. The perfectness of the venue was reflected in the price, and it was scary. Actually, scary is an understatement. He was required to make a significant financial commitment before anyone had registered for the event.

Declan adopted a ‘Go Big or Go Home’ approach. He was adopting a strategy for potentially big incremental learning, development and growth steps. The Steps: Declan was about to step into unknown territory. He was about to explore beyond the edges.

He brought in the help of his friend, Kevin, who also had no experience in events. Together they did the only common sense thing they could think of doing. They put all their efforts into marketing the event.

How did it pan out?

Twenty people booked the event.

Was that good enough?

Well, No, but, Yes.

No, because twenty people wasn’t enough to cover the costs. Declan lost £10,000 on the event.

Yes, because the learning, development and growth was so Big, that it more than compensated for his financial loss. Declan learnt more in all aspects of planning and delivering an event in those few short weeks of the ideation process than he could ever have done had he taken a ‘Small’ rather than ‘Big’ step approach.

So, has Declan adopted a strategy for potentially big incremental learning, development, and growth going forward in his WorkLife?

No, he hasn’t.

He went on to roll out the event once again, six months later, and since then, it’s become a twice-yearly event. The numbers of attendees have grown event on event because he’s taken a ‘Small’ rather than a ‘Big’ step approach.

You can learn more about this in tomorrow’s story: How to Adopt a Strategy for Potentially Small Incremental Learning Development and Growth Steps


Does that mean Declan has given up on a strategy for potentially big incremental learning, development, and growth?

No, in his own:

Words Of Wisdom

“It just means that I mix it up — sometimes I take a ‘Big’ step approach, and sometimes I take a ‘Small’ step approach or strategy in my WorkLife learning, development and growth wants and needs. Both have worked for me, and I believe both approaches or strategies are needed at different times and in different situations.”

Adopt a Strategy for Potentially Big Incremental Learning Development and Growth Assignment

You can adapt the ‘Big’ steps Declan took to your WorkLife Learning, Development, and Growth wants and needs by following these five steps:

Step 1: Take a ‘Go Big or Go Home’ approach by doing whatever your equivalent of Declan wanting to reach more people with his work. To do this, he identified he wanted to move from one-to-one coaching to a two-day residential workshop.

Step 2: Step Into Unknown Territory: i.e. For Declan, that was the world of events.

Step 3: Explore Beyond The Edges: i.e. Declan, with the help of his friend, Kevin, put all their efforts into marketing the event.

Step 4: Take time to reflect on your experience. How it enabled you to learn, develop and grow. i.e. as with Declan, it most likely won’t have gone perfectly. He lost £10,000. However, the learning, development and growth, he gained from the experience was invaluable because it helped to set him up for success in the future events he ran, which helped to recuperate his initial financial loss.

Step 5: Use your learning to plan your next steps and your steps beyond that: i.e. Declan decided to take a ‘Small’ step approach to his next event. Following on from that, he decided to mix it up depending on what was warranted by the time and the situation.


As a WorkLife Learning Practitioner and Writer, I create learning programmes and resources to help people manage, develop and transition their WorkLives in good, challenging and bad times.

The focus of my work begins by helping people identify a WorkLife path that’s true to their core values, purpose, and motivation. This is followed through by creating meaningful short and long-term WorkLife plans while enabling self-coaching, self-directing, and self-leadership to drive these plans.

I bring you stories created from questions and answers drawn from WorkLife lessons. What I’m trying to do is to highlight different solutions, to provide you with a pathway so that even if a particular story doesn’t apply to you, you understand there is a path to follow.

Whatever you want to do, there is a clear path to it, and once you understand those steps, it becomes much more intuitive, and hopefully, it motivates you to get started. Because that’s what you need most, the motivation to get started. The motivation to follow your vision.

I created The School Of WorkLife book series to help people continuously fine-tune their learning, development and growth in the areas most important to them. Click on the series to see all the books available and previews of what’s inside each book.

How To Be Autonomous In Your Development And Growth is book 11 in the series. Click on the title to see a preview of what’s inside the book.

Published by Carmel O' Reilly

Carmel O’ Reilly: WorkLife Learning Practitioner & Writer Author of WorkLife Book Club, Your WorkLife Your Way and The School of WorkLife book series. Created to help you manage your WorkLife Learning. Blogger & Podcaster: Telling people’s powerful stories about WorkLife challenges & successes Founder of My guiding statement is to help people pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, passion, purpose and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes that are accessible to everyone.