What’s going on in terms of your own internal education program? Your own sustainability program around helping everyone on the team get smarter and better?

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Hey, everybody.
Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute
this week, coming to you from Chiang Rai, Thailand, where we are
at the Anantara Elephant Refuge for a couple of days.
It's an amazing facility.
One of the things that's interesting about this place is it's a resort,
but it's also a foundation where they bring in elephants
who have been abused, have been abandoned,
who are not in a safe place, and they provide them
basically a sanctuary for the rest of their lives.
And they provide that same sanctuary for the mahout,
the person who is bonded with the elephant for the entirety of the elephant's life.
So, yes, it's a resort, but they're also trying very hard to raise money
to pay for the elephants’ care and feeding and veterinary bills and all of that.
So one of the things that's been really interesting
is learning about all the ways that they are self-sustaining:
the gardens, the chickens, all of the different ways that this resort
basically is funding itself, solar panels, all kinds of sustainability practices
that allow them to make more money to provide for things that they can't grow
or create on their own for the elephants and the families that care for them.
So got me thinking about sort of how, how do we build in sustainability
inside our agencies.
And one of the things that for many of you, 2024,
many of you have said you're very committed
to the retention and growth of your team.
You're saying that you have the best team you've ever had and you want to help them
grow and get better, get stronger, and also give them a place
where they can feel like they're at home and they want to stay for a long time.
So what I want to talk to you about today is what's going on
in terms of your own internal education program.
You're own –
your sustainability program around helping everybody get smarter and better.
You know, a lot of agencies today have put together AI task force
and other things around AI and artificial intelligence
to figure out how to use that.
But that's not the only thing that you have grown
inside your organization that you can cultivate and share.
You could have some of your senior people teach lessons about strategy,
about client service, about cultivating client relationships.
Some of your senior managers and your middle managers
can teach about delegation and time management.
Your creatives can talk about idea generation and innovation.
So we always think that we have to go outside of our own organization
for education.
At AMI, obviously, we're happy when you come to see us at
one of our workshops to get some of that outside perspective.
But don't underestimate the power of what you can do internally,
that sort of sustainable model of continual education.
So it's lunch and learns.
It's one on ones with the team.
It’s bringing people together
that have a common interest and they want to get better at something.
And putting together a, maybe a four week intensive where they meet once a week
to talk about best practices and then they go back into their work
to practice for a week and come back and talk about that.
You could do presentation skills, role playing.
There's a lot of things
that you and some of your other leaders in your organization are good at.
And we don't often build in the time or take the time to teach.
And I'm here to tell you that I think that that's a huge
missed opportunity in most agencies is yes,
we always want to keep learning new things from the outside world.
But let's not diminish what we know inside our organization
and not let's start looking for ways that we can cultivate
that lifelong-learning hunger inside the organization.
And by the way, it feels as good to teach as it does to learn and vice versa.
And don't assume that the teaching always is going to be from the top down.
Some of your entry level people probably have some digital prowess
that maybe some of the senior people don't have.
So look for some ways to create a 360 degree
learning environment inside your organization.
Carve out the time, put it on the calendar, make it mandatory
and grow and sustain your team.
All right? I'll see you next week.

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