To achieve Step 15, individuals will show that they can develop strategies that include the ability to respond to learning and changes in events.
In the previous steps, the focus was on how to create strategies based on an internal and external analysis, and then to turn that analysis into a top-level plan to turn inputs into outcomes. While the previous step introduced milestones, this step goes further by looking at how feedback loops can support an effective strategy.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
As we work towards long-term strategies, we might experience changes in our situation that affect our plans. We can’t always predict what changes and developments will happen but we can build in steps within our plan so that we reflect and review whether something needs adapting. We might receive feedback from peers or teachers which offers a new perspective or make progress sooner than we had expected; it is important for our plans to have a certain amount of flexibility so we can respond to developments.
In education, it is common to use academic terms or semesters as milestones in the year. These points are a useful opportunity to look at your progress and see if any changes or adaptations need to be made to move forward.
Workplace strategies are continually affected by many different factors, both internal and external. Even though a strategy’s purpose should remain clear throughout, the route to achieving it may adapt and change in response to changes in people, technology, trends or the wider environment. Building in feedback loops from the beginning therefore keeps strategies on track so that any unexpected changes, whether positive or negative, can be carefully managed. For example, a shop might see its sales increase in one product but another item is no longer selling at all. With the support of customer feedback, the shop might consider adapting the type of product it sells to respond to this new popularity.
Making plans in our life helps to give us direction and purpose so that we know what we want to do and why. However, even the best-made plans can come across unexpected changes. Being flexible and open-minded will offer more possibilities to learn and grow than if we refuse to accept change. Sharing our plans with trusted others and asking for their thoughts can offer useful insights we hadn’t considered before. By adapting our plans in response, we might discover new interests, meet new people and learn new skills.
To best practise this step of Aiming High, apply what you have learnt to a real-life situation. Choose one or more of the activities below, remind yourself of the key points and strategies in the step, and have a go!
To teach this step:
This step can be reinforced through the idea of feedback loops, which can be applied to learners own lives and their studies: How do they know if they are on track? How can they build new experiences and learning into their plans?
This step is best assessed by asking learners to create a strategic plan, drawing together all the elements from Step 13, Step 14 and Step 15. This should include analysis, an understanding of inputs, activities, outputs and outcomes, and then the feedback loops that will help a strategy to remain flexible.
A presentation followed by questions and discussion with the teacher is an effective way of assessing this step.
This step is relevant to individuals who can develop long-term plans and strategies to achieve goals.
To build this step in the work environment, managers could:
There are plenty of opportunities for building this skill in the workplace:
For those already employed, this step is can be assessed through an exercise.
During the recruitment process, this step could be assessed for by:
We work with a wide range of organisations, who use the Skills Builder approach in lots of different settings – from youth clubs, to STEM organisations, to careers and employability providers.
We have a lot of materials available to support you to use the Skills Builder Universal Framework with the individuals you work with, including:
We also do a lot of work with organisations who join the Skills Builder Partnership to build the Universal Framework into their work and impact measurement systems. You can find out a lot more using the links below.
At home, you can easily support your child to build their essential skills. The good news is that there
are lots of ways that you can have a big impact, including: