Organizational and structural changes are floating in the air right now, these structural changes that allowed a far more open medium of communication, as well as a chance to work with different people on different projects from across the board, has to be one of the most teachable opportunities that we can utilize in the meantime. It is worth it to engage in a learning circle within a cross-functional team with your host organization, so, what is a Learning Circle? A Learning Circle is a group of individuals with a common interest who meet regularly to learn from each other, about a self-identified topic and in a format the group has decided upon, while a Cross-functional team is a group of people with different functional expertise working toward a common goal.  Working from home has made it easier for these two concepts to combine, learning circles are built upon the idea that every member has something to contribute and that every member has something to learn they are intended to lead to action and change, if you merge the concept by working within a cross-functional team you shall be able to build understanding and trust between team members, de-silos across programs and administration, provides a safe space to brainstorm and try and fail – and play, breaks down the hierarchy, all team on the same playing field, a team of learners vs. leaders; learn from one another, lift up each other’s strengths and teaching moments for one another’s weaknesses, provide an opportunity for the team to try new skills outside of their comfort zones or day to day activities. As you give this a try it is worth acknowledging the Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing stages of a new team, and remember that each member is coming from a different department, has a different managerial style and all members will take time to adjust to a new way of working together.

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