Learning and development at Morton Fraser is embedded in both our culture and formal people processes. Culturally we pride ourselves on being an organisation that is curious and always wanting to understand why. And of course that fits perfectly with the role of legal professionals - it is in the DNA of lawyers to ask "why?". But what about those who are not lawyers but who provide the support upon which lawyers rely such as administration, IT, Finance, HR and Marketing for example? Curiosity drives all of us to learn more and is the bedrock of an organisation that uses learning to improve the knowledge, skills and performance of its people and so drive up the quality of service provided to clients.
At Morton Fraser our learning strategy is focussed on what it takes to be a good lawyer or executive support professional. We offer taught programmes covering all aspects of the law and support our professionals to gain qualifications which help them improve in job performance and their career development.
We have also developed a career and learning map which identifies roles at key stages of our people's careers and identifies the learning opportunities available to people which they can then undertake to further their skills. We offer this on line in bite size learning chunks through Learning Lounge, our on-line learning platform. This format works especially well for people who want to manage learning in their own way and at times that suit them best. The learning is short enough to be consumed when people may have some time available in the working day and comprises of video content where learning is assessed through short tests. The learning is supported by 'in-class' learning, where people can explore the issues further and practice newly learned skills in a safe environment, or through workshops where bigger issues can be explored in a cross section of working groups.
We underline the importance of learning through our continuous performance management process where we take the opportunity throughout the year to really focus on people, their development and their career providing a dedicated moment to focus people on their development and how the organisation can support them in being better.
Of course all of these interventions are formal programmes and provide the underpinning for success in the role, but beyond that self-directed learning is also encouraged and this is one of the ways in which we encourage curiosity within the Firm. We encourage our people to do their own reading, research and offer secondments to other organisations to widen our people's perspectives on their work and the value it creates for both the Firm and clients.
One thing about learning is that it is constant and its importance to me is summed up by the American author Zig Ziglar when he said, "If you are not willing to learn no-one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no-one can stop you". In learning week my message is, be determined to learn!