From new starter to CEO, we should all be on a learning journey

Date : 11 May 2022

Susan Barratt


This Learning at Work Week, IGD CEO Susan Barratt shares why having the right mindset and carving out time for learning and personal development is essential for us all.

We never stop learning. It doesn’t matter where you are in your career, from new starter to CEO, we should all be continuing to develop with time dedicated to learning.

Having the right mindset is incredibly important. I strive to develop every day, recognising that I don’t get things right all the time. I always ask myself, could I have done this task better? Or would I have got a better result if I’d done that differently? Having this time for reflection with room to learn is vital and should be part of all our working lives.

I learn best when I’m watching and observing and I’m constantly looking out for other organisations that are doing a great job and moving the agenda forward. In addition to external inspiration, we can learn from the people around us and I’ve learnt a huge amount from past managers and co-workers.

As the leader of IGD, I have a huge responsibility to ensure that my team is constantly developing too and one of the greatest joys I have is tapping into people’s potential and seeing them grow. That’s why I encourage my team to schedule time to focus on their personal development, and it’s fantastic when I witness people really starting to maximise their potential.

I’m passionate about the learning and development of everyone in our industry too. You couldn’t be at the helm of IGD if you weren’t! I’m incredibly proud to lead IGD, an organisation with a rich history of developing people; it has been at the heart of what we do for more than 100 years. Of course, the initiatives have changed over time but developing technical and behavioural skills has always been at our core.

What you learn and how you learn best differs greatly between individuals and will switch around as you progress throughout your career. There will be times when you focus on developing your technical skills and others where you focus on your behaviours. Both are equally important.

That’s why Learning from IGD offers learning from both sides of the spectrum, inspiring professionals throughout their careers and aiding the development of relevant work skills.

Our free learning provides the behavioural skills that will help people thrive in their roles through development programmes like New Starter Skills and New Manager Skills.

Meanwhile, our paid-for learning develops the functional capabilities that people need to make better commercial decisions. Here we have a range of workshops, from category management and sales to those focusing on insight, shopper and the supply chain.

This Learning at Work Week I would encourage you all to dedicate time to your own personal development and then going forward, carve out some time on a regular basis. If you’re unsure where to get started you can take some inspiration from our Learning Directory or get in touch if you’d like to know more.