Hello everyone,

I hope you are all enjoying these early days of summer. We have been talking a great deal about Aspire’s strategic vision for the future. With the approval of Aspire’s strategic plan, we now begin the work of planning and developing strategies to help us achieve our goals and establish our sustainable future. The three over-arching goals of the plan focus on the areas of learning, impact, and integration. I’m excited to use this blog as an opportunity to dive into each of these goals and share how I see their fulfillment and resonance throughout the agency. Let’s start with learning.

In his book, Synchronicity, Joseph Jaworski says that “two of our responsibilities in life are to be open and to learn, thereby becoming more capable of sensing and actualizing new realities.” I find his connection between opening up, learning, and new realities fascinating. If we allow ourselves to experience each interaction, or endeavor from a place of potential discovery, the resulting learning is limitless. This presumes that we be aware of our prejudgments and be able to make room for new-ness and diverse perspectives. To be open means to leave a space in our thinking and questioning for all that we do not already know. Be vulnerable. Let in that which is different or unusual. Let it roll around in your head and play with it. Take from the newness what you want, or what you can use, and integrate it into your new reality.

Aspire is a learning environment and our new strategic plan continues to make learning a primary focus. In an effort to jumpstart our success toward this priority, you heard last week that we have created a new leadership position dedicated to Workplace Learning. The Chief of Workplace Learning’s responsibility will be to ensure that all Aspire employees have the resources and support necessary to learn, develop, grow, and advance in the direction of their skills, passions, and goals. To that end, in FY2023, we have budgeted to add training managers to the Workforce Learning team. The creation of these positions and department does bring on the additional expense, responsibility, and expectations. I am confident that our commitment to training, mentorship, and focus on learning is what puts us in the best position to successfully face the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Learning, and its by-product of personal and professional growth and development, is a central aspect of our person-centered approach. This includes the relationships we have with each other as well as those relationships we have with the people we serve. In other words, our person-centered approach starts with learning--learning what the person in front of me needs and learning how I can help that person meet their own needs.

Being the provider and employer of choice starts with a central focus on learning. I believe that we are all great, powerful, majestic beings and we can always become even more so. Opening up and continually learning keeps us on that path.

Thank you all for being on that journey, and thank you for integrating it into your serving role at Aspire Living & Learning.

Lou

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Learning is Limitless