Sophia GuevaraThree Ways to Get Creative About Learning at Your Organization

By: Sophia Guevara In: Management| Philanthropy| Professional Development

5 Jun 2013

In class, I learned about motivating employees and the value of a learning organization, and started thinking about tools I could use to encourage a learning culture. Here are a few ideas I came up with that you might be interested in utilizing in your own organization.

1. Postcards. I turned a postcard into a tool to help employees discuss the lessons they’ve learned. On the back of the card, employees can provide a brief summary of a valuable lesson they learned and share it with other colleagues. They can submit the entries in person, send a note via e-mail, or send them via interoffice mail. You can also choose to share these lessons by highlighting a colleague’s entry on the Intranet. Another way to use this tool is to distribute the cards at convenings to collect the lessons learned from attendees before the end of the session.

2. Sticky pads. I decided to create a simple sticky pad with the title “What I’ve Learned.” These sticky pads are ideal for program meetings where a lot of information is presented. Taking less than a minute to jot down the most important lessons of the meeting, employees can provide valuable feedback about what they learned. As with the postcard idea, you can make use of these at convenings as well. Set up a poster board on an easel in the room and ask attendees to post their sticky notes.

3. Reward cards. Rewards can be helpful in promoting a learning culture. In order to provide recognition to employees engaging in learning, I developed reward cards that allow anyone in the organization to recognize a colleague for their dedication. In addition, these cards can be submitted for a monthly prize drawing. Providing an opportunity for colleagues to recognize each other and possibly win a prize can provide motivation to actively embrace learning.

What are some creative ways your organization has encouraged its professionals to embrace learning?

Sophia Guevara is the former chair of the Consortium of Foundation Libraries.

Comment Form

Welcome to RE: Philanthropy! In this blog, guest and Council bloggers share ideas and insights on the most pressing issues in philanthropy. If you want to contribute, please contact

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Council on Foundations.


Michele McLellan
Sara Watson
Priscilla Enriquez
Daniel Olias Silverman
Carol Goss
Kristen Grimm
Javier Alberto Soto
John Porter
Kelly Shipp Simone
Eliana Vera
Brittany Jenkins
Dana Nelson
Meghan Duffy
Heidi Sytsema
Paul Penley
Jack A. Calhoun
Michelle Bermudez
Sherry Ristau
Rhonda R. Mims
David Abramson
Jacob Gayle
Suzanne Skees
Page Snow
Chet Tchozewski
Heather Scott and Shelton Roulhac
Lara Kalwinski
Ellen Remmer
George McCully
Malika Harrison
Albert Ruesga
Lorie Slutsky
Rotary International
Flozell Daniels Jr.
Kevin Laskowski and Niki Jagpal
Terry Kaelber
Sheri Booms Holm
Rita L. Soronen
Susan Swan Smith
Chris Cardona
Erin Rowley
Debra Rubino
Helen Ishii
Jane Holliday Wilson
Rockhelle Johnson
Chatrane Birbal
Jeff Pryor
Sam Davis
Cris Stainbrook
John Barnes
Kelly Brown