Recently a few of us attended the first Manchester Digital Peer Club.
Hosted by Hyper Island, the day-long event was designed to bring together individuals in similar roles so they could share their experiences and then go on to form their own 'peer clubs', meeting on a regular basis in order to provide each other with on-going support.
Peer Club is the brain child of Manchester Digital's Rachael Tonner. She realised that there was no one working in a similar role within her organisation, and so there wasn't really anyone that she could discuss her daily challenges with. So she decided to find a way to bring people in the same situation together so they could ultimately create their own support network.
Our talent manager Alex Anderson had mentioned Peer Club to me, and it was something I was really interested to hear about; as I'm in a similar position to Rachael myself -- in that I'm the only person performing my particular job role at Code -- I liked the idea of having a group of other marketing people to meet with. In addition to that, I knew the event would touch on some concepts that Alex has introduced to the Code team already, specifically reflection and active listening -- both skills that I thought I could do with a refresh on...
For me, this was a great opportunity to meet new people in similar roles, and brush up on some essential skills. Collaboration is a top priority here at Code and the toolkit that Hyper Island took us through can really help out when you're working in teams. The challenge, if I'm really honest ,will be finding the time to keep on meeting the group regularly; we all know it's easy to commit to a monthly or quarterly meeting, but sometimes this can be difficult to keep up in practice.
Here's what some of the other Computerlovers thought of the day:
"I gained some valuable insights into my own personality through the reflection exercises and the 'getting to know you' segments; for example, I'm more competitive than I realised. It was a great way to get my mental attitude refocused on self-development, and a reminder of how important it is that I keep asking myself and others around me the tricky question: 'What can we do differently next time to make sure we improve?".
"Peer Club brought home the fact that we're very fortunate here at Code because we already share our challenges and learnings with each other constantly. Having said that, this was still a great opportunity for me to meet people from the industry facing similar challenges and spend the day exchanging experiences with them. Overall, it was a great day and I would recommend it to anyone; just hope my group can keep the momentum going."
The next Peer Club will be taking place at Hyper Island (Manchester) on Thursday, September 19th 2013 - sign up here: http://peerclub2.eventbrite.com/