GroupM is the world’s leading media investment company responsible for more than $63B in annual media investment through agencies Mindshare, MediaCom, Wavemaker, Essence and m/SIX, as well as the outcomes driven programmatic audience company, Xaxis. GroupM’s portfolio includes Data & Technology, Investment and Services, all united in vision to shape the next era of media where advertising works better for people.

2020 brought about challenges for all of us. It was a year of rapid change, impacting pretty much every aspect of our lives –whether we’ve had to home school, adapt how we connect with family and friends or adjust to virtual ways of working. It was one hell of a year in which we saw our work and home lives blend like never before. So when it was announced that LAWW would take place in October, amidst regional and national lockdowns, the UK Learning and Development team, known as The GroupM University, knew we wanted to tackle subjects that would help our people at GroupM UK and the wider agencies stay connected and share experiences to combat some of the challenges faced by blending home and work-life.

Our team set about designing and developing an exciting, inspiring and action-packed week of unique events, sessions, workshops and talks. All learning journeys are different and for this event, we celebrated feeling inspired for life, collaboration and transformation and dealing with challenges and change positively.

With this in mind the workshops and facilitated thought-labs that we designed, were born of feedback suggestions from our own people, and positioned in a way that would enable authentic discussions. Our aim was to ensure that all learners not only had fun, but were equipped with tools to help them positively approach their learning journey.

To get people feeling inspired for life, we delivered the insightful workshop ‘Dream to Reality’, looking at how to take dreams and turn them into a reality. Think ‘goal setting' with a fairy godmother twist!

To help with collaboration and transformation, we hosted a series of thought-labs, exploring exciting topics such as psychology of mindsets (Attracting Abundance), how to move from ‘Surviving to Thriving’ and discussed how we could leverage ‘Love Languages’ in the workplace.

And finally, to support learners when dealing with challenges and change positively, we facilitated new workshops and thought-labs including, advice on how to begin overcoming imposter syndrome (Unmasked), conversations on introducing boundaries (Unblurring the Lines) and a group talk about building resilience during a pandemic (Bouncing Back). All of this took place during Black History Month and The GMU team are proud to be taking steps to dismantle systemic biases through designing and delivering inclusive workshops which support people on their journey to being inclusive allies and creating an environment where everyone feels they belong. So the team partnered with Xaxis Diversity and the internal inclusion committee to deliver workshops and discussions on Britain’s involvement in the slave trade and eurocentrism. Colleagues came together from different levels and across the group and its agencies to learn and discuss.

Overall, 94% (of feedback responders) said they were inspired to explore future learning opportunities as result of the activities driven by GMU during our virtual LAWW. The feedback received was invaluable with many participants stating the sessions have increased their confidence and given them tools and learning which will help them to thrive under uncertain conditions.

These and other workshops helped to make the week a huge success and we are now looking to include a number of the workshops in our general programme of events in 2021 to continue our growth journey