How we cultivate a learning culture at Elsevier to create future-ready medical education

“I work at Elsevier because the environment encourages constant learning where people thrive and innovate.”

By Gosia Warmińska-Marczak - March 25, 2021
Gosia Warmińska Marczak quote
Gosia Warmińska-Marczak is Education Consultant Manager for Northern and Eastern Europe for Elsevier’s Global Medical Education business and a MindLife Champion at Elsevier. She lives in Lublin, Poland.

I grew up in a little town in Eastern Poland. It was quite early in my life that I had to learn how to be a strong and independent woman.

My mother — who would probably never call herself a feminist at that time — taught me to be one. She showed me the true meaning of independence and equality between the sexes. She also taught me that there is nothing that I am incapable of accomplishing as long as I set my mind and heart to it and overcome my fears. She taught me that mistakes are what makes us human and that it is fine to make them as long as we learn on the way. As a result, I would spend hours learning new things, drawing and reading books. At some point I decided I wanted to be a teacher, a job that I thought would let me come back from work everyday and feel I made a difference.

Working as a teacher was a great experience that helped me develop an empathetic approach to others. It was also fascinating to discover what was motivating and engaging for my students and what exactly helped them study more effectively. It was great to see that miracles happen when you show young people that you believe in them and help them develop their talents. With this experience, I entered the world of business, which let me combine my educational background with a commercial mindset.

"An environment in which continuous learning and innovation are encouraged"

Elizabeth MunnElsevier is a perfect workplace to pursue my career and personal interests. The Global Medical Education segment, under the leadership of Elizabeth Munn, offers the environment which encourages constant learning. It is is an essential skill in today’s fast changing world. Lots of significant changes have taken place in healthcare and medical education recently, and we need to keep abreast of these changes. Medical schools have stopped focusing on knowledge transfer, and lecturers are not just information providers any more. Experts at Elsevier constantly analyze the research on the learning process and ask students and faculty all over the world what their needs are. What will help the students become great doctors? How can we support educators teach clinical reasoning in a safe space? And what can Elsevier do to provide all of them with tailored feedback, trusted and interactive content, and opportunities for clinical practice?

To design and deliver such powerful solutions, we need an environment in which continuous learning and innovation are encouraged. And this is why I love working for Elsevier, where people are smart and open to continuous improvement via commitment to learning. What we are building here is an authentic learning culture in which people grow and innovative ideas are born. This is the part of the job that means a lot to me: I am actively contributing to the development of growth mindset and building a training program for my colleagues — and together with my colleagues.

9 ways we are building a learning culture

Here is how we are constantly building a learning organization that is skilled at creating, acquiring and transferring knowledge:

  1. We are committed to adapting quickly to the changes by constant learning. We change the ways we work if necessary.
  2. Our managers are supportive of a learning environment and encourage dialogue.
  3. We understand that psychological safety is a prerequisite to innovation and building teams that solve complex problems together. According to behaviorial scientist Prof Amy Edmondson of Harvard, who coined the term, psychological safety is a belief that no one will be punished for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes.
  4. We are not afraid to take the risks, make mistakes and experiment.
  5. We are improving wellbeing across the company through nurturing our minds, balancing our lives and managing our careers. We believe that taking care of employees’ wellbeing is creating the conditions for people to thrive (Elsevier’s MindLife program).
  6. We are learning to develop the serendipity mindset, a concept introduced to us by Dr Jan Herzoff, President of Global Health Markets at Elsevier.
  7. We are formalizing training and development plans, and we are giving recognition to learning.
  8. We are nurturing peer-to-peer learning and encouraging informal skill and knowledge sharing.
  9. We cultivate the art of open, attentive listening. We are open to criticism.

It is a great feeling to work for an organization whose mission is “to help researchers and healthcare professionals advance science and improve health outcomes for the benefit of society.” A very important part of this mission is the education of future doctors and researchers, and the best way to do it effectively is through constant improvement, learning and nurturing the growth mindset, which are critical for developing innovative and effective educational solutions.


Gosia Warmińska-Marczak
Written by

Gosia Warmińska-Marczak

Written by

Gosia Warmińska-Marczak

Gosia Warmińska-Marczak is Education Consultant Manager for Northern and Eastern Europe for Global Medical Education and a MindLife Champion at Elsevier. She joined Elsevier in 2017 and lives in Lublin, Poland.

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