Thursday, October 17, 2013
A New Kind of Leadership Development
One of my clients has just completed a new three-day leadership development program for senior folks in the organization. The managers came from different divisions and didn't work together often. What was different about this program? It involved no lectures or case studies about other firms led by professors, and it involved no presentations from top executives. What did they do? The program began with a four-hour simulation focused on teamwork and decision making. The entire second day involved group work trying to come up with solutions to challenges described in a special case study about their company written especially for this program. The challenges addressed building new business models. At the end of that day, the groups presented to the CEO and her team. The program ended with a session in which the teams came together to collaborate and build upon each other's work. What was the reaction? One participant noted that he or she learned a ton even though they never felt like they were being taught. Isn't that amazing? That's true learning by doing. More leadership programs need to involve this type of "real work" that brings people together in ways that they don't normally collaborate. We need to create forums for collaboration, and we need to truly foster learning from one another.