The Power of Experiential Learning in Executive Development

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The Power of Experiential Learning in Executive Development A Formicio Point of View
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  • 1. The Power of Experiential Learning inExecutive DevelopmentA Formicio Point of View
  • 2. Describe your most powerful learning experience Think about your most powerful learning experience, one where you felt youd really grown as a result. Note down: The context? What did you learn? How did it feel at the time? What was the learning process? Could you have achieved the same learning outcomes another way? 2011 Copyright Formicio Limited 1
  • 3. Very few people particularly senior executives citeformal training as their most powerful learning experience Very few people give: their time at university a conference they attended a training course as powerful learning experiences. In the vast majority of cases people refer I hear and I forget, to a time when they faced a really I see and I remember, challenging situation, one that took them I do and I understand. out of their comfort zone and stretched Confucius, 551-479 BC them both intellectually and emotionally. This was a learning experience. 2011 Copyright Formicio Limited 2
  • 4. Experiential learning can be orchestrated by putting peoplein a different context one that they find challenging When people find themselves in a new context for example a new job or assignment they often find that the competencies they have developed and used over many years fall short and new ones need to be developed quickly. Learning only occurs Its the experiences that the new when people are out of context can create that leads to their comfort zone. learning. 2011 Copyright Formicio Limited 3
  • 5. Three of the most powerful context shifts for experientiallearning... When people: 1. Take up a new role or assignment particularly when it is a stretch compared with what they have done in the past. 2. Have shared experiences with colleagues particularly when For the things we have developing a new organisational to learn before we can capability or solving a specific problem. do them, we learn by doing them. 3. Collaborate with peers in other Aristotle, 384-322 BC organisations particularly when exploring a specific issue that is of importance to their organisation. 2011 Copyright Formicio Limited 4
  • 6. Three principles for effective experiential learning 1. Guided the learner is guided through the learning experiences in a way that maximises learning. 2. Adaptive the learning process is not defined in detail at the outset but adapts to what is being learned and how, whilst at all times keeping sight of the target outcomes. 3. Anchored in an organisational need. At all times the learner is motivated to improve their organisation through what they learn and apply. 2011 Copyright Formicio Limited 5
  • 7. Features of the three most powerful context shifts forexperiential learning...An exploration with peers: A challenging appointment: Focused on understanding That is a stretch a specific topic or issue Builds on existing Involving 8 to 10 competencies organisations Guided Requires new Comprising briefings, Adaptive competencies to be Anchored meetings, research and successful virtual discussions Supported by a mentor Time-boxed Shared experiences with colleagues A learning journey with colleagues: Focused on developing an organisational capability to solve a specific problem Involving 8 to 10 people Comprising a blend of briefings, action learning, study tours, discussions and experiential visits Lasting several months to allow for experimentation and reflection 2011 Copyright Formicio Limited 6
  • 8. In experiential learning the guide has a unique role to play An experienced learning guide: Asks questions, not only to draw individual answers, but also to encourage fundamental insight into the issue at hand. Regularly reviews what has been learnt and adjusts the learning accordingly. Ensures that the learner is actively involved in the experience. Helps the learner spend time reflecting on I know that I am the experience. intelligent, because I Helps the learner use analytical skills to know that I know conceptualise the experience. nothing. Socrates, 469-399 BC Helps the learner use the new ideas gained from the experience. 2011 Copyright Formicio Limited 7
  • 9. Conditions for learning success The learner must: Be willing to move out of their comfort zone. Be willing to be actively involved in the experience. Be able and have time to reflect on the experience. People are much more likely to act their way Possess and use analytical skills to into a new way of conceptualise the experience. thinking, than think Possess decision-making and problem- their way into a new solving skills in order to use the new way of acting. Richard Pascale, 1938- ideas gained from the experience. 2011 Copyright Formicio Limited 8
  • 10. Our point of view on learning revisited 1. People particularly senior executives learn most when facing a really challenging situation, one that takes them out of their comfort zone and stretches them both intellectually and emotionally. 2. Learning experiences can be orchestrated by putting people in a new context that they find challenging. 3. Three of the most powerful context shifts for experiential learning are: when people are appointed to a new job/assignment; when people have shared experiences with colleagues; when people collaborate with peers in other organisations. 4. Learning experiences need to be guided, adaptive and anchored. 2011 Copyright Formicio Limited 9
  • 11. We hope you found our point of view helpful We encourage you and your leadership colleagues to develop a shared point of view on the best approach to experiential learning for your organisation. It will take time and you wont all agree at the outset, but it will be of great value in the longer term. The Formicio Team 2011 Copyright Formicio Limited 10
  • 12. This is an Insight Presentation by Formicio We are thought partners and advisers to business and technology leaders around the world. We help our clients make informed choices, build capability and deliver sustained business change. Through a combination of learning and consulting we help our clients: Build innovation and organisational capability. Succeed with the most complex transformation programmes. Transform IT organisations to meet the challenges ahead. 2011 Copyright Formicio Limited 11
  • 13. For further information contact... David Trafford [email protected] +44 (0)20 7917 2993 2011 Copyright Formicio Limited 12