Three experiential learning scenarios

Try these practical ways to develop your next team of leaders.

As you work to build the next level of leadership in your organization, include activities that exercise their thinking as part of a cross-organizational team. The typical focus on individual skills is important, but actually taking on organization-wide issues in a controlled manner can fast-track development. Asking your staff to work on real-world assignments as a team—almost as if they are the senior team—can:

  • Inspire individuals to think outside of their silos
  • Provide valuable learning opportunities for growth
  • Free up senior leadership time for strategic thinking

If this feels uncomfortable, ask yourself, “How does the next level really get a chance to grow if they are not allowed to make decisions that could lead to mistakes?” Experiential learning provides firsthand experience and the chance to reflect on how things could be done differently or better the next time.

Start the team with above-the-water-line decisions that don’t have the potential to sink the organization. Decide ahead-of-time the types of mistakes you can accept for the sake of professional growth and learning experiences. Remember, you can learn during this process, too. It is not uncommon for this type of experiential learning to also result in growth for the current senior team.


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