We think a leadership program should not only transfer knowledge. It should offer the participant the possibility to apply knowledge immediately in his own environment. The combination of knowledge and experience provides insight. No one truly learns anything from receiving knowledge indirectly (book, lecture or any other medium). He learns something when he can relate the provided knowledge directly to a specific situation where the knowledge can be applied in a useful manner.
The way we mentor our participants is based on this principle. Every session has the same structure (applied to different subject matters).
We define the subject matter.
- Make sure that we have a mutual vocabulary for our further dialogue. (E.g. How do we define strategy?)
- Every participant gathers all formal information he has available on the subject matter. (Business plan, mission statements etc.)
- Every participant investigates the internal challenges in:
- Verbalizing the current policies related to the subject matter
- Implementing and maintaining the current policies
- Participants work in groups to investigate the differences and commonalities in their findings.
We help the group in abstracting the essence from their findings on the subject matter.
- Translate all issues that have arisen during the group sessions into one dilemma that describes the subject area in full. This is the real problem that prevents the successful implementation of a solution for the subject area.
- Together with the group we find a solution for the dilemma. We work away from the tendency to compromise towards a breakthrough.
- In small groups the participants work on the verbalization of the solution. First of all they search the proper words. In addition to that they investigate potential negative effects and obstacles of the solution and if necessary complement the solution .
Mentoring in between sessions in their working environment
- They share their new insight with their internal sponsor. The participant verbalizes an example of how the solution could be applied within his company and he investigates the potential sources of resistance to change. He verbalizes ways to overcome the resistance.
- Halfway between two sessions, we have a mentoring session with the participant to discuss his experiences and help him to summarize the main conclusions and to relate his findings to his personal objective as verbalized at the beginning of the program.
- The participant verbalizes his most important conclusions of this session and translate this into concrete actions, both short term and long term in maximum 1 page and sends this to us before the next session. We provide feedback. At the end of the program the participant has written 13 pages with concrete actions and experiences that he will take with him for the future.