A little experience goes a long way: How to accelerate leadership effectiveness

In our previous blog, we discussed how new leadership assessment and development models are needed for the constantly changes that leaders face. With their time for learning at a premium, and development budgets constrained, how can we help leaders develop the skills they need to keep pace?

The answer is quite simple; provide a powerful learning experience that acts as a mirror to behaviour and sticks in the memory for when it is needed. Then get the participant to self-manage the effort to change their own behaviour, without further intervention. To achieve this, the learning experience must be enjoyable, so the memory of it becomes a good one. It must also be realistic and close to everyday working, and followed with a high-quality coaching conversation that will debrief the experience, encourage the individual to articulate the desired behaviour change and visualise the way in which it will be achieved.

You may already know that experiential learning is the most effective form of workplace learning. But perhaps you don’t know how to explain and apply it within your organisation to get the best out of your senior decision makers. We have created a simple two-step process, using an impactful online business simulation:

  • Firstly, the participant engages in the simulation, which requires the individual to solve challenging leadership situations that bring out their soft skills. Critically, it is close to their business reality. Examples may include; coaching a high-potential employee who is planning to leave the organisation, creating and presenting a business plan based on insufficient information, or appeasing an angry customer. These scenarios are conducted as video conference calls, built into the online platform, where the simulation is a fun, engaging and immersive case study. It contains gaming techniques that bring out the individual’s desire to commit to the challenge.
  • Secondly, an interactive feedback report is available within 24 hours. This needs to be discussed straightaway in a coaching session, while the individual still has the detail of the simulation and how they tackled it clearly in mind. The report links the feedback to the strategies that the individual must achieve at work and uses visuals so the participant can check back on their performance in the simulation. The coach helps identify one clear development goal that will significantly raise performance. The coach discusses this using the simulation as a mirror.

This combination of a powerful learning experience and well-articulated plan to change creates the memory link for the participant making it more likely that they will remember the new behaviour at the appropriate time without the need for reinforcement. The beauty of the Pinsight technology we use is that it allows live interaction with role-playing consultants to bring this sort of simulation alive as it happens. For 2 or 3 hours the simulation becomes their job as new challenges are addressed, goalposts are dramatically and deliberately shifted and situations change.

The research suggests that when experiential learning is applied in this way, the time for in-person assessment centres can be reduced from 1 or 2 days down to as little as 2 or 3 hours; that the simulations carried out are 250% more accurate than job interviews; and that combining technology with high quality consultancy can cut the cost of in-person assessment centres by around 80%.

The Scala Group combines world-class consultancy & Pinsight™ technology for better leadership hires, talent reviews & impactful leadership development. Click here to find out more