NIH, reported that spaced learning which provided three learning opportunities with 10 minute intervals between each session created a much higher percentage of the learning having “stuck” in the individual learner’s mind and then being able to apply it rapidly and effectively. In practical terms that translates to repeating a particular learning experience one time and then taking a 1o minute break before doing it again. A bit of rinse and repeat and repeat. In our new book, Retooling Leadership Development, Mike Couch as I assert that learning new leadership skills must happen in the day to day world of the aspiring or established leader and it is only by practicing the skills required, will the new skills be gained. I was having a discussion with an SVP of a global health care company recently where I’ve been working with his leadership team to develop the key skills they need to grows his business division. He non-chalantly comments that his key leaders needed to develop a better strategic mindset so that they could get out of their operational focus and begin to think more “big-picture.” When I asked him how he would do that, he told me that he just expected them to begin thinking more in that manner. “How,” I exclaimed did he expect them to do that when we already established that they do not know how to do it!. We went back and reviewed a few of the specific behaviors associated with strategic thinking that could benefit the business:
- Is able to identify and state future trends and shares his or her ideas with others
- Goes beyond seeing competitive opportunities and instead creates breakthrough ideas that specifically benefit the business.
- Articulates credible scenarios identifying the risks and rewards
- Is able to take her or his ideas and create a road map that will accelerate the opportunity into reality.
- Put strategy on his weekly agenda and have a series of discussion around the corporate strategy and their competitors strategy. Have team members present their strategic perspective to the group
- Have each person identify and describe their own strategic “through line”. What is their line of business’s contribution to the larger business strategy.
- What is it that each person needs to do better to become a better strategic thinker and how can they use the 3X10 learning method to master some new strategic skill.