A recent study by the 70:20:10 Institute shows that 70% of knowledge is gained in the workplace through interaction with co-workers and peers. The research also shows that a mere 10% of knowledge is gained through traditional classroom training and e-learning.
You are concerned about your managers’ skills and you have been committed to improving your managers’ competence through training, mentoring and coaching. But as the research above indicates, there is a better way to help your managers and leaders master their skills.
In fact, it is also less expensive, more effective, and easier to do.
It is called peer learning. Organizations that use peer learning within their organizations for leadership growth have 36% more net revenue per employee, 9% higher gross margin and are 4.6 times more likely to anticipate and respond effectively to change.
A self-directed structured peer learning in your workplace will enable your managers to share, learn and grow together focusing on what is best for your company.
Anything less than this is training theatre, and that’s just not enough. Here’s why. Professional development needs to address three key challenges:
- The learning challenge: knowledge is the competitive advantage.
Old knowledge and skills expire like a yoghurt in the fridge. The reality is that they are expiring faster than ever before. The likelihood of a professional managing his or her tenure without serious retooling no longer exists. Your managers must invent the future, which will require systematic and continuous learning, and that learning comes from the work that they do and people they work with.
Learning today is about exploiting opportunities and overcoming challenges from the inside out and managers working with their peers to create knowledge that is relevant for your organization.
- The collaboration challenge: today’s work is increasingly self-organized within a net of relationships that require collaboration across teams, functions, divisions and locations.
Teamwork and collaboration lead to an enhanced problem-solving process. Through collaboration, managers learn from each other, and a collaborative mindset spreads across departments and the whole organization. The managers get insights into the bigger picture, so they can understand the issues in depth. Finally, better collaboration leads to better employee satisfaction, engagement and productivity.
Collaborative environments are at the core of the modern workplace. When managers or departments can collaborate, they are able to utilize the strengths and skills of everyone involved.
- The complexity challenge: Workplaces have become more complex for organizations and individuals, and complexity hinders productivity.
Institutional manifestations of complexity such as the number of countries the company operates in or the number of brands they manage are important. But there is another form of complexity that most managers face, such as poorly designed processes, confusing role definitions, or unclear accountabilities, that is just as important and vital for individuals’ performance and productivity.
To grow and survive, organizations need managers who can recognize and address unnecessary complexity and generate new more effective best practices.
So, what can peer learning do for you?
Peer learning groups facilitate onsite management development. They result in improved learning and sharing, greater collaboration across the organization, and an increased ability to manage institutional and individual complexity. All of this is at a fraction of the cost you would pay for traditional management training.
We will be pleased to design a program for you that will engage, energize and motivate your managers, and create a collaborative workplace. Please ask your Human Resources Director or Training Manager to give us a call at 608-219-3594.
We at The Peer Learning Institute look forward to working with you.
Deborah Laurel and Peter Korynski
Co-Founders, The Peer Learning Institute