Accessing Creativity through Leadership Learning Sets

Complexity and ambiguity form the context for Leaders of today. SWAN’s Leadership Leaning Sets are a way of building creative solutions, resilience and sustainability.

What is a Leadership Learning set?

It is a group of people who come together regularly to explore real and live business issues, which they don’t have an answer to. The starting out place then for participation in a Leadership Learning Set is- NOT KNOWING THE ANSWER!

SWAN’s Leadership Learning Sets are action learning at its best. Leaders come together (from the same or different organisations) to tackle the issues and challenges emerging in their own business environment. Facilitated by our experts in action learning, the dynamics created by the group act as the incubator for innovation and creativity. SWAN’s Learning Spiral© is utilised to enable accelerated results and Return on Investment, which is tangibly experienced back in the organisation.

Participation in a Leadership Learning Set is voluntary, that is to say Leaders self-select to join a Learning Set. When a learning set first comes together, the SWAN facilitator orients the participants to the Learning Spiral©, which is a strengths-based dialoguing tool. Each Leader then brings their presenting issue to the group, and through the Learning Spiral©, gets the opportunity to explore their current paradigm in relation to their issue, and discover new insights. Learning Spiral© also enables each Leader to access the knowledge and wisdom of the group members; which results in commitments to action being made.

Typically, a group of 5-8 Leaders will embark in this highly experiential approach to learning for a period of 9-12months, and meet for ½ day every quarter. The intervening weeks between each meeting enables the Leader to put into action the commitments made during the session. At the next session each Leader uses their Learning Set journal to share insights and outcomes with the other group members. Then a new Learning Spiral© is initiated. The benefits of SWAN’s approach to Leadership Learning Sets is to develop an individual’s capacity for appreciative dialogue; advocacy and inquiry skills Other benefits include:

  • Expanding self-awareness and self-reflection leading to insights and breakthrough thinking
  • Develops communication and relating competencies
  • Ensures ideas get tested and applied
  • Develops systems thinking, creativity and ‘out of the box thinking’
  • Makes accountability for taking action ‘real’
  • Develops the dynamics for a coaching culture
  • Highlights the importance of self-directed learning
  • Is a cost-effective development intervention
  • Can be used as an integral part of a Talent Development strategy
  • Can be the ‘engine room’ for culture change and organisational transformation
  • Develops co-operation amongst peers and collaboration amongst partners.