Without highly skilled leaders, organizations cannot build and execute sound business strategies, create and maintain competitive advantages, attract and retain qualified talent, or achieve and sustain peak market performance. However, most executives say their companies aren’t successful at developing leaders. That gap between importance and effectiveness has talent development professionals leading the charge to discover the most effective methods of training leaders across organizational levels. Providing those leaders with relevant content and data they can readily apply in their daily work is driving talent development’s exploration and deployment of learning through direct, hands-on experiences that are likely to produce immediate, high-performance results.
Experiential learning is an umbrella term encompassing learning that occurs through action learning, on the job, using simulations and serious games, or by other means that provide experiences from which participants derive new knowledge or skills. This study examines the use of experiential learning to develop leaders at senior and frontline organizational levels and answers the following questions:
- How extensive is the use of experiential learning?
- Which approaches are effective?
- Do some methods produce better results for senior leaders, while others work better for those on the front lines?
- Are talent development organizations leveraging the latest technologies that enable use of virtual simulations to train leaders?