Experience Explorer™

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Experience Explorer™ is a deck of cards that starts conversations, builds camaraderie, and creates networks. Experience Explorer helps managers at all levels realize how much they have learned about leadership from their own powerful experiences. Experience Explorer is easy and fun to use. This tool is for HR professionals and consultants who are ready to accelerate top talent development. Experience Explorer™ is based on four decades of the Center for Creative Leadership’s international lessons of experience research, including the book, Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders Today. http://www.leadingeffectively.com/leadership-explorer/

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  • [Main intent for FACILITATOR: ] Audience becomes comfortable with box of cards. Facilitator uses showmanship when holding up container, opening up container, selecting blue cards, shuffling deck. This is a “do as I do” slide. “You all have a box of cards. This deck has 7 white Instruction cards, 52 blue Experience cards, and 40 yellow Lesson cards.”WARNING WHEN SHRINK-WRAPPED CARDS ARE USED VS. BOXED: “Please do not get your cards get mixed up with anybody else’s cards. Keep them together in the Ziploc bag.”
  • [Main intent for FACILITATOR: ] To give the activity a game-like feel. To guide participants through instructions on next 5 slides and watch time. SAY: “Please set aside the white Instruction cards and yellow Lesson cards. We are going to start with blue Experience cards.”
  • [Main intent for FACILITATOR: ] To give participants an opportunity to reflect on which experiences they have had – you could play music in the background, if you wish. SAY:“You have 3 – 5 minutes. Go through cards as quickly as possible. Try not to think too much. If you have had an experience, put it in one stack. If you have NOT had an experience, put that card in the 2nd stack. So, everybody in the room will end up with two stacks – experiences you have had, and experiences you have not had.”DO:Give them a “one-minute” warning. REMARKS:Older participants who are much further along in their careers will have had more experiences. But younger earlier career participants may surprise you and group.QUESTION FOR NEXT VERSION OF FACILITATOR’S GUIDE: How much time would you ideally allot? Why?Please email me: wilsonm@ccl.org, subject line: LE cards
  • [Main intent for FACILITATOR: ] To guide participants to find the 1 or 2 cards that describe experiences that have stood out as memorable. DO: NOTE 1: Define “memorable” very clearly. Customize your definition to the objectives of your workshop and the needs of your participants. For example, in the workshops I have done, I have defined “memorable” as:“experiences that had a powerful impact on you and have made you who you are as a leader and manager today.” “powerful experiences that have influenced how you behave as a leader and manager.” NOTE 2: There is a logic to having participants select 1 or 2 cards. It gives them an option to tell a couple of different stories rather than just one. QUESTION FOR NEXT VERSION OF FACILITATOR’S GUIDE: How did you define “memorable”? Why? How did your definition help you to achieve objectives of your workshop? Anything else? Please email me: wilsonm@ccl.org, subject line: LE cards
  • [Main intent for FACILITATOR: ] To watch participants become totally engaged in talking about their experience; to keep a time-check. SAY:“Everyone will have about [3-5] minutes to tell their story. I will signal when it is time for you to switch from being story teller to story listener. Story Listeners – remember, your job is to keep asking the Story teller – ‘what did you learn? What did you learn? as they go through their story.” OPTIONS:This can be done by people turning to others near them. Or you can have participants stand up and circulate or “network”. Ask them to meet as many people as possible. RECOMMENDED VARIATION: Ask participants to attach their EXPERIENCE card to their name card so others can easily readYou could instruct participants to find others who have had the SAME experience and see if their lessons were similar or differentOr you could instruct participants to find others who have had a DIFFERENT experience You could run this like a “speed-dating” or networking activity – giving participants about 10-15 minutes to meet as many people as they can.
  • [Main intent for FACILITATOR: ] To watch participants become totally engaged in talking about their experience; to keep a time-check; to enjoy the sharing. OPTIONSThis is the most fun step. Depending on available time and room set-up, there are many different ways of setting this up. Talk to one other person – total time: 5 – 8 minutesTalk to a couple of other people Stand up, move around the room, and talk to as many people as possible. Set a time limit – 10 - 15 minutes. Ask participants to find others who have had the same experience as them, but may have learned something different. And also others who have had different experiences. QUESTION FOR NEXT VERSION OF FACILITATOR’S GUIDE: What worked for you? What would you differently next time? Please email me: wilsonm@ccl.org, subject line: LE cards
  • [Main intent for FACILITATOR: ] This is a very important PAUSE for reflection. After the exchange of stories, there will be a lot of insights in the room about how many experiences people have had, how much has been learned. A pause can help deepen participant understanding about how meaningful and fun it is to share your story and listen to others stories. DO: Get as many comments as possible. Perhaps even write them up. The next slide is a HIDDEN SLIDE that lists comments from other participants. This can be used, if you wish. QUESTION FOR NEXT VERSION OF FACILITATOR’S GUIDE: Anything striking that came out of this discussion for you? Please share. Please email me: wilsonm@ccl.org, subject line: LE cards
  • [Main intent for FACILITATOR: ] To set the stage for using LESSON cardsFacilitator can go back to showmanship – picking one blue card, setting aside other blue cards … picking up yellow cards and shuffling. Another “do as I do” slide.
  • [Main intent for FACILITATOR: ] To set the stage for using LESSON cardsSAY:“You have already talked with one [or several people] about one of your powerful experiences and what you learned from that experience. Now we are going back to your One Memorable Experience. And you will go through the yellow Lesson cards quickly to select cards that capture what you learned. Any questions?” DO:Make sure that everyone is clear about the task – back to one most memorable experience, select as many lessons learned as apply.
  • [Main intent for FACILITATOR: ] To draw attention to the symbol on the lower right corner of the LESSON cards – W = Work; P = People; S = Self. SAY:“How many had a balance of S-P-W cards? How many had mostly S cards? How many had mostly P cards?How many had mostly W cards?We are going to talk about what S-P-W means”.
  • [Main intent for FACILITATOR: ] This card sets up a discussion about Balanced Development of Leadership Competencies OR 3-D leadership (with lessons learned in three domains)QUESTION FOR NEXT VERSION OF FACILITATOR’S GUIDE: Looking for ideas/questions to provoke a rich discussion? Please share. Please email me: wilsonm@ccl.org, subject line: LE cardsNOTE: Also in the middle of re-designing this set of visuals - so the idea of 3-D leadership comes out more clearly. Not sure whether to use a Cube or Sphere.
  • [Main intent for FACILITATOR: ] What do we currently believe about WHAT MAKES LEARNING POSSIBLE? Convey to participants that earlier research produced 70-20-10 guideline. New research drills down to help us understand more about WHICH challenging assignments, WHAT types of developmental relationships. This sets up for introducing Basic Five Plus Two. Notes from Cindy McCauley:What’s useful about 70-20-10?Reminds us to take a broad view of learning and development—to see how leader development is happening outside of formal training settingsEmphasizes the three basic modalities of learning: direct experience, relationships, education Increases the impact of research findings by communicating them in their simplest termsWhat’s not useful 70-20-10?Connotes that the complexities of leader development can be captured in a simple formulaHides the real insights: What kinds of direct experiences, relationships, and education are developmental?May communicate a segmented rather than integrative approach to leader developmentDescription-to-prescription fallacy
  • [Main intent for FACILITATOR: ] Make it clear that we now know that there are the BASIC FIVE experiences which are the most frequently reported by managers in multiple geographies as major sources of managerial learning. SAY:“What do we now know that we did not know before? In every country in which we did the research -- China, India, Singapore and the United States -- there are five experiences that are THE most significant sources of leadership learning. We have named them: The Basic Five.”
  • [Main intent for FACILITATOR: ] Promote recall! OPTIONAL: Ask participants to refer back to their 1 or 2 “most memorable” cards and look at symbol on lower right corner. If they have a particular symbol, they can raise their hand. This raises interesting points to discuss. For example:Why do so many in the room report an experience related to boss or superiorHow many have handled a crisis (next slide)?What does it mean if no one or very few report a “new intiative”? RESEARCH NOTES AND DEFINITIONS(which will be necessary for some audiences, but not all):Bosses & superiors:Leader/s who are one or more levels above the manager and become a positive or negative role model, catalyst, coach, or teacher.Turnaround/fix-it:Fixing a failing or underperforming business operation; or implementing an organizational culture change. These troublesome assignments can arouse turbulent thoughts and feelings that have to be managed to meet the twin goals of improving productivity and profitability. Increase in job scope:An increase in budget, number of people to manage, access to resources, and complexity of tasks; typically raises the manager’s responsibilities and visibility and involves a promotion. Horizontal move:Transition or rotation to another function, business unit, organization, or industry sector; may not involve a promotion but calls for acquiring new expertise. Horizontal moves stimulate managers to experience different work and work cultures. These moves can be initiated by the organization or an individual.  New initiative:Opportunity to develop or launch new products and services, adopt new technologies, craft a new policy or process, build a plant or unit from scratch, develop a new market, embark on a new line of business, or create a new business entity.     
  • [Main intent for FACILITATOR: ] This slide typically promotes a lot of comment. It is a very important slide because it shows that although each of these six experiences are mentioned in EVERY STUDY, they are more frequently mentioned by managers in some locations and not others. There are quite a few implications for leadership development embedded in this slide. SAY:“Then there are the PLUS TWO. The Plus Two are additional experiences that are among the Top Seven most widelyreported experiences in a particular country – but they are different from country to country. China and India: More managers reported learning from “personal experiences” than in Singapore or the United States. China and U.S.A.: Mistakes were cited by a higher percentage of managers, compared to India and Singapore. In India: More managers told stories about “crossing cultures” – and about one of the most important lessons that they learned from that – working across differences. Singapore public service leaders: talked about Stakeholder engagements – from which a boundary spanning mindset is learned. (You have heard about that already by my colleague, Dr. Chris Ernst). And they talked about crises too. United States: Ethical dilemmas stands out – and what is learned from that is Integrity. Why is this important? Just because a particular experience is reported more frequently in one country, doesn’t mean that people from other countries do not need that experience and the lessons it can teach. At CCL, we would argue that managers all over the world need to pay attention to learning from mistakes. Maybe all managers, not just Indians, need to discover what can be learned by crossing cultures. Crisis need to be handled not just by Singapore public service leaders, but leaders in other sectors and other countries. RESEARCH NOTES AND DEFINITIONS(which will be necessary for some audiences, but not all):Personal experiences:Emotion-laden memories of varying times in life when values were formed, or an approach to life and/or work was sorted out, or life direction was re-formed.  Crisis:An unexpected and shocking event with the potential for creating a great deal of negative impact and unfavorable publicity. The disorder that follows injures the interests of individuals, organizations, and even countries. Crises pose a threat to the reputation and survival of top level leaders and their organizations. Stakeholder engagement:Involves managers in reconciling competing points of view and working out solutions in situations where they have little or no formal authority. Compared to other assignments, stakeholder engagements are more externally focused and likely to produce controversy or feelings of failure. Ethical dilemma:Fraudulent, illegal, or immoral behavior by a senior leader is observed and endured by a lower-level manager, resulting in a vivid memory and value-laden or moral conclusions. Mistake:Errors made by a manager or his or her co-workers. Mistakes end up in a failure to meet performance objectives and derail team or business goals. Cultural crossing:Assignment involves regular, direct contact with co-workers whose values, motivations, language, life routines, and cultural customs are different. Managers have to step up to making adjustments without which business goals would not be achieved.  
  • [Main intent for FACILITATOR: ] Raise the point of it all – the central issue - the how do we make this happen? SAY:“To develop more leaders and better leaders more quickly ….we have to ask ourselves: How can we make learning from experiences INTENTIONAL, not INCIDENTAL or ACCIDENTAL? “
  • [Main intent for Facilitators:] Summarize.
  • [Main intent for Facilitators:] Thank you for your time and attention.
  • [Main intent for Facilitators:] Acknowledging CCL’s past and future contributions; providing contact information.
  • Experience Explorer™

    1. 1. Agenda © 2011 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
    2. 2. AgendaReview the cards on your chair.Set aside white and yellow cards.Pick up, shuffle and use 52 blue cards. © 2011 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
    3. 3. AgendaSort the blue Experience cards into 2 stackso Experiences you have hado Experiences you have not had © 2011 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
    4. 4. FromAgenda Experiences you have had the bluecards, select 1 or 2 that are “very memorable” foryou, and which you feel have shaped the way youapproach leadership. © 2011 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
    5. 5. AgendaTurn to a neighbor and share as much of the storyof your very memorable experience and the keylessons you drew from the experience. © 2011 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
    6. 6. AgendaNetwork: Find another partner and repeat thesharing of stories and lessons learned. © 2011 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
    7. 7. AgendaWhat did you notice about the stories you sharedand heard? What were the similarities anddifferences? What are your observations? © 2011 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
    8. 8. Agenda Go back to your one very memorable (blue) experience card. Set aside all other blue cards. © 2011 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
    9. 9. Pick up, shuffle and use 40 yellow Lesson cards. AgendaFor your one very memorable experience, find(yellow) Lesson cards that remind you:  What main lessons did you learn? © 2011 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
    10. 10. Reflection Agenda What do you notice about the lessons you learned? Were they about the world of Work / People / Self? © 2011 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
    11. 11. Leadership abilities are tri-dimensional (3-D) © 2011 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
    12. 12. Leading the Organization Building skills and perspectives to get work done—World of by attending to Work strategy, operations, and culture. © 2011 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
    13. 13. Leading Self Managing oneself —one’s thoughts, emotions, actions, and attitudes. World ofInner Self © 2011 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
    14. 14. Leading People Developing interpersonal and social skills for World of connecting People with people. © 2011 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
    15. 15. What the LiFE Explorer™ cards tell us… Experiences Lessons Memorable events that influence the Shifts in …. way in which a person leads & manages Values Behavior Attitudes Skill level Knowledge © 2011 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
    16. 16. Agenda Research Tells Us What70 20 10Challenging Developmental CourseworkAssignments Relationships and Training © 2011 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
    17. 17. Agenda © 2011 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
    18. 18. universallyimportantexperiences © 2011 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
    19. 19. Basic FiveBosses & Turnaround Increased Horizontal Newsuperiors job scope move Initiative © 2011 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
    20. 20. + Two Personal Stakeholder Ethical Crossing Crises MistakesExperiences Engagements Dilemmas Cultures © 2011 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
    21. 21. We must ask ourselves … how can we make learning from experiencesintentional not incidental nor accidental ? © 2011 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
    22. 22. Agenda In summary …• We can grow more leaders by diversifying experiences that help people to stretch, fail (maybe), and learn.• We can develop more capable leaders by diversifying lessons people learn. © 2011 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
    23. 23. The LOE research program isguided by one question:• What are the processes by which executives learn, grow, and change over the course of their careers?• The assumption underlying this question is that leadership is learned.• We believe that today, even more than before, the manager’s ability and willingness to learn the lessons of leadership from experience is the foundation for leading with impact. © 2011 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
    24. 24. A series of pioneering studiesCountry Year # Executives # Organisations 2007 - 2010 54 4 state-owned, 2 private 2007 - 2008 34 12 ministries, 18 stat boards 2006 - 2007 71 8 home-grown Indian global 2004 - 2005 234 117 private, 21 public, 13 non-profit36 countries 1999 101 16 global 1996 288 1 global + program participants 1984 - 1985 76 25 Fortune 100 1981 - 1984 191 6 corporations, including 5 Fortune 50 © 2011 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
    25. 25. Agenda © 2011 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
    26. 26. Thank you! © 2011 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
    27. 27. CCL’s Global Locations Delhi SingaporeFor additional information, www.ccl.org ; wilsonm@ccl.org © 2012 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
    28. 28. CCL at a Glance• A singular focus on the leadership development for over forty years• Ideas into action: cutting-edge research; practical business application• Ranked in Top 10 globally for 11 straight years in Financial Times executive education rankings.• More than 20,000 individuals from 120 countries are served annually © 2012 Center for Creative Leadership. All Rights Reserved.

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