For public school educators, multiple-choice tests may still work well for a fifth-grade math test. But when it comes to educating the educators on leadership skills, a true-false pop quiz just won’t make the grade.
In the mile-high air of Denver, educators with Denver Public Schools follow the credo “Don’t Wait. Lead,” which also captures the district’s philosophy around leadership development. The DPS, which is among the fastest growing urban school districts in the nation with 14,000 employees and a student population of 88,000 who speak 160 different languages, had clear goals when planning its leadership development program: realistic developmental experiences and active learning to produce quick and measurable results without compromising a focus on mission and values.
Enter Pinsight, which created a virtual online platform offering a realistic learner experience as well as custom information for DPS. The company developed specific simulation exercises for DPS leaders so their skills could be observed and assessed while intentionally using a different industry from DPS to allow for a separation of leadership and technical skills.
One exercise asked leaders to decide which fictitious direct reports should be honored with an annual employee award. Another fictitious simulation was created to include an organizational strategy around promoting opportunities for low-income and ethnic populations.
With numerous measurable results — one stating that 80 percent of participants reported that in just three months others in DPS recognized their leadership skills had improved — leadership program participants reported greater employee engagement, and the district met its goal to help leaders learn and develop quickly and effectively.
Developing one leadership program for a multinational hotel chain is daunting enough. Developing two programs to simultaneously complement each other? Now that’s impressive.
Hilton Worldwide University partnered with Impact International to come up with individual programs that use creative simulations and practical skills to build an executive mindset in future leaders. The program’s design and development meant extensive meetings between Hilton Worldwide and Impact, as well as reviews with Hilton Worldwide executives.
The resulting Executive Presence I and Executive Presence II courses use simulations, practical skills and feedback models that expand their capacity and challenge attendees in high pressure situations. The EPII program in particular is scenario-based and incorporates a simulated “Owner’s Meetings” and sudden “Elevator Opportunities” pairing participants with an executive in on-the-spot elevator meetings.
Such programs allowed participants to act in the moment and receive real-time feedback about their performance that they can apply to their careers. It also taught them to have that 30-second elevator pitch down pat.
Liqvid eLearning Services
How many engineers does it take to swap out the lights at Grand Hyatt Dubai, Suncorp Olympic Stadium and the National Museum of Scotland? Probably a lot, but Philips Lighting Systems and Liqvid eLearning Services flipped the switch to train its people, combining software simulation and a corresponding immersive 3-D walkthrough of the facility.
Now those engineers are as bright as the lights they’re installing.