Generating ideas, connections, and action

Learning about Group Learning

In March 2006 the Leadership Learning Community partnered with the International Leadership Association to conduct a day and half intensive learning lab to mine our diverse experiences and extract lessons about how to create sustainable learning communities. LLC invited members who have been leading LLC circle work and ILA identified their members who were leading the Global Learning Communities. LLC and ILA also invited representatives from learning collaborative of leadership programs who shared a focus on family planning and reproductive health. Several assumptions informed the design of LLC’s first learning lab. We believe that:

  • Learning is enriched by diverse perspectives and participants from very different experiences.
  • Learning occurs best in community where there is a shared sense of purpose, values, collective learning philosophy, and norms for creating a safe learning environment.
  • Creating community and deep learning requires a commitment of time (at least one day)
  • Learning will increase in value when it can be shared and applied to strengthen our work

These assumptions shaped the 1 ½ day Learning Lab which produced a framework on the elements of a successful learning community. This framework has been shared with other LLC circles to help leadership programs think about how to more intentionally cultivate their leadership cohorts as learning communities that can sustain themselves as an ongoing source of learning and support for participants well beyond the conclusion of their leadership program. The design of this learning lab replicated the formation elements for creating learning communities and can also be viewed on the LLC website to learn more about the processes that are helping diverse groups quickly connect in communities that are generating new leadership frameworks and tools. For more information about the uses of these short, intensive and highly productive labs, please contact Deborah Meehan.