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Strategies for Building Robust, Passionate & Transformational Learning Communities Learning 2011 Orlando, FL, USA (add learning 2011 logo here) Susan Sarfati,

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Presentation on theme: "Strategies for Building Robust, Passionate & Transformational Learning Communities Learning 2011 Orlando, FL, USA (add learning 2011 logo here) Susan Sarfati,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Strategies for Building Robust, Passionate & Transformational Learning Communities Learning 2011 Orlando, FL, USA (add learning 2011 logo here) Susan Sarfati, CEO High Performance Strategies, LLC Growing Leaders & Organizations That Stand Tall Washington, DC Mobile: 1. 202.365.3440

2 Learning Objectives Explore 5 key characteristics and benefits of a professional community Use appreciate inquiry strategy for expanding your thinking Identify competencies needed for developing and populating a learning community Share best practices for building a learning community


4 Susan Sarfati, CAE


6 Most companies chase the opportunities that everyone else is chasing; miss opportunities that everyone else is missing. Its the companies that see a different game that win big. William Taylor 6

7 Share Information. Connect. Communicate. To find Safety. Honesty. Insights. Support. To increase your voice. Participate in the Professional Community to: 7

8 Understand how to build community. 8 People want to make a difference, to be recognized, to be respected, to be included, to contribute and to make their profession and the world better.

9 Characteristics/Benefits of a Learning Community

10 Value Proposition


12 Four-Stage Learning Cycle 1. Knowing – I get it. 2. Understanding – basis for deeper insight 3. Thinking - assumptions – setting stage for learning

13 Two Levels of Learning Level 1 – Translate assumptions into actions Level 2 – Assumptions move to actions that change the rules of the game

14 Learning Leaders Michael Dell – changed the game in computer delivery systems Bill Gates – extended knowing and dominated computing Steve Jobs – reframed the personal computer world

15 Content isnt king any longer; context is. 15 Connect the dots and make sense of content in relevant ways. Thats how you differentiate yourself.

16 Live your brand which is the promise you make to your constituents. 16 Deliver on the promise!

17 Become THE THIRD PLACE 17

18 APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY Organizations are not problems to be solved. They are, themselves, a solution to a problem or challenge.

19 AI ASSUMPTIONS AI assumes that every organization/community has many untapped and rich accounts of the positive -- what people talk about as past, present and future capacities.

20 Shift from Problem Solving to Positive Change Works for: Building partnerships/alliances Transforming culture Engaging stakeholders Strategic planning Speed to market Enhancing morale Financial improvement 20

21 APPROACHING PROBLEMS FROM OTHER SIDE Appreciative Inquiry (AI) begins an adventure. It can help create a positive revolution. AI can get you better results than seeking out and solving problems. It is NOT mindless happy talk!

22 DEFINITION OF POSITIVE CHANGE AI seeks to work from accounts of the positive core. This shift from problem analysis to positive core analysis is at the heart of positive change. Old paradigm – change begins with a clear definition of the problem.

23 PARADIGM SHIFT Problem Solving Identification of problem Analysis of causes Analysis and possible solutions Action Planning An organization is a problem to be solved. Appreciative inquiry Appreciating and valuing the best of what is Envisioning what might be Dialoging what should An organization is a mystery to be embraced.

24 APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY SUMMIT Engages and taps into strengths of the whole system by gathering collective intelligence of the whole Is a process to guide large groups Maximizes talent and creates buy in Everyone can be part of the inner circle of strategy

25 Your Turn Think back to a time when you had an extraordinary experience that helped to build a Learning Community. Describe the situation. What made this such a great experience? What are the words you would use to describe the experience? 25

26 Communication must to be two way. Not only speak to learners but listen and respond to them. Remember to always use SIMPLE SPEAK! 26

27 Tell Stories. Facts are facts but stories are how you learn and engage. 27

28 Create a process for ongoing collection of needs, wants, perceptions. Communicate 28 results, dont hoard information.

29 Realize that one size does not fit all. Profile learners according to their aspirations, values, issues on their plate, who they are as people. 29

30 Assign each new learner a mentor. Help them get them involved and engaged immediately and on an ongoing basis. 30

31 Give away free stuff. 31


33 Capture the hearts and minds of your learners and engage them for the long term. Be personal. Show your personality. Always deliver value. 33

34 Down with busy work and bureaucracy and same old, same old. 34 Up with creativity, innovation and meaning.

35 You may have a community of thousands, but create experiences of one. 35

36 Surprise, Delight and Challenge SURPRISE – Your learners with the unexpected DELIGHT – Delight them with extraordinary experiences CHALLENGE – Your employees to be learning focused 100% of the time 36

37 37

38 Delivering Happiness (customers and employees) People may not remember exactly what you did or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel. 38 Source: The

39 Innovation Innovation allows organizations to remain competitive. Nurturing the ideas of employees is vital to the growth of the organization. 39

40 Be a student of motivational theory, organizational culture, emotional intelligence, psychology and demographics. 40 Develop a unique organizational culture… …and stand behind it.

41 Carly Fiorina (former CEO) of Hewlett Packard), coined the phrase one thousand tribes to describe organizational territories/ silos that operated almost as competitors. You need silo-busting tools and strategies to offer quality communities. Learning Communities are a Team Sport.

42 Invite as many voices to contribute as possible. 42 Be inclusive, open, transparent, authentic.

43 Deliver the most exquisite, off the charts level of customer care to your learners. Live and breathe your people! 43

44 Balance high tech and high touch. Dont jump on the technology bandwagon just because or to follow the crowd. 44 Use technology as a tool to accomplish relevant goals.

45 ESPECIALLY A KALEIDOSCOPE A learner needs 4 tools – a telescope to look at the future, a wide-angle lens to look at the periphery, a microscope to look at the details, and a kaleidoscope to look at changing patterns and unending possibilities.

46 What is your best piece of advice on how to strengthen learning communities?

47 212 – The Extra Degree 47

48 Customized Speaking & Consulting based on 25+ years of leading organizations with 15 years as a risk taker, creative and innovative CEO. Track record of growing leaders & organizations that perform at extraordinary levels by combining practical approaches, flawless execution and BIG IDEAS. Areas of Expertise: 1. Organizational assessments 2. Best practices and innovative thinking in organizational strategy 3. Leadership and management development 4. Customer service 5. Womens leadership strategies 6. Social responsibility strategies and tactics 7. Creating experiences at events and building learning communities Susan Sarfati, CEO High Performance Strategies Growing Leaders & Organizations That Stand Tall Washington, DC 20003 Mobile: 1. 202.365.3440

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