A world-leading food processing and packaging company runs an annual leadership development program for high-potential employees. The four-month international program aims to address individual leadership challenges to help participants transition into executive roles within five years.
After three iterations of the program, the company decided to try a complementary approach; one that would continue to keep participants engaged after the program, encourage ongoing networking with their peers and inspire them to continue the sessions themselves after the four month program. After some analysis, it became clear that peer learning circles might meet these objectives.
The goals of the circles were:
Engagement - increase engagement beyond the leadership development program.
Relationships - sustain meaningful relationships with peers for improved team performance.
Self-direction - encourage self-directed sessions for continued learning and support.
With the peer learning circles, participants were encouraged to share both organizational and personal challenges - adding a new depth to the sessions. Building upon existing trust between the participants formed during the initial program, these sessions created a safe space for open and honest discussion, gently addressing specific challenges, and strengthening the team as a whole.
As a result, not only did participants deepen connections with their peers and build a trusted support system, they also understood the power of peer circles and committed to continuing the process beyond the program.
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