Curriculum

Stagen scholar practitioners have aggregated and synthesized hundreds of books, articles, theories, and best practices into ten self-directed Learning Modules. These modules are used to assemble a core curriculum suitable for the needs of high-potential leaders. Each module is enhanced by dozens of supplementary learning assets: white papers, articles, multimedia, audio and video presentations and numerous proprietary tools.

LEARNING TO LEARN

Learning is a critical imperative in cultivating and optimizing the talent that is key to significant and sustained competitive advantage. This module introduces two kinds of learning: acquired learning which occurs through training and experience that imparts new knowledge and skills to an existing meaning-making system (without changing any of the underlying fundamental assumptions or beliefs) and adaptive learning which transforms and expands the mind itself by helping it evolve to the next level of psychological complexity. The module also presents two crucial attitudes toward learning: the Knower and the Learner. "Knowers" generally have a closed mind because they assume that they already have the answers and are therefore incapable of any significant improvement. It is difficult (or even impossible) to seek and acquire new knowledge unless people are aware-and can admit-that they do not know. "Learners" are willing to admit that they don't know. This awareness allows them to approach situations with an open mind and a sense of ease and even enjoyment as they learn new ways of understanding and doing things. The module also introduces the "learning loop" which provides a predictable learning path for people to maximize the benefits from the feedback they receive from learning experiences. Deliberate practice is presented as a key to achieving mastery along with four orientations toward practice that can help or hinder one's progress toward expertise. Finally, a powerful learning technique called "gamefilming" (a metaphor borrowed from sports) helps people observe and effectively evaluate their performance objectively dramatically accelerating the learning process.

MEANING

Business management emphasizes the tangible dimensions of business, whereas leadership emphasizes both the tangible and the intangible dimensions. Alignment, high performance teams, high performance cultures, and engagement are some of the most sought-after organizational qualities today. Robert Kaplan and Peter Norton write, "The average company's tangible assets-the net book value of assets less liabilities-represent less than 25 percent of market value... If an organization's intangible assets represent 75 percent of its value, then its strategy formulation and execution need to explicitly address the mobilization and alignment of intangible assets." This learning module gives leaders a roadmap to leverage the intangibles of their organization to produce extraordinary tangible results. One of the most important drivers of high performance is meaning. Specific methods are taught that can then be used by integral leaders to intentionally cultivate and influence meaning in their organizations. Participants learn how - and how not - to use "directional statements" that summarize leadership values, vision and purpose in ways that reliably boost worker performance and unit profitability.

ATTENTION MANAGEMENT

The most successful business people are not the ones that are the best time managers, but rather the ones who are the most focused. The Institute's proprietary Attention Management System is the industry's first comprehensive attention management solution. Executives who use this system achieve productivity increases surpassing 20% - 40% based upon metrics such as worker output per hour, percentage of missed deadlines, number of hours reclaimed, percentage of time and attention solving crises, and percentage of time and attention devoted to proactive and strategic projects.

EXECUTION

Execution is a methodical way of prioritizing, planning, and implementing actions so that an organization achieves its goals. There are two fundamental yet very different types of execution: "in" the business and "on" the business. Executing in the business refers to the crucial day-to-day performance of every employee in the organization. These activities contribute to the successful achievement of the organization's monthly and quarterly milestones. Executing on the business refers to the type of execution that is directly and immediately linked to the organization's strategy (involving changing assumptions as the environment changes). This module presents four crucial aspects of execution that growth companies should understand. The first element is Deliberate Trade-offs which involves prioritizing and evaluating alternatives and making conscious choices and deliberate sacrifices. The second element is Disciplined Process which involves the activities associated with detailed project planning and disciplined project implementation. The third element is Personal Productivity which involves the attitudinal, behavioral, and systems influences on an individual's ability to perform at a consistently high level. The final element--which weaves together the other three--is referred to as Committed Action. This crucial piece of the puzzle includes the essential yet often overlooked interpersonal dimension of execution. It involves making and keeping commitments; accountability; and the communication skills necessary to identify, manage, and resolve breakdowns. As with other Stagen learning modules, execution is explored as it relates to the individual, team, and organizational dimensions of a company, with the intention of expanding key competencies and capacities associated with each.

CONSCIOUS COMMUNICATION

Studies indicate that the single biggest complaint of American workers is poor communication with management. Two-thirds say that it prevents them from doing their best work. Conscious communication is about greater awareness, perspective, and choice. Effective communication requires the ability to see things from different vantage points. By increasing awareness and skill with the more subtle dynamics of communication, one can consciously choose the best mode of communication for a given circumstance. Greater versatility can expands a leader's effectiveness, power, and influence. Several specific practices are introduced to dramatically increase communication versatility. Presence--a key to conscious communication--is a quality of alert attention that allows you to connect deeply and authentically with yourself and others. Next, a model and specific practice is introduced that helps communicators accurately distinguish between facts and perceptions (what actually happened versus our "story" about what happened.) Another powerful practice is introduced that helps people balance the assertion of their own position (advocacy) with asking questions to understand others' perspectives (inquiry). The next key to effective communication is active listening. The module introduces the active listening mindset along with five specific practices that dramatically enhance one's communication ability. The final key to conscious communication is the ability to give both positive and critical feedback skillfully. Specific guidelines and practices are offered to engage this delicate communication activity successfully.

UNDERSTANDING PEOPLE

Leaders must understand their people, including values, needs, and motivations. This module introduces the Stagen Mindset Model which features four universal value systems leaders encounter. These mindset are also called "meaning making systems" and "worldviews." Participants will learn to quickly recognize, communicate with, motivate and influence followers who draw on one or a combination of these mindsets. This competency measurably increases the leader's ability to achieve desired results with followers.

HIGH PERFORMANCE TEAMWORK

Effective leaders develop high performance teams by cultivating up to fifteen teamwork core competencies, including: clearly defined values, vision and purpose, emotional intelligence, mutual trust and respect, clarified roles and responsibilities, open communication, innovative thinking, collaboration, conflict management and team culture. In addition to exhibiting these core competencies, high performance teams progress sequentially through predictable developmental phases from "compliance" to "collaboration." These team competencies can be seen to develop in stages starting with clarifying values, purpose, and vision; setting realistic, quantifiable objectives; establishing roles and responsibilities; and agreeing on team guidelines. Next, the developing team refines roles and responsibilities, defines expectations and establishes accountability, and creates a team identity. In the next phase, the team learns how to use peer feedback and makes decisions collaboratively. At the highest level of performance, team members anticipate each other's behavior and operate with extreme efficiency, encourage innovative thinking, solve problems and resolve conflicts quickly, and practice team renewal.