Leadership Learning Laboratories (LLL)

Experiential learning has always been key to me. I am fully aware of the variety of learning styles present at any given time of learning or even conversation. We predominantly find ourselves in a structured world, both in business and life, the left brain domain has determined a formula for most things to work. And for the largest part, things work smoothly and are streamlined because of this. I am all for it, and want to add to the already working engine another option, an additional way of opening up the word to people who learn differently. Think differently, so that we are inclusive in our growth journey. It is hard to anticipate potential and conform to learning on theoretical pages, especially of you are just a hyperactive. So providing and creating experiences that are capable of deep impact, transportable and modular, help address the many leadership and personal growth realities individuals and teams face today. Creating an experience seemed like the natural next step for me, and a natural outflow of my skills, passions, and proficiency.

Instead of arriving with a stack of manuals, I created a box (it is fluid, able to be filled with what is needed for the next experience). So when we gather for an experience, each participant gets a box not a manual. How much more meaningful to open up, discover and walk away with a box, my experience has evidenced that the implementation is more successful in this case, as the manual often goes on the shelf. This compelling method has proven to keep individuals and teams engaged and applying new insights long after the 'event' is over. (Kirkpatrick’s levels 3 and 4 are kicking in strongly!)

The highlight is the ability to make learning personal, people determine their own internal compelling truth, something they believe in. They gain this by instead of learning formats that are often coercive, and the excitement and joy are a resounding 'yes' from the head and heart. Engagement rises and energy levels and productivity soar.

Deepening thinking skills, and an opportunity and accompanying permission to contribute, participate and form part of the unfolding learning process, rather than to follow a very strict set of rules and printed material we now “have to” work through.

A lab is a place of experimentation, the direction is changed pending outcomes. We move in a fluid way to work with the findings and those lead us to a new place, discerning and understanding or at last questioning things we id not know before. They discover together, unearth collective wisdom, Like having a compass in uncharted territory, now doesn’t that sound a bit more like real life?

In South Africa, and in the USA I worked with teachers, parents, students and young leaders establishing “lab” like learning settings – where people could learn experientially. A learning lab is the epitome of true learning, allows for flow and motivation to lead the way, is inclusive of everyone, no one person is dominating the syllabus, instills courage in everyone to move ahead, at least one next step and then take a leap forward.


Lifelong learning and the idea around learning organizations puts one in line for consistent learning and refreshing, reinventing and discovering – this is a learning lab!

So now how do I constantly learn, navigating with a compass, not a rule book? Here are some LLLnuggets or at least questions:

  • LLL-in-a-box: “What if my head says YES, and my heart says NO?”

  • LLL-in-a-box: “Determining your own authentic response is key, not the second-hand smoke!”

  • LLL-in-a-box: “Flow is an underrated and invaluable place/state to learn in, to exercise your sense of navigation, and charting your course of true north!”

  • LLL-in-a-box: “Develop your true north, because you are convinced and can repeat the action from a compelling and aligned place, not from someone’s cheat sheet or because someone says so!”

  • LLL-in-a-box: “Allow people to grow their own fruit, don’t keep asking for apples and if they are really good at producing bananas. Look for a use for bananas, and an appetite for bananas, or help them find the next field to produce in if it's not yours. You can’t call bananas unnecessary fruit”.

  • LLL-in-a-box: “Definitions, definitions, do you really know what they mean? Just past down concepts that you can regurgitate but have you questioned them wrestled with the concepts and now really grasp them? Have you allowed yourself the discomfort of not understanding and asking questions”

  • LLL-in-box: “What gets your soul to stand up. What do you care so deeply for, you are ready like a horse out of the starting stall at the beginning of a race?

  • LLL-in-a box: What do you do with expectations or obligation that seems to handicap you, or a very conditional economy that weighs you down, and in contrast with a place of freedom you are accustomed to how do you function without others is reading you? How do you find wholeness?

  • LLL-in-box: “Conversational leadership & dialogue is vital, growth does not come from monologs”

  • LLL-in-box: “Leadership as facilitator or dictator, you choose!’

I was asked a while ago if I were to write a book, what would the little be. My answer was “So much more”. I am so enthralled with the idea of us discovering new ways of being, breathing and loving every day, endless possibilities open up when we are able to let go of the constructing lies about ourselves, others and a freedom in a new dance that sees us flourish and move to a different drum!

If you are keen to have a LLL in-a-box session, let me know, I would so love to put together a learning box just for you!

#Learning #Laboratories #Leadership #Labs #Experience #dialogue #conversation #engagement #EmployeeEngagement #Flow #Breakthrough

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