Lectica in organizations

Selected case studies

Lectica's mission is to build tools and methods that advance learning, development, and real-world competence. We do very little direct work with organizations. Instead, we train coaches, consultants, and businesses to work with our learning tools. However, we do make exceptions, especially where research and innovation are involved. Here, are a few examples.

From 2002 to 2006, we worked with the U. S. Intelligence community to (1) study the development of leadership skills especially skills for managing VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, & ambiguity) conditions; (2) develop a leadership decision-making course that doubled the amount of learning that took place relative to other courses offered at the time; and (3) describe developmentally informed competencies for management roles. Our LDMA (Lectical Decision Making Assessment) was originally developed during this program, as were the General and Precise Role Complexity Analyses we use to determine role fit.

Applying VCoL (Virtuous Cycle of Learning) to the challenges faced by busy executives brought about effective and life changing benefits.

Context

In early 2017, a colleague and I were engaged to design and implement a leader development program for a major Australian multinational corporation. The program featured structured residentials in addition to developmental coaching. The coaching was based on the diagnostic insights provided by the Lectical Leadership Decision-Making Assessment (LDMA) and the Lectical Self-Understanding Assessment (LSUA). The purpose of the program was to ready participants for more senior roles. Participants were in demanding roles, and as it turned out, they shared a concern that their challenging work schedules inhibited the amount of time they could invest in learning new skills.

VCoLing – “Start with real issues first”

The program commenced with a vibrant 5-day residential, and participants emerged with the motivation and energy that fresh insights often bring, setting learning goals based on these insights. Unfortunately, most participants set goals without taking daily workplace demands into account, and many of them later expressed the view that their goals were unachievable due to job related time constraints.

Because time constraints emerged as a perceived inhibitor of learning, we
decided to show participants how to use the Virtuous Cycle of Learning (VCoL) to build time-management skills—by helping them create  a series of time-management related VCoLs. This enabled them to address two topics simultaneously. The first being how to address the often conflicting priorities of their work whilst secondly, creating the opportunity to optimise learning using the VCoL approach.

Editor’s note: VCoL is a learning cycle with four simple steps—(1) set a learning goal, (2) gather information, (3) apply what you've learned in a real-world context, and (4) reflect on the outcome. Regular VCoLing speeds up learning and improves learning quality while building real-world skill.

The power of VCoLing – Getting the ‘small things’ right first

Participants were coached in VColing and committed to spend 2-3 minutes each day to carry out and record a VCoL related to time management. They agreed to continue this practice for at least 2 weeks, to experience the practice of VCoLing as a routine. It also impressed upon them the value of recognizing everyday challenges as opportunities which can be resolved with VCoLs that are simple,
relevant, and timely. At the two-week review, most participants had regularly applied VCoL to their time management challenge, leading to a number of reflections, including:

  •  “I set my original goals too high, they were too ambitious.”
  •  “I thought I was VCoLing but I realise now I wasn’t doing the reflecting step.”
  •  “I didn’t realise how much writing down what you’ve learned in a given moment improves the outcome.”
  •  “I feel a sense of calmness when I write my do list.”
  •  “I realise that I need to allocate a space to do this, it’s helped me.”
  •  “I complete things, and feel good.”
  •  “It’s slowed me down more, I plan more effectively to get better results”
  •  “VCoLing feels normal now. I use it for doing other things”
  •  “I VCoL all the time.”
  •  “I’m reflecting more.”

Insights gained

Our insight relates to the importance of coaching participants in the skill of VCoLing early in their development journey by focusing their attention on something small, relevant and powerful. This enables the benefits of VColing to emerge quickly.

Mark Keily—mkeily@cornerstoneintegral.com

“I thought I was a good learner. In school, I got straight A’s, found it easy to grasp new ideas, and always did well on tests. But when I was promoted into my first leadership position, my “academic” knowledge wasn’t enough to make me successful. I was close to giving up on leadership when I took my first LDMA. One of the suggestions in my report was to learn how to VCoL. I watched the VCoL video as suggested and the proverbial light bulb glowed my brain. Knowledge isn’t the same as skill! My coach helped me learn how to VCoL by using everyday decisions as little learning experiments. Soon, I found myself VCoLing without even thinking about it. Three years later, I’m loving this leadership gig—and I’ve been promoted twice.” —Denise R.

 


We care about evidence

If your organization is interested in conducting research with our assessment and learning tools, please contact us.

 

Selected funders

IES (US Department of Education)

The Spencer Foundation

NIH

Dr. Sharon Solloway

The Simpson Foundation

The Leopold Foundation

Donor list

Selected clients

Glastonbury School District, CT

The Ross School

Rainbow Community School

The Study School

Long Trail School

The US Naval Academy

The City of Edmonton, Alberta

The US Federal Government

Advisory Board

Kurt Fischer, Ph.D. Harvard Graduate School of Education, Emeritus

Antonio Battro, MD, Ph.D., One Laptop Per Child

Marc Schwartz, Ph.D. and former high school teacher, University of Texas at Arlington

Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, Ed.D., University of Southern California

Willis Overton, Ph.D., Temple University, Emeritus