Too many new sales initiatives fail to get successfully off the ground. Whether it is bridging the gap between strategy and implementation, the adoption of a new sales techniques, or rolling out a new sales system, managers are often frustrated with the difficulty posed by change. At the same time the challenges faced by organizations are more complex than ever.
A pro-active approach is required to meet the opportunities and challenges faced by today’s sales teams. It is called Action Learning.
Action Learning is perhaps one of the best kept secrets in the business world. Yet it has its origins in the 1940’s. Managers should know about it but they often don’t, a real lost opportunity in our view.
What is surprising is that it is as relevant today as it could ever be. Adopting its principles would present a challenge for many managers, trainers and consultants. Indeed in this era of rapid change in business and other areas, it has never been more relevant.
Action Learning could be described as a discipline, a philosophy and a science. It is grounded in an understanding of basic human psychology and a respect for people and a desire to help them to exploit their potential.
Action Learning does ‘what it says on the tin’. It is about learning by taking action. But it is as much about change as it is about learning. That makes it particularly relevant to modern sales organizations and the challenges of adapting to more competitive markets and increasingly demanding customers & stakeholders.
As a body of knowledge Action Learning is continually evolving. For some this evolution presents challenges, with arguments about what is the ‘pure interpretation.’ In this respect there are some additions that we have brought to the approach, with a particular emphasis on tailoring the approach for use by the sales community. In particular we have added an increased emphasis on results, mental models and the use of assessments.
We call our approach Results-Based Learning™. It is Action Learning with some new research & tailored to the requirements of accelerating B2B sales. It is an engagement model whose key components are collaboration, creativity, empowerment, teamwork and personal development. All this sounds great, but to what end? Well, that is perhaps the most appealing element of Action Learning. It has a clear aim in mind – to solve a problem or to achieve a result.
Experts come and go. The Action Learning approach develops internal capability and leverages internal expertise. It is a more sustainable and ultimately more successful approach. Those who are closest to the problem, will be charged with its resolution and are best placed to find the solution that works best.
The role of expert trainer or consultant is as a facilitator. Results Based Learning does not create a new dependency, or blur exiting reporting lines. It supports rather than undermines managers and team leads. It adopts an optimistic view of human potential and focuses on empowering people to solve problems, develop and grow.
Most important of all Results Based Learning employs an array of powerful techniques to facilitate and enable change. It recognizes that people are key to change and that changes in behavior must be preceded by changes in attitudes and thinking.
RBL recognizes that challenging old ways of thinking is very important to ensure real change and sustained progress. It is about a process of exploration & discovery.
Some creative tension is good, even necessary. The objective is to help people (teams) to move outside their comfort zone.
Please contact us if you would like more detail on each of the 14 principles of the highly successful Growth Pitstop™ implementation approach.