Learning Sessions

Performance Practice Learning Sessions

How your organization can learn and improve

The Performance Practice is designed to support a continuous process of organizational learning and improvement through one or more learning sessions.

A learning session is a structured process based on surveying, synthesizing, and discussing views and inputs about principles and proof points for one or more modules (e.g., leadership, management, programs, financial health, culture, internal monitoring, or external evaluation).

Get Started: Step by Step

While the Performance Practice can be used in the way that makes most sense to your organization, we’ve outlined the most common sequence of steps below. Click to expand and read more about each step.

Articulate the following:

  • Describe the purpose of using the Performance Practice (feel free to build on our slide deck) – Do you plan a one-time deep dive or more frequent module reviews?
  • Select the organizational module(s) to use
  • Identify a learning session administrator
  • Decide which participants will be involved. Gaining a true picture of how an organization works typically requires involvement from a wide range of players. That said, you’ll want to involve people with knowledge of the areas in question, which can mean including different participants for different modules. If you choose to work on the leadership module, for example, it’s a good idea to involve the executive team and the board, but if you choose to work on the management module, it’s more appropriate to involve managers and staff.

Introduce the process you’re about to embark on in a way that is meaningful to those who will be involved. Lay the foundation for organizational learning by presenting the following information:

  • What is the Performance Practice?
  • Why are you asking the team to complete the Performance Practice? What do you hope the organization and team will gain? Emphasize how continuous improvement leads to high-performance.
  • Who will be involved, and what will the process look like?

Set up the learning session survey (see the User Guide, p. 6-7), and share it with participants.

  • Ask participants to complete the survey worksheet, stressing the primary importance of assessing the status or progress for each proof point by providing a rating (e.g., substantially meets, fully meets, not started) and, most importantly, their rationale, concerns and/or suggestions. The ratings will provide an understanding of where opinions fall on a continuum, but the comments are critical to understanding the underlying “why.”
  • Let participants know who will see their responses, whether or not their comments will be presented anonymously, and how input will be presented back to the group.

Compile and report participant responses for each of the proof points to provide a comparative picture of assessments, reactions, views, and feedback.

The reporting app helps you compile all responses into a single spreadsheet. This side-by-side comparison of participant responses allows you to highlight which proof points are met, need attention, and/or require improvement. See “Tips for Analysis” in the User Guide. You can also delve deeper into the responses to pinpoint:

  • Themes that emerge from the comments (e.g., clear interest in doing a better job using data to inform their work)
  • Areas of misunderstanding or confusion, where clarification would lead to better alignment
  • Poor communication, where additional elaboration or explanation would lead to improved understanding
  • Gaps or differences in opinion or understanding, where resolution may lead to improved communication, execution, and/or need for process improvements
  • Suggestions made by the participants that could lead to organizational improvements
  • Questions that require answers for better understanding and alignment

Share the data with participants in preparation for discussion. It can be useful to share the following:

  • Summary of the data, including themes, highlights, strengths, improvement areas, and areas of misalignment. Substantiate your conclusions by sharing the comments or rationale that led you to them.
  • Share the raw data (to the extent it makes sense). You may want to remove identifying information as much as possible, depending on the comments.
  • Ask participants to consider if they agree with your conclusions, see additional themes, or have other questions about the data.
  • Give people time to review before your discussion.

Facilitate one or more sessions to discuss the findings and plan for improvement. Sharing findings with the participants and facilitating discussion sessions as the basis for organizational learning will help:

  • Celebrate organizational progress and achievements
  • Get everyone on the same page
  • Contribute to staff development and improved understanding
  • Lead continuous improvement

This process can be repeated with the same group at a later date, different participants, and/or different focus (e.g., another organizational discipline). The efforts can be as big or small in scope as needed. The use of Performance Practice learning sessions can be applied to an immediate need (e.g., financial health) or a more comprehensive organizational development effort (e.g., where leadership, management, and culture disciplines are the focus over a longer period of time).

Sample Reports

With the free reporting app, you can create a report like the sample below in minutes. To create your own report, you will first need to collect your data. Go to any of the modules to get started.

Summary:
The Summary report shows the distribution of ratings for each proof point, gives a picture of the level of consensus, and opens the door to productive conversations about ways to move forward.

Details:
For a thorough understanding of individual perspectives, drill down to see each respondent’s ratings and comments per proof point.

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Use our slides to show your stakeholders how the Performance Practice can help your organization on its continuous improvement journey.

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Explore the seven Performance Practice modules.

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