Tip #731:  Peer Learning Groups Develop Managers and Increase Productivity

If only HP knew what HP knows, we would be three times more productive.” Lew Platt, Former CEO of Hewlett-Packard

Managers have a great deal of knowledge and experience that often goes unshared and unrecognized for lack of awareness that it is and can be an important organizational asset.


  1. The managers themselves may be unconscious of their implicit wisdom. Few managers have the time or inclination to reflect on what they know and how it helps their performance, so they themselves may not recognize their importance.
  2. There may not be opportunities for managers to share what they know. Organizational silos and lack of management or cross-department meetings make this difficult.
  3. If managers share what they know, it may be discounted- for lack of interest, for a perception that the manager is too young or inexperienced to have something to offer, or for a perception that a manager is too set in his or her ways to have any ideas of value, etc.
  4. Managers may not have the psychological safety or freedom to speak up. They may be hesitant to share what they know, for fear of judgment and criticism.
  5. Managers may choose not to share what they know, if the organizational culture fosters competition instead of collaboration.

Peer learning groups, in which 6 managers share their knowledge and experience, as well as work through information provided about best practices, in brief self-directed onsite sessions, are an important means for ongoing management development and increased productivity.

Peer learning groups for managers build management and leadership skills through collaborative peer learning and knowledge sharing.

They accomplish this by:

  1. tapping into implicit skills and experience that managers have but are underutilized.
  2. generating new knowledge and skills through lateral learning between peers.
  3. enhancing what the managers have previously learned through traditional methods.
  4. helping managers translate previous general learning so that it is consistent with the organization’s cultural context
  5. building on prior learning in the work environment for improved performance.
  6. fulfilling learning needs to meet immediate management challenges.
  7. delivering real world application opportunities.
  8. providing an opportunity to reflect on what works, what doesn’t work- and how to fix it.
  9. affording the psychological safety and freedom to openly share both successes and failures.
  10. offering lifelong learning opportunities.

A peer learning group program provides an opportunity for managers to share what they know, learn from each other and resource materials, and collaborate to develop best practices to meet pressing management challenges.

To determine if your managers would benefit from participating in a peer learning group, please see http://www.peerlearninginstitute.com.



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