Use action learning projects to address current policy or strategy issues

What’s the secret for building enduring client relationships? How do you make these relationships the cornerstone of your company’s reputation in the eyes of employees and investors as well as clients? And how do you avoid being overtaken and marginalized by shifting competitive forces to consistently offer superior value to clients? My answer…consists of five precepts or pillars: Surround yourself with good people. Invest in them. Listen to them. Align culture and mission. And keep your commitments.

Aramark’s Executive Leadership Institute (ELI) uses action learning projects to apply and develop the five pillars in many ways. Teams of 4 to 6 managers in each class of 30 participants are assigned a case study of current policy or strategy issues as prepared by different business units. To encourage fresh thinking, the project teams are assembled from disciplines and business units across the organization. They cannot include anyone from the specific business unit that prepared their case. They present findings and recommendations at the conclusion of four week-long sessions scheduled over nine months. The audience includes members of senior leadership, heads of the specific business units sponsoring the project, and other members of that particular class. Project teams are assigned a coach and liaison from the sponsoring business unit.

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