Entrepreneurs Experience Accelerated Learning From Other Entrepreneurs
Content provided by the Women Presidents' Organization
Adult learning theory indicates that adults prefer to define for themselves what and when to learn, a concept I call "just-in-time learning." In this type of learning, the learner decides what skills and knowledge she needs to strengthen and when she needs to accomplish it. Research by the Edward Lowe Foundation (www.edwardlowe.org), a foundation that helps entrepreneurs navigate second-stage growth through retreats and online forums, shows that entrepreneurs learn faster and better when they learn from one another.
Within a peer advisory group, the main goal is to bring out the group’s "genius." Collaborative learning draws out the insight and wisdom of each individual participant, resulting in a mix of ideas that benefits the whole.
Being open and honest is critical to the success of the peer group advisory process.
The effectiveness of the group is entirely dependent on the participants’ willingness to share. Group members must be open about discussing their finances and other sensitive issues to the group, so that the group benefits from the share of knowledge.
Negativity and criticism of the ideas of others is unacceptable and counterproductive to the learning process. The opportunity to come out of a peer group experience with the best new ideas is only possible when the group leadership ensures participants will not be criticized or treated unprofessionally.
The most effective learning experiences come about as a result of relationships forged within a bonded group. Bonding is the strongest when members have respect for each other and have the patience and understanding to really listen. A feeling of closeness and identity with one another are hallmarks of effective peer advisory groups. Having fun together is important to bonding and could mean a celebration, going out to dinner or just sharing a story and a good laugh.
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