Leading Through Learning in Brief

What does effective learning-leadership look like in action?

Envision a world in which your system is achieving equity at scale. Think backward — how would that system (i.e., network, organization, school, district, team, classroom) look and function?

Your system would treat daily operations as ongoing opportunities for learning and improvement. A diverse array of stakeholders would participate actively in the design, implementation and improvement of strategy. At every turn, measurement would help transform daily practice into strategic learning. And the system’s democratic approach to knowledge management would allow each member of the system to contribute to the generation, capture, spread, and application of new learning.

Building this system would require you to be a “learner in chief,”1Spear, S. J. (2009). The high-velocity edge: How market leaders leverage operational excellence to beat the competition (2nd ed.). McGraw Hill. both by orchestrating learning across the system and by actively participating in it, submitting your own leadership strategy and system design to the same scrutiny you apply to activities and processes of others. 

The Leading Through Learning framework will help you build that system and become that leader. 

In this section you’ll find actionable recommendations, assessment tools, and case studies related to our framework’s four drivers of learning-leadership.

Together, these drivers constitute the Leading Through Learning Leadership Approach — a framework you can make your own as you articulate your Theory of Leadership


SELF-ASSESSMENT Are We Leading Through Learning?

Use this tool to reflect on your current leadership practice, identify areas of strength and growth, and measure your improvement over time.

Download a PDF of the self-assessment

Driver A Treat every strategy as learning

Driver B Foster democratic participation

Driver C Measure process and results to drive equity and improvement

Driver D Build a democratic knowledge management cycle

Companion GuideDevelop Your Theory of Leadership