Our experience is that the transfer of knowledge does not necessarily constitute learning, especially about management or leadership. Knowledge in itself is not valuable unless it is made useful, and so our methodology encourages participants critically to question the material we offer them, to debate it among themselves and with faculty, to apply it to a real situation and to evaluate the success of that application.
One of the important facets of the GSB approach to learning is the immersion process. The integrated campus of the GSB, with its sophisticated learning environment and on-site accommodation and hospitality facilities, allows delegates to spend every day in an intense atmosphere of study, debate and camaraderie.
Delegates are provided with relevant learning materials, along with a detailed course outline and schedule of readings, cases, etc. The material is studied in three discrete stages:
Before arrival at the GSB, and during late evenings and early mornings during the programme, the delegate reads the prescribed material, to grasp the overall thrust of the material, and critically evaluate it in light of his or her work place experience.
The delegate then meets with his/her syndicate group, where the readings and cases are discussed. This consolidates the delegate's understanding and allows the enhancement of the individual's views through discussion with equally experienced colleagues.
This is held in a "lecture theatre", although the process cannot be viewed as a traditional lecture. Lecturers provide high level and focused inputs, but also invite questions and discussion. The level of debate is high, and there is no room for didactic "teachers" and infallible gurus. Instructors are there to be challenged - and to themselves derive learning. Critical faculties are honed in an electric atmosphere of the sharing of ideas, experiences and knowledge.
Finally, the intense interaction with colleagues provides a basis for an effective network. The value of the relationships amongst a network of people throughout the region and the continent, who have shared in a similar intense learning experience can never be underestimated. The ability to pick up the phone, and easily solve a frustrating problem by contacting a colleague can add substantially to a manager's effectiveness.