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Leadership Management Training

The 4-T’s Work-based Learning Process

Leadership Management Training

The 4-T’s Work-based Learning Process

Good leadership management training should draw upon excellent content but that alone is not enough. To be fully effective, this material needs to be used in conjunction with robust learning processes that promote action.

Our 4T’s model is just one example of the structured processes we use to develop managers and leaders. 4T’s is a straightforward yet powerful way to help managers consider new knowledge, adapt it to their context, and put it to use effectively and quickly. In many ways the ideas challenge conventional class-room based practice, a theme we explore in our article Business Management Education: Re-thinking our Approach.

Whilst executive leadership management training programs, MBA programs and the increasingly popular MBA online programs provide excellent content and knowledge, they need to be complemented with effective learning processes. That way, you ensure that knowledge gained from the training makes an impact in the workplace.

Leadership Management Training Learning Process

The 4-T’s Work-based Learning Process



Time to think is often in short supply. Never has there been a greater need for managers to have more time to reflect, to gain fresh perspectives and recharge. Yet, paradoxically, never have managers been busier, dogged by volume of work, over loaded, with time in very short supply. To combat these pressures structure needs to be established so that regular time is given to thinking about the issues and opportunities in the business. When time is so precious you also need a process to ensure you have ideas and insights that are already filtered and focused to provide challenge and encourage action. When thinking is informed by fresh insight and new ideas that promote debate; you have the potential for compelling insights.


We see learning as a social process in which managers who face real life challenges have much to learn from each other. Our role is to create the opportunities and a fertile environment where this can happen. Take advantage of the vast pool of resource and experience within your organization by bringing managers together to discuss insights and fresh thinking. When you bring managers together, to discuss fresh ideas, it fosters significant conversations.


Putting the learning gained from insights and conversations to work is the crucial phase of the model. Effective leadership management training can’t be separated from its context. Managers should think about applying the practical suggestions arising from the significant conversations. Test ideas, pilot where possible, measure improvements. Above all this phase is about putting learning to work.


Share the learning and experience with other managers to refine existing practice, and to spread ideas for better practice. We encourage managers to involve their colleagues in the process and outcomes, refining or adjusting actions as necessary. This phase is about asking managers to share ideas about what works and what doesn’t. To consider what they might do next, and to discuss how new ideas might be applied more widely in the organisation. As this starts to happen you are promoting sharing good practice.

New Capabilities, New Opportunities

The 4 T model works well alongside conventional courses and programs like MBA programs or other leadership management training. It can be particularly helpful if you are taking an MBA online program because you can use the learning process in your workplace to apply the knowledge from the course.

It is best used as a cycle. When ideas have been applied and learning shared, then it’s time to return to the thinking step.

There are always more possibilities springing from new practices that have been applied. Think about the new capabilities that you now have and how you can capitalise on them. Are there other things that are now possibilities because of the changes you have made? Often when you introduce new ideas, other potential improvements emerge.

Leadership management training works best when an effective learning process brings:

  • Compelling insights together with…
  • Significant conversations that encourage…
  • Learning to be applied to the workplace, and…
  • Lessons shared and good practice spread more widely in the organization.

Alongside getting the learning process right, effective leadership management training should also ensure that the content is stretching and stimulating. Read our article “Business Management Education: Re-thinking our Approach” for a view that challenges conventional thinking about management education and development. Then in our article “Management and Leadership Development Training” we discuss why keeping up to date and getting the content right matters so much.

You can also find an interesting discussion of effective leadership management training for managers based on Henry Mintzberg’s and Jonathan Gosling’s article: the education of practicing managers. (scroll down for the article).

Contact us if you are interested in how to bring excellent content together with proven learning processes to enhance your leadership management training. One way to keep up to date is to use the extensive free articles on this site on a regular basis. Then there’s our on-line store where there are a wide range of resources to keep you up to date.

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Leading Insights

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