Action learning also unleashes a team's creative thinking and encourages the development of a common internal language around quality, strategy, efficiency, and leadership.

These hands-on projects provide participants with the opportunity to:

  • integrate their core academic knowledge and apply it to a real-world problem
  • gain practical experience in planning and executing a project
  • tailor the curriculum to their individual goals and those of their organizations

Participants work in teams to design and complete a project. Projects have an external client, often a sponsoring organization, who provides motivation for the project and access to data and people in the client organization. When feasible, the teams will include participants from the same organization, in order to translate their knowledge quickly into their workplace setting. The groundwork for a stronger, more team-focused organization is one of the most valuable program outcomes.

Each team also works with a faculty advisor who approves the project and coaches the team on its planning and execution. Learning to manage a project effectively is an additional major focus of this course. Participants will learn how to scope a project, develop a work plan, conduct primary and secondary research, implement the project, measure its results, and create and deliver an effective presentation.

During the final residential period, teams will present their findings to faculty, peers, and management from the sponsoring institutions.