General MacFarland covers military leadership development which we can consider for any industry.
Gabrielle Reilly: The military is known for developing great leaders. What methodology do you use to accomplish this?
General MacFarland: Developing great leaders is a sequential and progressive career-long process in which training, education, and experience are critical in varying degrees at different times for each Soldier. Training and education are outcomes-based and stress problem solving, adaptability, and initiative. Army leader development demands equal commitment from institutions, leaders and individuals.
The Army Leader Development Strategy demands that we develop leaders who understand the context of the factors influencing the military situation, act within that understanding, continually assess and adapt those actions based on the interactions and circumstances of the enemy and the environment, consolidate tactical and operational opportunities into strategic aims, and effectively transition from one form of operations to another. Our Leader Development Strategy is part of a campaign of learning. It seeks to be as adaptive and innovative as the leaders it must develop. The leader development strategy is grounded in our leadership doctrine and seeks to deliver the leader qualities described in both Army and Joint Doctrine.
The program of instruction consists of a common core curriculum that includes Joint professional military education requirements and the required career field training and specialized education or qualification courses. Additional skill qualification as a strategist, joint planner, historian, or space operations officer is available through the advanced application programs taught as college electives. Officers have the opportunity to further develop their intellectual depth and analytic ability through intensive research that leads to the Master of Military Arts and Science Degree.
The primary design of learning activities is centered on Kolb's Experiential Learning Model.
Kolb's theory presents a cyclical model of learning, consisting of four stages shown below. One may begin at any stage, but the stages must follow each other in the sequence:
* concrete experience (or "DO")
* reflective observation (or "OBSERVE")
* abstract conceptualization (or "THINK")
* active experimentation (or "PLAN")
Kolb's four-stage learning cycle shows how experience is translated through reflection into concepts, which in turn are used as guides for active experimentation and the choice of new experiences. While most instruction is designed around the ELM, the 10-month course employs numerous other instructional methods and media. The primary emphasis is on staff groups involved in seminar-discussions for new information followed by the staff groups dividing into smaller groups for conducting collaborative exercises. Most recently the Command and General Staff School has moved toward incorporation of technology based instruction such as Interactive Multi-media homework modules, blogs and discussion boards.
For his General MacFarland's other interviews, please visit these pages:
General MacFarland Interview Part 1.
General MacFarland Interview Part 2.