Immersive learning is learning by doing. Taking the participant out of their comfort zone, by immersing them in a real-world experience as an integral part of the learning. It provides impactful learning outcomes that equip participants with the awareness, skills and mindset required to successfully lead in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world. But how do you know if your company is ready to commit to an immersive learning experience?

We live in a world where we increasingly use technology to communicate and where a large proportion of training is completed online or within the confines of training rooms. Subsequently, we become disconnected from real-life situations, and the internet and PowerPoint presentations become our window to the world. Yet, in today’s world global business leadership success revolves around the ability to be agile and responsive to impending challenges and to escalating opportunities; a mindset that cannot be achieved through PowerPoint or online training.

Although classroom and online learning can support role specific skills development, leaders need to develop skills and a mindset that enables them to deal comfortably with ambiguity, navigate complexity and be at ease in difficult situations. This challenge has been recognized by organizations by increasingly exploring immersive learning programs that provide leaders the opportunity to test abilities and develop their approach in real life situations.

At Emerging World, we develop immersive leadership development programs, known as Corporate International Service Learning (CISL), that support third party organizations in emerging markets, helping those organizations solve pressing problems and challenges. The CISL programs are challenging, hands-on, immersive learning experiences that harness the dynamism of emerging and frontier markets and equip current and future leaders with the skills and mindset to flourish in a VUCA world.

In our conversations with L&D and leadership development professionals, a question that regularly surfaces is: How do organizations, executive teams and participants know they are ready to be part of an immersive learning experience?

Every organization has its own unique context, organizational fabric and ecosystem in which it operates, so the discussions vary. Yet, there are several common elements which frame the discussion around readiness. To support this, Emerging World has identified “5 Levers of Readiness” and a questioning framework to help you through the decision-making process of immersive learning experiences:

  • Organizational readiness: The organization has set a strategic direction that will propel it on a path of globalization
  • Purpose readiness: The company is looking beyond its organizational boundaries and into the communities in which it operates to provide greater meaning and purpose
  • Learning and Development readiness: Learning and Development leaders have the desire to introduce a learning approach that goes beyond building awareness in the classroom, to incorporate real world experiences that trigger behavioural shifts
  • Leadership readiness: Corporate leaders can understand, commit and be engaged with supporting an immersive learning approach to