The Experiential learning
Experiential learning is a training method based on experience. The approach involves starting the course by simulating a tangible professional situation (building a business plan, implementing the company-management policy or developing a new market, etc.) before addressing the theoretical aspects. "Experiential learning enables trainees to get more out of the training course because they play an active role within it: they try to solve a problem by drawing on their own knowledge or the experiences of other participants," explains Maria Banu, Safran's Leadership Programs Manager.
During the experimental learning sessions, which generally last a week, managers are asked to reproduce situations they might encounter in the professional life, using a role play game or digital simulations. For example, one of the workshops involves establishing a company management policy; during this session, the participants have to debate the various points and take joint decisions. "This exercise allows them to test their skills in a fun environment. We encourage them to be creative and daring," says Maria Banu. "The key idea is to encourage them to think outside the box" Another example is the business jam in which managers have a few hours to come up with a new idea for a company, and draw up a business plan that will then be presented to investors.
Management Development Program, a high-level training course
Each year, one or two classes - each made up of around forty managers - take part in these high-level courses incorporating experiential learning modules. The aim is to prepare future executive managers for the major challenges that lie ahead for the Group. The sessions bring together participants from all the different companies in the Group; as such, "they foster valuable, fruitful discussions between managers from different backgrounds and create extremely positive competition," says Maria Banu. Experiential learning also makes it easier to learn and memorize new knowledge by getting people to actually "live" professional situations: "The managers retain more than 75% of the content and still feel the benefits of the training several years later. They even say that this program allowed them to step back from their position and change the way they perceived their job, while improving their performance!", says Maria Banu.
Safran University's missions
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