As an instructional designer who focuses on adult learning, often I design and develop a customer course, hand it off to the client, they deliver it, I might make some updates after first delivery, but then, I exit the project and either move to a new course with them or move to another client project.

It isn’t as common that I get to ADDIE (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, Evaluation) process from beginning to end, much less get to repeat that effort 8 years in a row.

Last week, Anywhere Real Estate graduated our 8th Cohort from Ascend: The Executive Experience. This is a 46-week intensive succession leadership program, that I have been honored to be a part of and is a program like no other. It uses a variety of learning deliveries; in person training, synchronous vILTs (virtual Instructor Led Trainings), independent reading and analysis, and a case study presentation. The program brings together students, company presidents, industry experts, learning and development experts, and renowned speakers.

Here is what I have learned these last 8 years:

  • Spatial learning has so many pluses. For this program, it enables us to teach small chunks of content with time following for students to APPLY and PRACTICE what they are learning. Instead of just throwing stuff on the wall and see what sticks, we can be strategic with our topics based on what they are experiencing in their industry. The ability to check in on their learning and application is priceless.
  • We are making a difference. It is always so rewarding to see our students graduating. They are not the leaders that began the program almost a year before. The time and commitment they have each put forth in the program is well recognized in the growth they have experienced as leaders.
  • Top-level and cross brand support has enabled this program’s success. We have tremendous top-leadership and cross brand support for this program. Not only do they talk about the program with new affiliates, inside and outside the organization, but walk the talk. When the program needs support, direction, speakers, or other types of involvement, leaders jump in to assist…truly amazing leadership.
  • A steering committee that implements what we teach. We teach strengths, we apply strengths to the work we do with each other. We teach social styles; we approach our work with each other with styles in mind. We teach SWOT and growth priorities; we personally use these in our own businesses. We have firsthand experience in what messages we construct for our students. We each bring very diverse expertise, background, and perspectives. When we collaborate and brainstorm, we build upon each other’s ideas, which has created a program that is unmatched in the industry. At every moment, we are evaluating, analyzing, modifying, and delivering a program that is unique to the needs of our students. Our steering committee includes, a former Brand President, a Senior Vice President, a professional trainer and speaker from the industry, a logistics, project managing, and event master, and myself, an adult learning expert and instructional designer.
  • When I look back at my career, this will be an experience where I feel like I have made a difference. I have had an opportunity to make a significant contribution to help leaders become better at leading self, leading others, and leading organizations. Additionally, I have grown into a stronger instructional designer, trainer, and leader. I am so grateful for this opportunity. And we aren’t done yet. We will be starting Cohort 9 in July.

My heart is full after last week’s session. Watching our students present their case studies, sharing their SWOTs, their growth priorities, and action plans, instills such faith in the next-gen leaders in real estate.

I can’t wait to see them Ascend.

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