If you’re looking for an excellent way to elevate the practice of collaboration, increase morale, and create the context for interactive dialogue amongst your team, consider using case studies to supplement your professional development offerings. A case study is a form of social science research that can be quantitative or qualitative in nature and is used to identify and resolve individual and organizational challenges. There are generally four types: cumulative, critical instance, exploratory, and illustrative. Your circumstances will determine which type is best-suited for your particular use. However, you’ll be happy to know that you can find plenty of resources for free, including some from top business schools around the country.
There are three key reasons why you should use case studies as strategic learning tools in business:
1. Teams need to identify challenges and process information thoroughly and analytically. Every organization faces challenges. However, being proactive and focusing on solutions always yields the best results, which helps to move matters forward. Case studies help teams to break down challenges into their smallest components, making them less overwhelming to address. Additionally, their structure helps individual members to think more creatively and systematically in formulating solutions. An academic tool proven to yield results, cases studies rank pretty high from B-Schools all the way to the boardroom.
2. Interactive learning is good for business. Collaboration, along with the injection of idea-diversity, adds value to workplace culture and can ultimately impact the bottom-line. When individuals get the opportunity to work with their colleagues and problem-solve, it raises morale and helps to generate a wealth of ideas that generally could not be produced in a vacuum. It fosters camaraderie amongst peers and inspires additional, offline collaboration. Additionally, it escalates the pace at which better decision can be made.
3. Varied approaches to problem-solving produce better solutions. Real problems call for real solutions. Case studies offer an accurate, bird’s eye view of problems with 360 degrees of visibility. They allow you to compare and contrast your situation with one similar, while you assess synergies and make informed decisions as you process further. You can see what worked and what didn’t. And, you can enjoy some degree of calculated risk by thinking outside the box as you work to align organizational goals and strategies.
If you haven’t considered using case studies with your team, you may want to start. Try them out. See how they can transform the way your team communicates and solves problems, as well as how they can enhance the way that your organization responds to its internal and external challenges.
To your success.
Karima Mariama-Arthur Esq. is the founder and CEO of WordSmithRapport, an international consulting firm specializing in professional development. Follow her on Twitter: @wsrapport or visit her website, WordSmithRapport.com.