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9. Acceleration Pools build skills and confidence.

At best, many standard training programs produce minimal skills and confidence. To truly imbed skills into their behavioral repertoire, pool members must apply them immediately and get the appropriate coaching before and after the application. In many organizations the development focus is erroneously placed on completing training programs instead of effectively applying the learning. In an Acceleration Pool, skill application is planned in conjunction with the selection of development activities. That way, skills can be applied immediately.

10. Pool members understand what to learn or accomplish in each event.

In traditional programs we've seen people assigned to a job to learn specific leadership skills from their new manager—but for one reason or another, no one bothered to explain this goal. As a result, these people tend to concentrate on other, relatively unimportant aspects of the assignment. Similarly, people might be assigned to cross-organizational or cross-functional task forces to broaden their knowledge in a specific area. But because they don't know about that goal, they tend to concentrate on the areas in which they are already proficient (the marketer on marketing, the manufacturer on manufacturing, etc.) and let other team members take responsibility for the target learning area. And in training programs people commonly arrive with no idea of why they are there or how they can use the learning on the job.

The use of the Acceleration Pool process eliminates that kind of "assignment ignorance." Acceleration Pool members know precisely what they are to learn from every development event and how they can use the new learning or skill on the job.

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