Philosophy & Principles

Coverdale Learning: Skill Development through Deliberate Practice

Organizational learning begins with the purpose to improve performance through developing skills and capabilities. Many learning activities today focus predominantly on imparting knowledge and raising understanding. While this is an important element of any program, we believe it is not sufficient to achieve and sustain performance improvements.

Coverdale learning emphasizes the development of skill through a rigorous routine of Deliberate Practice (see box on the right): we provide our participants with actual tasks for which quality results have to be delivered. We then review results and process against measurable criteria, coach participants to make plans for improvement and set up another cycle of preparation, action, review.

We apply these principles to develop a great variety of skills. The process starts with identifying the critical skills and capabilities needed to improve your organization's performance. Based on these we custom-design a program for you that leads to sustainable skill development.

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Established for over 45 years, Coverdale is the originator of experiential learning and a pioneer in coaching and organizational development.

Deliberate Practice

Reaching For Top Performance

Deliberate Practice is a cyclical activity to improve the performance of a skill or set of skills - that of an individual or a team.  A single practice cycle consists of 3 phases: preparation, action, review. The actual practice needs to stretch the ability of the learner - just practicing what is already mastered does not lead to performance improvement! Well-developed observation and feedback skills are critical during the review phase to make plans for improvement in the next cycle. Another element of Deliberate Practice is that it takes time and effort: there are no shortcuts to top performance.

Learning by doing

"One must learn by doing the thing, for though you think you know it, you have no certainty until you try."

Aristotle, Greek Philosopher