Case-in-Point Resources for Daring Leadership Educators

By Adriano Pianesi and Jill Hufnagel

Looking to teach your leadership class using Case-in-Point but don’t know where to start?  Want to bring some new experiential group activities into an existing course?  Teachable Moments of Leadership is just for you.

This ultimate guide contains all of the obvious and not-so-obvious best practices to use Case-in-Point for both the novice and the more experienced educator. Think of this guide as your key to get started in injecting a more experiential way of teaching in your classes with any skill set. Click below to purchase.

About Case-in-Point

We are excited that you are here to improve your ability to model what you are teaching through Case-in-Point.

And we are also a little intimidated. The first time we met, courtesy of a colleague who knew about our enthusiasm for Case-in-Point, we started to compare notes about how we had learned it and rejoiced in finally having found a kindred spirit, another passionate experimenter to bounce ideas back and forth and learn.

As we connected we began to share video from classes where we were teaching using Case-in-Point. The intention and hope was to coach each other and learn from our mistakes, publicly exposed. We started with long emails, and lengthy phone calls providing each other observations about what worked, what would have been a better way to deal with certain situations, what was unclear, even suggesting alternatives or other possibilities for that same group dynamic. In so doing, we realized the great power of these exchanges and how much our own Case-in-Point practice had benefited from exposing it to each other in such an unabridged and painfully honest way.

Then it hit us: why not allow others to see our own mistakes and compare notes? We imagined a resource that would make new Case-in-Point practitioners feel a little less lonely in daring to do this work, a little more secure in trying new techniques, a little more courageous about their own practice and experiments. We envisioned letting people see us stumble, and thereby becoming a little less intimidated by their own inevitable “first-time” mistakes; even feeling a little bit more heartened and energized about their own learning path. We sensed we could be useful if people could learn to avoid our mistakes and copy what had worked for us. They might feel a bit more encouraged to reach for the stars in their own contexts.

The result is a website where some of our great, bad and ugly Case-in-Point moments are mercilessly recorded. We entrust them to you with the warning that the most important chapter of this book is not yet written. It’s the one that you will write yourself… in your practice, creating teachable moments of leadership with Case-in-Point in your own classes!


Creating a Circle of Practice

We’ve created this website because we’ve experienced the power of Case-in-Point, especially as it applies to the effective modeling of leadership in the classroom.

Our hope here is not for you to replicate our approach but rather to find yourself and your own practice as you watch ours. We are passionate about this work and would love to help you join a growing number of daring leadership educators willing to use this approach for the sake of meaningful leadership development. The power in this practice is that both participants and facilitators have the opportunity to grow their leadership edge.

An assumption that grounds all Case-in-Point teaching: we are effective in teaching leadership only when we as facilitators both model and exercise leadership in the classroom space. As leadership development practitioners, our call to leadership expresses itself through our ability to build leadership capacity in others. Rather than talking about leadership, Case-in-Point gives educators access to engage in acts of leadership themselves. Consequently, many of the video clips you are about to see might seem more like facilitating a discussion than traditional lecturing. This might seem disorienting at first, especially if you have been using conventional lectures up to this point. We ask you to weather your initial surprise or disorientation and keep going.

In many ways, Case-in-Point is akin to learning a language. You would likely find learning the Spanish language and grammar relatively easy. The tougher work would likely be not so much learning Spanish per se but mastering other completely unpredictable skills like learning to simplify a phrase to minimize mistakes, learning to deal with your own sense of incompetence in public or learning to listen for new sounds.

You would soon discover that—beyond your knowledge of Spanish grammar and vocabulary—the practice of those other skills (even if difficult and frustrating at first) is key to your success. As a result, you would be willing to stick with it until you become more adept at that tougher work. In short: your broader learning is a direct result of your willingness to suffer the pain of adopting a new and disorienting way of being in service of your purpose. Consequently, until the light goes on for you, you will need to remind yourself of the promise of this power when you find yourself wondering if the challenge of dealing with these unfamiliar or new perspectives is worth it.

What we present here is meant to challenge your current perspective of how to teach leadership and your mindset regarding the exercise of leadership from the front of the room. Experimenting with Case-in-Point offers you the opportunity to:

  • Examine yourself as data
  • Observe what happens and interrogate your interpretations of the action
  • Track actions and “who does what” and who doesn’t
  • Surface subgroups or factions
  • Unveil rules of engagement present in the room
  • Connect to the purpose of the session

Prepare to be surprised. When you remain open to this new approach to leadership development, Case-in-Point will begin to crystallize and—we predict—energize your own teaching methodology. As has been the case for the two of us, you might never want to teach in any other way again!

Jill and Adriano