Ideological Foundation – MiL Institute
MiLs idégrund

MiL Institute is a value-driven organization where a humanistic view of people, an actor-oriented development perspective, and a rich perspective on leadership and learning are key starting points.

A humanistic view of people

We believe in people's inherent good will to contribute to the success of both their colleagues and their company – if they are taken seriously and given reasonable opportunities to participate. Respectful confrontations between differences are a prerequisite for development. Mutual trust is superior to unilateral control. We know that co-ownership in ideas and projects yields a sense of purpose that unleashes enthusiasm and creativity, creating quality and efficiency. All of this can be influenced. Here, the focus is on the ideas, values, and perspectives that underpin them. Every individual is responsible for their choices. And towards their fellow human beings and our shared world.

Our perspective on leadership

Good and successful leadership is more about personal maturity and development – learning – than, for instance, adopting the latest management models. Such tools are useful aids, but the most important foundation for good leadership is the ability to empathically understand people, operations, and business. We believe that leadership is primarily an active attitude – not an instrumental technique – and that it is created in collaboration with others. The successful leader continually learns – without learning no development.

Leadership and learning

Leadership and learning are two sides of the same process, a process characterized by great respect for one's own and others' needs, conditions, and knowledge. A process marked by curious exploration and experimentation. Leadership needs to be learned, and learning needs to be led – in the sense of being stimulated and supported, sometimes also structured and challenged. To lead and facilitate learning are among the most important things a manager can do. It is the most sustainable way to create results – financial and other –while also developing people and enhancing the meaningfulness of working life.

Our Learning Philosophy – Action Reflection Learning®

People primarily learn from their experiences in concrete, practical situations. Nothing is more effective for personal learning than immersing oneself in and feeling responsible for solving a concrete dilemma or problem. We learn more from what we do than from what we hear. And by verbalizing already made experiences. The point of ARL – Action Reflection Learning®, is to acquire an attitude and a method for "thinking and feeling" based on one's own concrete experiences and trying to draw conclusions to carry into new situations.

Action Reflection Learning® is to:

  • Act, take initiative, dare to experiment, stretch the boundaries of one's abilities, and train one's agency. (Action)
  • Reflect, try to understand what is really happening, switch perspectives, find ways to pause and critically scrutinize established patterns. (Reflection)
  • Conceptualize, i.e., internalize and formulate newly gained knowledge in generalizable concepts or models. Relate this to research and theoretical knowledge and transfer the understanding to new situations and into daily work. It involves converting the tacit knowledge into conscious action rules – or theories. (Learning)

In this process, one should obviously listen to others, both those involved in the situation and external experts and researchers who can contribute knowledge. But without underestimating one's own ability to interpret the situation and, with the help of judgment, intuition, and analytical ability, arrive at the best course of action – and have the strength left to also implement changes.

ARL is both a learning philosophy and a proven method that is internationally recognized and applied; at MiL Institute, we have decades of experience working with ARL in many different types of assignments and contexts.