Making a Difference: Intentional Development in Action
The ultimate leadership development investment not only increases the capacity and capability of leaders but also provides a return to the organization in terms of meaningful results. We just completed a project with a client that achieved both.
The Situation: A mature and growing business wanted to assure their continued success. The growth has been and will continue to be organic – expansion into new territories, taking market share and innovating new products, processes and concepts. The leadership team identified nine organization capabilities that needed to be sustained or improved to drive growth.
What We Did: Working with the internal team, we helped design and facilitate an intentional development process that had two objectives: 1) Develop specific recommendations on the nine strategic capabilities that could be implemented in the next fiscal year, and, 2) Improve the leadership skills of those involved in the challenging, strategic assignments. Nine Cohorts of high potential leaders were formed and were assigned to one of the strategic capabilities. The cohorts were given nine months to achieve the initiative’s objectives. Our support for the initiative included:
- Helping to create the overall project design and supporting materials
- Designing and facilitating the Project Kickoff Summit
- Working with each leader to create an individual development plan linked to the work on the cohort
- Providing coaching and facilitation to the cohorts, individual cohort members and the executive sponsors
- Facilitating regular Milestone Meetings in which the Cohorts presented updates to the executive team
- Providing change management support by building communication plans and facilitating stakeholder sessions
- Conducting regular process and team assessments throughout the project and participating in an After Action Review.
The Result: To a person, the Cohort participants felt that the time on the project was beneficial – they broadened their scope and perspective and valued the cross-functional interaction. The executive team confirmed that this was an invaluable leadership development opportunity and was a new and different way to solve problems. They plan on replicating the approach in the future.
The cohorts generated over 35 recommendations from which the executive team selected the highest priority projects for the next fiscal year. Project Teams were formed to implement the recommendations. (The Project Teams will also be designed to be intentional development opportunities).