Client: Global manufacturing company
Client Type: Corporate
Exec Summary: Developed and implemented a leadership development training program for middle and upper managers from across the global footprint. The program was designed to extend and integrate corporate culture in a decentralized environment, develop effective leadership and communications skills and identify “rising stars.”
Clear to the bottom line: Managers who experienced the leadership curriculum were more responsive to customers and effective with direct reports. They forged new connections across business units and geographical locations, reported higher job satisfaction, and shared best practices and tacit knowledge. Not only were “rising stars” identified, but also a new framework was developed for identifying and mentoring leaders.
Services: Leadership Training, Communication and Presentation Skills Training, Executive Coaching, Outdoor Learning Experience
Assignment: The client is a global manufacturing company. Each region is run by a cross-functional team responsible for local manufacturing, marketing, recruiting, and staff supervision while concurrently reporting to corporate. The managers enjoyed considerable autonomy, but felt disconnected from the organization as a whole, and from their peer group.
The company’s leadership wanted their managers to effectively develop, lead, manage, and maintain cross-functional teams. However, the leadership group also recognized that the individual managers’ team-building skills varied widely. Senior management hoped to develop these leadership skills while simultaneously achieving a well-defined set of business objectives. In addition, the firm’s leadership wished to identify “rising stars” who might be groomed for senior management positions.
Richard Dana Associates was hired to help the various managers develop a common leadership skill set. We built a team of trainers to help develop and implement a broad-based leadership development curriculum — with an emphasis on developing interpersonal skills.
Construct the Picture: We began by conducting interviews with key members of the senior management team, as well as a sampling of the managers and their direct reports.
Convert the Picture to High Definition: During the interviews, we were able identify skill gaps and organizational challenges and then provide some immediate, pragmatic feedback to the senior management team. Subsequently we developed a series of leadership training programs tailored to our client’s critical needs.
Execute Action Plan: Following an initial kick-off introducing the leadership training model to the managers, Richard Dana Associates delivered a curriculum consisting of:
- Outdoor Learning Experience. We facilitated a management-oriented Outward Bound-like experience to demonstrate different teaching and learning styles and generate a bond and enthusiasm that carried into the subsequent skills training. We applied the outdoor experience to “real-life” day to day experiences.
- Management Skills training. A one-day session focusing on fundamental skills: listening and communication, conflict resolution, giving and receiving feedback , meeting management , and building High Performance Teams. Throughout the session we emphasized understanding and valuing differences. ability to understand communication style differences.
- Presentation Skills training. A one-day session combining instruction, videotaped skill practice, individual coaching, and direct feedback sessions focused on rapidly and tangibly improving presentation skills.
- Leadership training. Each participant completed self-report assessment profiles, used during the two-day session to help managers recognize their leadership style, identify competencies and skills gaps, create personal action plans and begin implementation. The training sessions each began with brief presentations/workshops followed by a combination of group discussion, breakout sessions and skill practice. On a daily basis, each individual identified key learnings which were incorporated into their personal action plan.
Results: After completing the program, the managers were able to apply a range of new skills to effectively respond to both customers and employees. By building leadership capacity, our client saw increased productivity, and stronger financial performance.
The company was able to see the clear value of bringing cross-cultural and cross-business unit managers together. The client subsequently extended the leadership development program through three levels of leadership in the organization. The connections forged during these programs contributed to building a global identity that in turn delivers value to the employees and customers with greater consistency. Through our interactions with the managers, we were able to identify several rising stars.” As importantly, we were able to help senior management expand the way they thought about leadership development and succession planning. We sharpened the framework for identifying and developing potential senior managers, incorporating an understanding of personality types, core competencies and skills gaps (technical, human relations, and conceptual).