Lead the People – Weber Human Services

The Problem

Globally, corporations spend over $360 billion on employee-related development and, in particular, U.S. companies spend over $14 billion a year on leadership training [1]. Most of that investment has no tangible return [2].

Our client wanted a leadership development program that could give them a visible impact. We gave Weber Human Services exactly what they wanted.

Our Approach

Our passion is to help leaders and influencers make an immediate impact on their business.

Our experience has taught us that leaders in the trenches want micro-training in small doses of 15-30 minutes a day, they want that training to be immediately applicable to what they do, and they want to have a way to experience a learned concept in real-time.

We developed a micro-learning product called Lead the People and placed it on a sleek learning system that functioned the same way over the web or on their phones.

By insisting on a talent development program that would be relevant to their business, we were able to connect the hearts and minds of people to a grander purpose. One of the most powerful incentives that motivate people to contribute their best work is to see and feel a connection to the big opportunity and to belong to a great culture. We used those principles to create collaborative micro-learning with a social twist.

Our customized product took their leaders through 8 action-oriented modules over a 16 week period by using a drip-feed micro-learning technique coupled with live webinars and workshops.

Value Delivered

The Big Result

Here’s what the Director of HR said:

“The impact that you’ve had on our supervisors has been incredible… If you are just reading articles and watching videos and not putting things into action then you are not really learning. The feedback I got from my managers is that the micro-learn and then apply model was one of the best things for them and made a difference immediately.”

 

Here are samples of what participants said:

“Motivated me to make a very difficult change.”

“Learned a lot in such a short time.”

“Micro-learning is stress-free.”

“Able to use what I learned immediately.”

“Direct approach, 15-minutes a day.”

 

By the way, we now offer this as a regular product – Check it out Here.

Innovation and Leadership Development

The Problem

Due to our contractual agreement we are not allowed to share the name of this company. However, we can describe the general case and results.

This particular company is a Fortune 50 level international firm. They were looking for training for a group of their leaders that could transform those leader’s outlook on leadership.

Our Approach

We developed a counter-intuitive concept for them around the idea that when leaders invest in reading powerful non-business books and literature it stimulates creative thought and strengthens their ability to lead in their business.

We hand-selected a custom reading program to match advanced leadership fundamentals. Our reading list included:

Leadership Is an Art by Max De Pree

Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker

Failure is Not an Option by Gene Kranz

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor K. Frankl

Emotional Agility by Susan David

Orbiting the Giant Hairball by Gordon MacKenzie

Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

The Logic of Failure by Dietrich Dorner

Not a Book Club

This was not “just a book club.” Our literature selections were simply a creative catalyst to cause innovative thinking and stimulate leadership action. In a Harvard Business Review article entitled, “Educating the Next Generation of Leaders,” researchers surfaced the importance of leaders who can deal with “volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environments, they need leadership skills and organizational capabilities different from those in the past” [1]. The evidence suggests that a liberal arts approach to education and development is more important than technical knowledge. We used that theory to create a power-packed learning and development stream for the selected participants. 

We met with the participating leaders twice a month for 5 months. The purpose of these meetings was three-fold:

  1. Stimulate innovative and out-of-the-box thinking about the business, the organization, the leadership processes, and the people.
  2. We were able to transfer fundamental leadership knowledge in a new way because our facilitators helped the participants draw critical connections from the literature to their practice.
  3. Participants created their own actions that were specific towards solving a problem, enhancing a relationship, or helping their direct-reports achieve greater success.

Our facilitators used TED talks, HBR videos, and personal experience to create a fun interactive workshop session that was full of relevant self-reflective comments. The process led to localized leadership actions that enhanced the culture with their direct organizations and with their peer-to-peer relationships. The outcomes showed that when leaders are able to step back and view their world through metaphors, analogies, and abstract scenes, they have a stronger capacity to affect the right change inside their own sphere of influence. They see things through a different lens that opens an innovative conduit inside their group. 

Value Delivered

The Big Result

At the conclusion of the program we received comments from participants that said their competence in areas of people leadership, team development, trust-building, innovation, planning, and executing increased sharply.

“As a 30-year information technology professional who has worked for Fortune 50 most of my career, I have to say that this is the absolute best course I have taken. The big difference is the course concepts were not ‘flavor of the day’, they allowed me to enhance my leadership.”

Sources

Digital Companies Need More Liberal Arts Majors by Tom Perrault: https://hbr.org/2016/01/digital-companies-need-more-liberal-arts-majors

Educating the Next Generation of Leaders by Mihnea Moldoveanu and Das Narayandas: https://hbr.org/2019/03/educating-the-next-generation-of-leaders

How to Education Leaders? Liberal Arts by Patrick Awuah: https://www.ted.com/talks/patrick_awuah_on_educating_leaders?language=en

Liberal Arts in the Data Age by J.M. Olejarz: https://hbr.org/2017/07/liberal-arts-in-the-data-age

The Radicalism of the Liberal Arts Tradition by Jackson Lears: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ663031

Want Innovative Thinking? Hire from the Humanities by Tony Golsby-Smith: https://hbr.org/2011/03/want-innovative-thinking-hire

Leadership Coaching

The Problem

Due to our contractual agreement we are not allowed to share the name of this company. However, we can describe the general case and results.

This particular company is a high-tech Fortune 500 company in the defense sector. They were looking for a way to help a key executive be more effective and that executive’s team to increase social capital and influence across other sectors of the company.

Our Approach

We recognized the most important solution was going to involve a customized 360 feedback loop coupled with micro-coaching sessions. We developed a 360 process specifically for this organization by taking into consideration their unique issues and the business strategies they wanted to see executed more quickly.

In the first round of the 360 process we noted a troubling trend in morale where leaders saw morale in a much more favorable light than the workforce.

We harvested the 360 themes and used a positive appreciative inquiry model to incorporate strengths into the process of helping them focus on change.

 

Value Delivered

The Big Result

Within six months we were able to measure significant improvement. Morale increased by a factor of 50%.

One example of a comment from a leader in another division in the company was:

“I have seen changes – positive changes! Thank you for the work you’ve done… it helps the company and it helps the executive team function better. There is a significant cascading impact when a leader improves – it not only helps them, it helps the company in tangible ways.”

The result was a team and their leader increasing their impact first by leadership and teamwork, and second by stretching their social capital across traditional boundaries. These changes enabled the business to grow. The group we coached became capable of accepting a $300m uptick in quota – and they hit it.

Organic Leadership Development

The Problem

O.C. TANNER wanted to create a dynamic development program to increase business impact, accelerate talent growth, and connect leaders to each other in an engaging experience.

Our Approach

We started by helping O.C. TANNER organize their leadership competencies into two categories: Business-Impact and People-Impact. We helped them create an internal brand identity called Influence. We implemented a Leader Equity(TM) video repository of short video segments from interviews with their executive team. We then worked with a vertically integrated leadership team to build an organic and sustainable leader development model where Leader Equity(TM) clips were featured and O.C. TANNER business issues were center-stage as leadership competencies were addressed.

 

Our organic model leveraged the talent of existing leaders to teach future leaders. Our organic implementation triggered action-learning where executives trained high potentials, and high potentials trained emerging leaders.

 

 

The heart of the program included a LEARN-DO-TEACH structure embedded with micro-learning techniques.

LEARN

Executive Direction. The executive team identifies a cluster and specific competencies to focus on for each quarter.

Power Start. All tracks attend a 90-minute PowerStart to introduce the cluster focus and identify action-learning to initiate.

Workshop. A 2-3 hour workshop, customized by track, to dive into more detail about the competencies. The goal is to provide an applied strategy to integrate skills in that competency into a leaders current work/environment.

Reassemble and Alignment. Coming out of a workshop there will be application – things to do. In the strategy example the “do” would be to implement a strategic plan. Prior to implementing, the workshop participant has to work with their leader to validate what they are going to do. After a period of time leaders reassemble to discuss successes, challenges, and next steps toward deepening their implementation.

DO

Put into Practice. The leader puts into practice the specific objective that came out of the workshop. To put an idea into practice and make it relevant the individual identifies the tasks and resources and then creates a schedule to implement.

Peer Accountability. We have found the most successful way to keep progress happening is to have participants identify a peer accountability partner, schedule 1-1s with that partner, and relate their progress to each other.

TEACH

Teach Your Team. Teach your team about what you’ve discovered through the process, the lessons you’ve learned, the results of implementation, and the principles behind this leadership cluster.

Develop Your People. Help your people learn how to use the skill you just implemented as part of the workshop.

Re-Assemble. The track will reassemble to discuss lessons learned, the applications made, and share insights.

Certification. Completion of the cycle will trigger a certification for the cluster training. Once a person has worked through all of the clusters they receive certification for that track.

Value Delivered

The Big Result

The result was strategic acceleration in business and a tight connection between people-impact skills and business-impact skills. The incorporation of business leaders to facilitate and deliver content assured a perpetuating alignment between leader skill development and business purpose.

Here is what O.C. TANNER people said about what we delivered:

“Immediately impactful, useful.”

“I’ve been wanting something like this for 20 years.”

 

The Director of People and Talent said this:

“The most fun I’ve ever had in my career, we are working on things that are revolutionary … Leaders247 is the first to take into account what leadership is at OC TANNER and incorporate the best articles and logic and put it into use for us.”

One More Big Benefit

We left behind a sustainable Leader EquityTM product and infrastructure. Leader Equity is one of our showcase innovations that allows leaders at all levels in the organization to leverage a virtual mentorship from top company leaders.

Participants can listen to what O.C. TANNER leaders think about topics on business, leadership, strategy, or how to thrive during the long exhilarating journey of leading people. They simply select a topic tag and listen to micro-segments or they can listen to the entire interview with their favorite executive.

The most visible benefits of this program at O.C. TANNER are:

  • Authenticity and transparency with top leaders who genuinely share the lessons of their journey. They show themselves as real people and as being interested in the development and success of others in the organization.
  • A virtual one-to-many mentoring experience.
  • Participants have a more personable experience with top executives. When given opportunities to present or engage with that executive, the process is more effective because people know their leaders.

When to Critique

For many years I coached my Grandson – Jackson in soccer. Unfortunately, I was not able to coach him this particular season. The other day I watched anxiously from the sideline while he played. He is a natural athlete and was having a great game. However, the coach inside of me started to emerge and I found that there was something really important I wanted to tell him that would help him gain a significant competitive advantage.

At half-time, he came over to where we sat on the sideline. He first went to his father, who lovingly gave him a number of things to work on. He then went to his mother, who also very lovingly gave him an idea or two to help him. 

After that, I called him over to me and I intended to tell him my observations, all to help him of course. However, as he came towards me something happened. I suddenly changed my mind and refrained from giving any advice or criticism. I simply gave a high five and said, “I wanted to say great job.”

He smiled and he ran back onto the field with energy.

There are times when we need to give constructive advice. Then again, there are times when we simply need to be encouraging. The thing I had to tell him could wait. What was more important was that he felt my support, approval, and love. 

Positive Energizers

“Grandpa, it was a great day.

Marie Diane Hansen

 

One of the most powerful highlights on being positive came from my Granddaughter. She was so excited about her first day of school yesterday that she face timed me and said, “Grandpa, it was a great day.” [Pause] “It’s going to be better tomorrow.”[Pause] “I’m going to draw on colorful paper tomorrow.”

Marie is in 1st grade. Her pure excitement about what she is experiencing exudes the principles of positive leadership for me. On top of that, she is excited about the next day, the day after, and so on. Each new day has a new opportunity that she just looks forward to.

I could have been a cold blanket and said, “Just wait until you get into algebra or college…” or offered some other dose of my negative reality. But as I resisted that temptation and simply enjoyed her pure positive energy, Marie taught me an important lesson – there is excitement in today and there is excitement in tomorrow, and there are great things on the horizon.

A leader’s note: When our people catch onto that attitude, great things happen.

I’ve included a link to three excellent books on this topic below.

The Killer Angels

The Killer Angels

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

Pitch Anything

Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal  

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

What Color is Your Parachute

What Color is Your Parachute

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

The 100-Year Life

The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in the Age of Longevity

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

Ethics

Ethics, The Heart of Leadership

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

The Mind of the Strategist

The Mind of the Strategist

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

FMFM 1

FMFM 1: Warfighting

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

History of Management

The History of Management Thought

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

Walden

Walden

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

Functions of the Executive

The Functions of the Executive

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

FYI

FYI: For Your Improvement

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

Competencies at Work

Competencies at Work: Providing a Common Language for Talent Management

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

The 5 Languages of Apology

The Five Languages of Apology: How to Experience Healing in All Your Relationships

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

Multipliers

Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence: Why it Matters More than IQ

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

The Essential Drucker

The Essential Drucker: Selections from the Management Works of Peter F. Drucker

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

The Logic of Failure

The Logic of Failure: Recognizing and Avoiding Error in Complex Situations

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

Failure is Not an Option

Failure is Not an Option: Mission Control From Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond 

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

Managing Oneself

Managing Oneself

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

Orbiting the Giant Hairball

Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace 

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

The Happiness Advantage

The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

Emotional Agility

Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

The Leader’s Companion

The Leader’s Companion: Insights on Leadership Throughout the Ages

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

The Caine Mutiny – Movie

The Caine Mutiny – Movie

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

The Caine Mutiny – Novel

The Caine Mutiny – Novel

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

Leadership is an Art

Leadership is an Art

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

Thanks for the Feedback

Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

XLR8 – Accelerate

Accelerate: Building Strategic Agility for a Faster-Moving World

I Recommend

If there is someone you know who you feel would benefit from our Lead the People program, please recommend them. 

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