Leadership Advisory Board 2nd Quarter Meeting

CSOM Boardroom

We convened the second quarter Leadership Advisory Board that the Carlson School of Management.
This board contained around 40 corporate members from their talent development groups around leadership and executive development.  This previous session had focused on offerings around emerging leaders.   Based on the feedback on the new leadership programs for the last meeting we where able to show the changes in the emerging leaders program being offered.    This included a more robust coaching option integrated into the standard curriculum and the inclusion of more industry practitioners to make the program more relevant and valuable.   We also where able to present initial designs to a full portfolio of offerings in the leadership space and prioritize the next program for development targeted at more senior executives.  As in the last meeting,  participation from the attendees was really engaged and passionate.   It was also to see the diversity of feedback based on individual organizations approach to leadership development.   It was very informative for this peer group to see how organizations are approaching the space differently form a variety as aspects including:
–  In-house development vs. leveraging external partners
– The amount of dollars and investment made into leaders
– The diversity of size & effort put into leaders at different levels.   Do you spend more or less time/dollars into senior leaders vs. younger ones.   Do senior leaders need any support or do they need more support than ever in their careers?
– How to bring in senior leaders into an organization when they have “grown up” in other corporations models
– How to develop leaders that either come from or have to work in other international cultures
– How does support vary in terms of men or woman leaders?
– How much does your company invest in mentorship models
– How much does your company invest in peer to peer models
– How much does your company invest in external peer to peer models?
– How much does your company invest in leadership & and then developing the organizations they are leading?  ( are you leaving your employees behind?)
– etc.
Leadership is one of many topics that are top of mind for corporations and business schools.   In a world of increase speed of change and innovation talent becomes the critical resource.   If agility is a key component,  how are you building and developing your leadership to meet that challenge and how are they supported in building organizations and talent pool?

Leadership Advisory Board – 1st Meeting

CSOM BoardroomResearching corporate leadership needs and insights began through the creation of the Leadership Advisory Board.   The first meeting was hosted in the board room of the Carlson School of Management.  Over 35 companies participated at the initial event ( membership grew over next year)  and the target audience included HR leadership spanning small, medium and large organizations from companies selected in multiple cities in Minneasota.  The agenda for the evening was a mix of social networking with peers and collaborative feedback sessions.   To facilitate the discussion we began with an overview of one of the leadership offerings under development with a pilot group of advisors.   See details of this offering at an earlier post.   While the size and maturity level of each of the organizations varied the level of participation,  critical feedback and differentiation between what different organizations valued was impressive.   The event lasted several hours between the sessions and social aspects.   Here are some of the insights to the conversation:

Polar Extremes:   Passionate discussion

  • Internal Programs:  Over the past decade, have made a decided internal investment and commitment to the development of their own leadership programs.   This allows for deep specialization of leadership styles and internal knowledge of corporate operations.   These groups were some of the most outspoken in terms of what they valued and their interest level in securing outside services.  This approach is more available to slightly larger organizations that have the resources to provide a complete internal talent development option.
  • External Programs:  Other corporations felt it was critical to bring in external services for the development of their leadership cultivation.  They would work with multiple external organization or sister corporations providing a variety of offerings at each level of management development.  Here they valued diversity of training and perspectives to keep their organizations leadership culture evolving and reflecting.  This group was represented from small to large orgs and more governed by values that resources.
  • Hybrid Programs:  A fair number of the companies valued both approaches  and looking at each level of training needed a blend of internal specialization and external awareness of options and techniques.

Collective Alignment:  Enthusiastic Agreement

  • Leadership programs are essential.  Not surprising coming from HR professionals,  but a sincere belief in the development of people and organizations.
  • A desire to collaborate and share with other organizations.   This was a peer group of professionals that valued each other insights and the network in general.
  • Many worked with academic organizations outside of Minnesota due to reputation, brand, and industry recognition
  • Strong alignment that external offerings needed to be primary taught by industry practitioners.   Very adamant that faculty only offerings would be of little interest.

This group of advisors would continue to grow as subsequent meetings would be held.   We where looking to make this a peer community network and community driven.  So topics of focus,  formats and social/work balance would be managed by the group over time to make it valuable to the community.   Our ask as host was to support our efforts in exposing the full leadership spectrum of offerings over time.

Leadesrhip Levels