Do your leadership development programs help leaders create a sustainable company, connecting environmental, social and governance performance to financial performance?
The growth of nongovernmental organizations and movements such as Occupy Wall Street suggest that the public is no longer satisfied with corporations that focus solely on short-term profit maximization. People want corporations to consider broad human needs. Surveys show that a growing number of companies are taking notice of these shifts and have come to consider sustainability-related strategies necessary to be competitive. One recent study that compared companies that adopted environmental and social policies with companies that didn't provides empirical support: "High sustainability" companies significantly outperformed their counterparts over an 18-year period in terms of both stock market and accounting criteria, such as return on assets and return on equity. It is not surprising, then, that more and more companies are exploring how environmental, social, and governance performance can contribute to financial performance. To develop one, companies need leadership commitment, an ability to engage with multiple stakeholders along the value chain, widespread employee engagement and disciplined mechanisms for execution. And leadership development programs need to help provide the lingua franca, common approaches, and alignment. Read the MIT Sloan Review article, "How to Become a Sustainable Company".
Organizational change and leadership development: some thoughts from Prof. Dan Cable, London Business School (LBS)
This interview with Prof. Dan Cable, London Business School (LBS) reminds those of us focusing on developing leaders that the logical distinction between individual change and organizational change has always been a bit tenuous at best because the basis of change is small changes in human behavior, rather than grand organizational changes. As he puts it, it is a matter of hundreds (or even thousands) of individuals acting in new ways; and, by this, people inside a firm bring about organizational change that customers can see and respond to. Basically, it is a matter of making the employees' individual patterns of behavior build up to substantial organizational change. It’s critical that all those different ways of acting add up to one thing; and that is the difficult part because lots of little changes that don’t move in the same direction, that aren't made coherent, end up in confusion. It takes leadership to make the changes have a beneficial effect. The change in employee awareness demands a different kind of management. Typical industrial revolution-style management — the kind in which the leader is supposed to think up the good idea and then cascade it into the workplace — clearly isn't going to cut it anymore. Change is needed quickly and often, and frequently ideas for change come from individuals working at all organizational levels. This only makes sense: the people doing the work must deal with the nitty-gritty of the business on a daily basis, and they know the way the firm actually operates. So change is, in a sense, more of a group activity, one that can come from the bottom up. This means it takes a different model of leadership to understand its value, and then encourage and direct it by addressing
Leaders must provide their employees with hope, purpose, and encouragement to try new things. They must prepare them to adhere to a new method or a new strategy even if, at first, it seems like the new direction will be a failure. It's a reminder to reflect on, considering whether you address and measure whether yur leadership development programs produce these outcomes. Read the interview on the LBS site, "The new path to organizational change"
Helping leaders understand how people form impressions and act upon them is critical, and Columbia Business School Prof Daniel Ames offers some insight on how, why, and where this skill can be honed for impact
Prof Daniel Ames (Columbia Business School) suggests that when counterparty's track record shows consistent intentions and goals, assessing their perspective may be a realistic negotiation strategy. But ambiguous behavior — or any behavior from a counterparty with whom you have no experience negotiating — demands other tools. "Perspective-taking asks that people see the invisible — figuring out what is in someone else's mind. And people often start by using themselves as a template for others," Ames says. When we get a hint of similarity between ourselves and someone else, we start using our own preferences and beliefs to fill in the blanks. And sometimes we overgeneralize. But if there are not enough similarities to latch onto, people tend to assume differences are greater than they are and reach for a nearby stereotype to fill in the blanks about an individual, however accurate or inaccurate that stereotype might be. Most people, Ames says, probably employ both of these techniques. Seeing an opportunity to build on some of his past work, Ames and Professor Elke Weber worked with Xi Zou of London Business School to examine the different strategies people use to try to "mind read" in negotiation settings and how people switch between projection and stereotyping. The link is critical in leadership development programs, particularly when modules address stereotyping or negotiating, to help leaders examine how impressions of individuals and groups and the consequences of these impressions affect performance — prosocial behaviors (e.g., trust, cooperation, helping), competitive interaction (e.g., conflict, exploitation, aggression), and justice judgments (e.g., praise, blame, punishment). Read the Columbia Business School article "Negotiating Judgment"
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A handbook for communicating in the work environment assuming a unique perspective for an organizational communication text, Organizational Communication for Survival 2ed (to be released on July 1, 2012) focuses students on how to communicate with managers and peers to survive, thrive and prosper in organizational environments. Written by Profs. Virginia P. Richmond and James C. McCroskey, well known in the academy for organizational communication, the book is a good primer for students before entering the workforce, offering frameworks and practical demonstrations in how and why managers communicate the way they do and how employees can adapt their own communication skills to be more effective in the organizational environment. Students who master the study guide objectives in this book will be better prepared to function in real organizational situations. This text provides clear and concise guidelines, along with a foundation of theory and scholarship, to help students become more effective communicators in today's workforce. Buy now
Dave Ulrich, professor at the Ross School of Business (U Michigan) and well-known writer on developing leaders and transforming human resources, is about to release his latest work, HR from the Outside In: Six Competencies for the Future of Human Resources (to be released July 18, 2012). This work is based on data sets Prof Ulrich and team have been gathering since 1987, and offers some keys to understanding how organizations have been changing in the past few years and what is required of human resource professionals. The six competencies focused on in this text (and shared earlier online) are worth noting:
This book is a crucial blueprint of what it takes to succeed, and the data alone is worth the time and investment, as it presents a clear-eyed view of the way that human resources is changing as a profession. It's a must-have for every HR professional. Through consistent cycles of research and practical application, Prof Ulrich and his team have produced and update the most comprehensive set of HR competencies ever. Read this book for a unique long-term perspective on where HR competencies have brought us and must take us in future. Buy Now
Social Learning: Develop Your Strategy
Date: Jun 19, 2012 - 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET
Presenter: Taleo Register now
The New Era of Talent Acquisition: Outsourcing for Contingent and Direct Hire Recruiting – Where Vendor Managed Services Meets Recruitment Process Outsourcing
Date: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - 1:00pm ET
Presenter: Jack Van Tiem, Gonzalez, and Tom Tisdale, Peoplefluent Register now
Empowering future language learners: Formal and informal language learning through social media
Date: Jun 28, 2012, 11:00-12:00 Central European Time / 5:00 - 6:00am ET
Presenter: P.A.U. Education Register now
Gamify Your Training: Use Gamification to Increase Employee Engagement and Improve Feedback
Date: Thursday, August 2, 2012, 1pm ET
Presenter: Greg Greunke, President, Tuzooni & Greunke Register now
Leading Across Generations: Workforce Challenges and Opportunities
Date: June 13-15, 2012
Location: Berlin, Germany Register now
The Talent Management Summit
Date: June 14, 2012
Location: London, UK Register now
Date: June 19-21, 2012
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA Register now
2012 ICOI The International Conference of Organizational Innovation
Date: July 10-12, 2012
Location: Indonesia Register now
“I’m grateful to be in this network. The calls I had with other members gave me the information I needed to move my project forward.”Annette RollsLeadership Development Program Designer, Boeing
“We were able to realize almost immediate value—in terms of definitively quantifiable savings—by implementing the concepts introduced during this [Art of Negotiation] program.”Ken MurphyEVP of Sales and Operations, Mattress Firm
“In my particular case, I certainly care about the HR functions, but that’s not why I wake up every day. I care about advancing the ball down the field with our people’s professional development skills and knowledge. You guys focus 100% on the learning piece, and that’s what I like.”Jim StewartCLO, Teradata