Friday, March 28, 2014

5 Ways You Can Improve Your Leadership Development Program Right Now

Leadership development is a priority for most organizations, including yours, but many overlook determining if it really works. Now is the time to start assessing the effectiveness of these programs. Dr. Chris Musselwhite suggests five steps for assessing and increasing the effectiveness of your leadership development program.

1. Shorten the learning horizon. That is the time between taking action and understanding the consequences. Many situations are so complex that leaders often fail to make the connection between their behaviors and actions and the consequences, which may not show up for some time. Making the connection between actions and consequences is critical. Just talking with leaders about this doesn’t work. Experimental activities such as simulated learning can address this problem by shortening the learning horizon in the classroom.

2. Enable participants to learn about their preferences and behavior styles and how those are perceived and interpreted by others. The leadership development work needs to be up close and personal, not abstract and theoretical.

3. Try a 360-degree assessment. Discovery Learning uses a process called the Plus process. Leaders select goals from a 360-degree assessment, after which they are enrolled in a Web-based process that enables them to create a learning network of co-workers who can observe and measure the leader’s progress. After three months, leaders complete a follow-up assessment through this learning network to see how they have progressed toward their selected goals. 

4. Make coursework experiential. For example, the Discovery Leadership Program is a four-day program that integrates two simulations and several individual assessments, along with a 360-degree assessment. It utilizes a peer coaching model that enables participants to exchange feedback. 

5. Integrate data and experience. Provide participants with data about their styles and preferences, and then in real time they can see their impact on others as they strategize, problem-solve, negotiate, innovate, and resolve conflicts.

Read the full article originally published in Training Magazine here

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

What American OD Professionals Need to Know about Canadian Managers

In 2004 a Globe Study presented the most thorough analysis ever of cultural differences. In that study, North American managers were all lumped together in one category. But we know that there are important differences in the way Canadians, Americans, and Mexicans go about doing business. So we conducted our own research based on our Influence Style Indicator data. 

Analysis of influence style preference data for American and Canadian managers reveals some interesting and potentially important differences. American managers are significantly more likely to use asserting and rationalizing as influence styles than are their Canadian counterparts. Both of these influence styles involve strategies that resemble advocating for one’s position – appearing more pushy. Canadian managers are more likely to prefer an inspiring style when attempting to advocate for their position. This translates into emphasizing the common good and telling contextual stories. These differences provide ample opportunity for misunderstanding and miscommunication. The American manager is more likely to use data and logic while the Canadian manager responds with context and mutual benefit.
Of course there are similarities. When it comes to negotiating and bridging, the most preferred influence style, there are no significant differences. 
For more information about influencing differences in American, Canadian, Indian and Singaporean managers click here.

In your experience, does this ring true or not? Respond in the comments!

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