Leadership Excellence – Learning Track

Being cognizant of key competencies and skill sets and aligning roles and responsibilities with critical functionality is a characteristic of best in class organizations. Validating and refining managerial and leadership models is key to success in complex and competitive environments across all industries.

Project Description:

The client was seeking a solution to address skills gaps of General Managers who were recently promoted to the Regional Director position as well as Regional Directors who have been in the role for up to 2 years. They were seeking a comprehensive multi-day leadership program that would enable them to implement leadership competencies to keep pace with a complex, demanding and highly competitive retail environment.

Client:

The Client is a major national membership retailer.

Challenge:

The organization had not had a formal leadership development structure so the lacked a consistent approach to address the complex environments they were faced with daily. Many of the General Managers had been with the organization since the beginning of their career and had never had any formal management or leadership skills training. They were now being promoted to Regional Directors, and their span of control was greatly increased from 1 club to between 10-15 clubs within a region. They needed to let go of the tactical demands inherent in their role as General Managers and adopt a much more strategic management discipline in order to be successful. There was also a somewhat siloed culture between the leadership in various regions thus a need to break down barriers and have productive discussions that would allow them to capture best practices and address common challenges.

Solution:

AMS senior consultants collaborated with the organization’s HR Talent Management team and Senior Leaders to conduct a formal evaluation (gap analysis) of current leadership practices within the targeted group. Skills were evaluated against a robust set of best-in-class competencies and behavioral characteristics linked to demonstrated results for managerial and leadership successes in the same and similar environments.

A three-day Regional Director Bootcamp was developed which focused on developing a standard set of effective leadership capabilities that would enable them to be successful in their new roles and in alignment with the Organization’s newly created Leadership Model. Topics included strategic thinking, critical analysis and problem solving, creating alignment, operating strategically, leading leaders, and communicating and presenting effectively. In addition to the 8 Regional Directors, the programs were also attended by 3 Senior Vice Presidents acting as Ambassadors who periodically consulted with the Regional Directors on their individual assignments and provided the group with insights into the realities and challenges of the position.

Critical steps to the solution implementation included:

1. Interviews with General Managers, Regional Directors, and Senior leadership (Ambassadors) to elicit their thoughts on managerial and leadership requirements and challenges.
2. Assemble the assessment model based on interview results and senior consultant industry experience.
3. Client stakeholder review and validation of the assessment model for relevance in the subject environment and alignment with current organizational role delineations, functional practices and leadership challenges.
4. Development of a detailed recommendation in the form of a comprehensive Leadership Excellence Model and Program RoadMap which included Course Objectives and Design, Pre-Work Assignments, Application Exercises, Participant Toolboxes, Action Plans and Ambassador guidelines.

Benefits:

Post Course surveys indicated that each of the participants had significantly increased their leadership skills and had clear actions to put into practice to help them leverage and further develop their skills. Actions included:
• Using the STOP model to be less reactive and more proactive
• Stepping back to see the Big Picture
• Thinking more strategically and using the Strategic Thinking process presented to ensure they were adopting a more comprehensive and effective process
• Asking reflective and focused questions to deepen their understanding of others
• Asking more questions to fully understand a situation and test their assumptions
• Use critical thinking tools to dig deep into root causes
• Adapt communication styles based on who they are communicating with
• Taking what they have learned back to their teams
• Using Whole Brain Thinking to adapt their thinking style
• Taking time to get to know the team as individuals and understand what motivates them
• Continue supporting one another as a Leadership Team