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How to successfully develop leadership and management capabilities?

Businesses today are seeking to develop the leadership talents of their executives: engaging participants in life-like, relevant experiences, coupled with feedback to help them derive insights about their effective and ineffective behaviours. For years, Motorola has been a good reference developing leaders and managers with experiential learning approach designed and delivered by Discovery Learning.

What is the biggest challenge for Motorola?

Motorola was growing rapidly as its markets expanded around the world. They needed to train up more local managers in place quickly, especially in China and India to handle the increased operations there. For example, the first challenge in developing these leaders was to build within them a common understanding of the Motorola Culture for Motorola in China Added to this was the challenge that the Chinese managers had different cultural and business experiences from other Asian managers and lacked a basis for understanding Western management practices. To address these issues, Motorola implemented an integrated learning and development strategy that included classroom-based programs and month-long projects requiring participants to apply their new skills and knowledge. The classroom-based programs included a three-day experiential leadership program designed and delivered by Discovery Learning, which let Motorola quickly develop the leadership talent they needed and allowed their local managers to transfer their new learning immediately to the workplace . “The program involved a customized version of DLISs Discovery Leadership Program and included their simulations Paper Planes, Inc., PressTime and one of their assessment instruments, Change Style Indicator. The process created an environment where participants could focus on systems and team issues and receive feedback on their own leadership styles.”

Main Strategy of Experiential Learning

Providing feedback is a major strategy for improving performance. The key to the success of experiential learning is the feedback it provides the participants. It comes from the facilitators, from their fellow participants and from their own insights through reflecting on their decisions and actions.

3 Key Assessment Instruments

1. CSI (Change Style Indicator) Change Style Indicator measures an individuals’s preferred style in approaching change and in addressing change. With the CSI, leaders can discover their personal change style preference and explore the advantages and strengths that each style offers in a team effort. It helps leaders to improve their interpersonal communication and understanding, realize the values of all perspectives when resolving issues. 2. Business Simulation (PPI) From the PPI simulation, participants learned the importance of having a common goal, the value of accurate and timely feedback, the necessity of measuring progress to achieve results and the benefits of reviewing personal decisions and reflecting on one’s behavior. 3. PressTime Simulation From the PressTime simulation, participants gained a good overview of basic business practices and learned to build strong teams. The simulation also provided a common reference point for discussing solutions to future business problems and the challenges of problem solving across cultural boundaries. Combined with the feedback from the Change Style Indicator, these two learning exercises led the developing managers in China and India to create actionable goals with performance accountability. From the experiential learning sessions, participants learned something about themselves as leaders that you can’t get out of a book. As a result, they were better prepared to manage their behaviour as leaders and to influence positively the management development of others through the examples provided in their own leadership. “The experiential learning is a powerful educational strategy that can have immediate and lasting impact.” Rich Boucher, former Senior Program Manager & College of Leadership and Transcultural Studies at Motorola University.

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Further Reading :

Leadership Development Program

Human Resource Optimization – a New Paradigm for Developing Talent

3 Simple Questions that Blow Your Mind – The Unconscious Bias