Jazmine Boatman, Ph.D., Consulting Practice Leader, New York Metro Operations, DDI, described what it takes to accelerate leadership growth across an organization in her presentation to Argyle’s CHRO membership at the 2017 Human Capital Leadership Forum in New York on May 4. In her presentation, “3 Ways to Energize Leadership Growth,” Boatman provided tips to help organizations bdrive business growth by accelerating leadership growth. According to Boatman, leadership can make or break an organization, regardless of its size, stature or industry.
An organization that fosters a culture of leadership is better equipped than others to engage and retain top talent. Also, this organization will have a pipeline of leaders in place – something that could help the organization gain a long-lasting competitive advantage. Ultimately, an organization must find ways to identify potential leaders and foster their career growth and development. Doing so will help an organization attract talent as well as build from within and cultivate talent across all departments. “The key to getting your organization where it needs to go is getting the right leaders ready now,” Boatman said. Boatman also discussed three questions that organizations need to consider relative to leadership initiatives:
1. Are your leadership development practices accelerating growth?
Many organizations are focused exclusively on finding ways to maximize the return on investment (ROI) of their leadership development investments. However, these organizations often struggle to understand the true value of the data available to them.
“I worry that the big data and analytics conversation that we’ve been having lately has taken a lot of organizations off course,” Boatman stated. “There is a lot of research that shows leadership development has an impact on people and business outcomes but the time we’re obsessing over metrics that don’t matter is taking away from time spent on getting managers actively engaged, which is what really drives development and growth.”
“I don’t think manager support is enough. I think that manager support means manager activism.”
2. Are you accelerating diversity and inclusion?
A myth persists in many organizations that men make superior senior leaders over women, Boatman said. In fact, Boatman pointed out that recent data indicates there are more CEOs named John than women CEOs worldwide.
Organizations that promote diversity may be able to differentiate themselves from rivals through more diverse perspectives and better decision making. Organizations with more diversity in their leaders use objective, validated tools to hire, select, and promote leaders, global leaders, and high potentials. This more objective approach to leadership helps to identify the right leaders for the job consistently.
“There is common folklore out there that men make better senior leaders,” Boatman said. “Our research proves that men in general are just as good as communication as women are at strategy and execution. Our challenge is to figure out how to get the best of both worlds. Because the research shows that diverse leadership pays dividends to an organization’s bottom line.”
3. Are you accelerating your next generation of leaders?
Today’s organizations must be able to stay ahead of the competition to build the next generation of leaders. Unfortunately, doing so may prove to be a tall task, particularly for organizations that possess limited time and resources.
“How quickly an organization can identify the next generation of leaders will impact its ability to grow.”
If an organization understands what it takes to identify leadership potential quickly, it may be better equipped to grow that talent and meet their goals before their competition.
“The speed and scalability of today’s organizations and the market at large has created a different era for us,” Boatman stated. “Simplification is the ticket to acceleration.” “You need a fast, effective way to figure out who has leadership potential so that you can spend all of your time figuring out how to accelerate their growth,” Boatman indicated.
Acceleration is about getting the right leaders ready faster, so a faster, simpler approach to identifying those with potential may prove to be exceedingly valuable to organizations of all sizes, Boatman said. Because the key to accelerating this group of leaders requires not just a 2.0 version of leadership development initiatives, but truly pushing these leaders in ways that may make many organizations uncomfortable but is the way to truly get them ready for the future faster.