The senior leaders of a major financial services institution wanted to ensure that the next generation of leaders was adequately prepared to step into senior leadership roles. They knew that it is usually more economical and effective for companies to grow their internal talent rather than compete for top talent from the external market. Each senior leader had identified high potential talent within his or her division of the company, and a psychological assessment company had provided profiles of each of the identified high potential leaders. The senior team wanted to provide a targeted, challenging leadership development program to accelerate the growth of the identified cohort.
Consultants from GGC met with each member of the Senior Leadership Team to clarify the strategic objectives of the company and the leadership traits needed to drive those objectives. They compared these traits with the strengths and deficits that had been identified in the assessment process. Four key development areas were identified: Strategic Thinking, Marketing Savvy, Implementing Change, and Team Leadership. The one-year development program had the following elements:
- A GGC expert in Executive Education designed and delivered 1-2 day courses in each of the identified development areas, bringing in top faculty from a prominent business school to teach the classes.
- Consultants helped each participant create individual development objectives. An on-line program tracked the participants’ work toward their objectives and reminded them of their commitments and deadlines.
- The Senior Leadership Team designed four Action Learning Projects, tasks that were urgent and strategically important to the company. The program participants were assigned to cross-functional teams to complete the projects and report back to the Senior Leadership Team.
The courses were very highly evaluated by the participants, and several participants immediately put into action the skills they had learned. The Action Learning Projects were successfully completed and provided valuable direction to the Senior Leadership Team. Within a year, several of the participants had been promoted to more senior positions and others followed in ensuing years. The program was incorporated as an on-going part of leadership development at the company.