Leading the Leaders
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to steal some minutes of three veritable industry leaders who will be speaking at our HRO Today Forum in May. I posed the same questions to the trio around the main challenges HR faces today, and discovered a common thread in their answers: leading the leaders.
When I asked Joe Cabral, senior vice president and CHRO for North Shore-LIJ Health System, about what is driving his talent management strategy, he said investing in leadership: “We are working on helping leaders become better leaders. It’s leaders who are responsible for developing the workforce, and we need those leaders to take responsibility to help foster the talent.”
John Murabito, executive vice president of human resources and services for Cigna Corporation, has a similar outlook: Global growth needs to be executed from within. “We’ve been using a talent pool concept to identify key people in the company based on certain criteria to develop them to their potential so that they can become leaders,” he said. “We also have a development course for the set of our highest potential group of leaders to aspire them to the next level and give them more global experience, which is critical to our development.”
Michael Pilnick, executive vice president and head of human resources for First Advantage, sees an opportunity to apply mentorship to achieve leadership. He advises companies to leverage soon-to-be retired baby boomers’ experience in management training onto the newer entrants to the market. Passing down critical techniques is a step toward leadership capabilities for younger Millennials.
But identifying potential leaders can be challenging. It takes investment, and ensuring that they stay to lead at your company also requires time and effort. Research from Aberdeen Group reveals seven ways organizations can pinpoint high-potential leaders: cognitive ability assessments, customer or client feedback, 360-degree assessments, hiring manager or supervisor feedback, skill-based assessments, scenario-based assessments, and behavioral assessments.
Once you’ve identified the leaders, organizations need to take steps to ensure high potentials are engaged, fulfilled, and committed. Both Cabral and Murabito mentioned they are leveraging workforce learning programs to develop and retain their leaders.
Today’s top training techniques are often more interactive compared to brick-and- mortar ways of the past. According to a 2013 NelsonHall survey, 55 percent of the market is now e-learning. David Strainick, global head of learning at NCR Corp., reveals that one way his firm educates its employees, customers, and partners is through NCR University, his company’s online learning portal. (For more, see Out of Recession, Companies Turn to Training on page 32.) We also offer a further examination of gamification on page 38, and 10 ways to boost productivity on page 29. So whatever you are looking for in terms of learning, we’ve got you covered.