NYU Higher Education SIG presented the topic “Approaches to Strategic
Leadership and Talent Development” at NYU on October 22, 2013 to ASTD NY
Members and NYU Business
and Adult Education graduate-level students. The interactive discussion focused
on how L&D professionals can develop leaders in order to achieve maximum
Bridget N. O’Connor, PhD, NYU
Steinhardt Professor of Higher Education and Business Education, together with
an NYU Student, introduced the speakers and distinguished NYU Alumni, Amy Lui
Abel and Sherlin Nair. Amy Lui Abel, PhD, is Director of Human Capital Research
at The Conference Board in New York and Sherlin Nair, MA, is a Research Consultant
at The Conference Board and PhD candidate at Teacher’s College, Columbia
University. The speakers shared highlights from the 2013 report they
co-authored titled “Strategic Leadership Development” that was published by The Conference Board. The
presentation was followed by participants breaking up into small groups in
order to work together to solve a Leadership Development (LD) scenario, that
involved analyzing different leadership approaches, and selecting the most
appropriate course of action in order to provide the greatest impact for the
new leader and the entire organization.
Conference Board, (http://www.conference-board.org),
is a global, independent business membership & research association working
in the public interest. The Conference Board works within and across three main
subject areas – Corporate Leadership; Economy & Business Environment; and
Human Capital – to create a unique, enterprise-wide perspective that helps
business leaders respond today, anticipate tomorrow, and make the right
strategic decisions every day.
The 2013 Report Highlights
Study was conducted by The Conference Board and Right Management to investigate
a wide spectrum of organizations globally to determine challenges and needs for
LD, intention and goals with leadership development initiatives
organizations have applied the “one size fits all” approach to LD.
surveys of 654 respondents’ case studies, interviews with senior leadership
development professionals, global perspectives of leadership development as
well as regional variations on initiatives and focus for LD
40% of leaders are marginally prepared or not prepared for business challenges
of organizations favor identifying and growing talent internally for future
one size fits all approach to leadership is not impactful. Organizations want
customized and personalized approaches to develop the individual and believe these
are more effective. There is a shift towards a more holistic approach. Meaning,
multiple approaches may be required to view the leader as influencing people,
collaborating at all levels and adapting to any situation.
Leaders is recognized by organizations as critical in order to drive retention,
productivity, profitability and overall organizational strength.
Globally leading change is the most important leadership
characteristic in business today.
3 choices for accelerating LD:
Action Learning, Executive Coaching & International
Investment in LD initiatives projected are the same in US and
Europe. In Asia, 39% of respondents anticipate increase in LD investment.
30% of organizations confirmed cost
is a primary obstacle
Increase Time & support- 26% of
solutions will need to be crafted
Designing LD to
Provide Great Impact
the presentation, we assembled into small groups and each group was instructed
to create a developmental plan for new leaders,
based on Scenario 1 or 2.
Transition a new Male Executive to lead a different business unit function in
Major change from a Technical role leading
one department to Head of a Region in another country.
Senior Female Manager, Head of Department, just promoted to Executive level
leader, on staff since inception. The current President is leaving to join the
Analyze the different leadership development
approaches, select the most appropriate programs based on the given situation and
the anticipated benefits, using the table that was provided, as shown below.
Design a program to provide the best
possible results in the real world, taking into consideration limited time and
Table- Summary of
Performance - new role
Time bound & personal
Support- new role
Learn from mistakes
Cross functional development
Complex problem issue
Global business mind-set
Exposure to cultures
360 degree assessment
Social & virtual
Time & space
Results based LD program
Executive Coaching and Mentoring were the 2 approaches
that were selected as the most likely to deliver value to the respective
organizations, under both Scenarios 1 and 2.
External Executive Coaches will be hired to transition
the leaders effectively, given the constraints and Internal Coaches will serve
as mentors to help build support and lasting relationships. Job rotation and
shadowing were also discussed as plausible options to implement.
Scenario 1 - Expatriation-Voluntarism or Offsite
experiential programs would provide the new leader with the necessary global
mindset and some of the expertise required
Scenario 2 – Joining Women’s Leadership support groups,
360 degree assessment for feedback, job rotation and cross functional collaboration
to help the new leader see and understand the big picture.
- LD is multi–faceted and complex
- Individual leaders have different skills
- Apply different approaches simultaneously
- Focus on customized experience based learning
- Select approaches to yield the greatest impact.
Thanks to the dynamic
speakers for delivering an impressive program.
Michelle Albert, HR Strategist