Conversations Across Cultures: 4 Key Insights from Successful Global Leadership Programs

When working with global clients, we often come across unique scenarios that illustrate how Fierce training is being integrated into organizations' larger leadership development strategies, and how rollout is being implemented on an international scale.

One of our clients, an established global manufacturing company in the automotive industry with ambitious leadership goals, is undergoing a strategy that's worthy of a close-up.

Prior to their work with us, the company hired a senior manager of leadership and innovation who had previously come from a somewhat dysfunctional, hierarchical organization. Taking what he learned from this experience, he had a vision of how his new company could grow in both individual leadership and overall as a business.

Here's a glimpse into his strategy and process for creating a leadership development solution.

Big Visions, Big Planning

When he first came to the company, he realized there was no aspect of the company education that focused specifically on people leaders. The majority of their training was focused on task-related skills, and none of their programs were helpful in teaching how to lead others effectively.

With the mentality that "if you don't focus on people, you won't see the results you want to see," he began to create a thorough plan to implement training that would foster learning and turn the company into an organization where learning takes place both in and outside the classroom and people can learn every day. This mission of the learning department was also, with intention, tied to their overall business initiative of company growth and success.

He developed a unique and innovative program designed to engage and develop skills in leadership. He built Fierce into the program before they officially became a Fierce client and presented the plan to C-suite. The presentation was a success, and he received the green light to move forward.

Needs Inform Actions

Before creating the program, he conducted a thorough needs assessment to better inform the plan's direction.

Aside from identifying the overall company need for leadership development, he also identified the following individual needs among leaders:

  • More work-life balance
  • Self-knowledge
  • Ways to motivate others
  • Business acumen
  • How to confront direct reports
  • Training with on-the-job applicability

These needs also informed what he concluded as the four primary goals of the business, and the desired outcomes from implementing the leadership curriculum by the year 2020:

1. Heightened self-awareness among leaders

2. Improved Communication

3. High-performing Teams

4. More innovation

Measuring for Success and Engagement

The program outlines the curriculum which includes multiple levels of learning, with Fierce training woven into the "Communication" aspect of the curriculum, with the intention for leaders to learn how to have more effective, on-the-job conversations. They have also included strategies for reinforcement through games, evaluations, and practice, knowing that learning is critical both inside and outside the classroom.

Two-hundred and forty leaders from eight different countries will go through this leadership training program in 2018 for year one of rollout, followed by more participants in the coming year.

Measurement will fall into two primary domains and will be measured through interactive technology they are creating to assess before and after training:

1. Individual progress.

  • Learning agility
  • Engagement
  • Retention
  • Productivity

2. Organizational progress.

  • Hiring success rate
  • Key talent retention
  • Succession planning effectivity
  • Time and budget investment

Valuable Insights for Your Own Leadership Development Strategy

This client's story comes with a handful of insights and considerations that can inform your own leadership development curriculum and clear up any misconceptions about how Fierce can play a role in your organization's strategy:

1. Individual and organizational growth are directly tied to learning. Based on their own planning efforts, this client was able to make the direct connection between learning and where the company was headed. This is critical for all organizations to recognize. Individuals, and therefore companies, will stagnate in terms of growth if no investment of time, money, or otherwise, is dedicated to learning. Likewise, organizational goals are directly impacted by the effectiveness of leadership.

2. Building out a thorough plan that includes curriculum details and measurement will better set your organization up for success. Regardless of how small or large your organization, having a clear idea of goals, needs, challenges, and how you're going to measure pre- and post-training are an important part of getting the most from your investment and making a clear connection between your investment and the results. For more insight on how to get started with planning and measurement, read our blog post here on demystifying measurement and ROI.

3. A large majority of learning takes place outside the classroom. One of the highlights of this client's program is that it places emphasis on reinforcement and continued learning outside the classroom. Training is not just a one-and-done…it requires continual practice and continual opportunities for further growth and development. Fierce training involves the use of real-life scenarios so that learning can translate more directly from inside the classroom into everyday life.

4. Fierce training is customizable, flexible, and agile. Fierce training and how it can be implemented in your organization is not rigid. While our core content remains the same, how it's integrated into your larger learning curriculum is entirely adaptable to your specific organizational needs across the globe. Our leadership training programs can act as a primary, singular form of training, or they can be built in as supplemental support for your larger-scale curriculum.

Through our partnerships, we're continually expanding the ways we can meet each individual organization's needs, on both a local and global scale. We're committed to sharing what we learn with you to better ensure your own success, and we can guide you through the process.

For a more foundational look at global training, check out our blog post here. 

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