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WHITE PAPER Future Trends in Leadership Development By: Nick Petrie Contents About the Author 3 Experts Consulted During 3 This Study About This Project 5 Executive Summary 5 Section 1–The Challenge of Our 7 Current Situation Section 2–Future Trends for 1o Leadership Development Types of Development 11 Why Vertical Development 12 Matters for Leadership What the Stages of 13 Development Look Like Example of a Vertical Development 15 Process: The Immunity to Change Growth Fuels Growth 19 Final Thoughts 27 Bibliography 28 References 29 Appendix 31About the Author Nick Petrie is a Senior Faculty Experts Consulted During This Study member with the Center for Creative I wish to thank the following experts who contributed Leadership’s, Colorado Springs, their time and thinking to this report in order to make Colorado campus. He is a member it stronger. I also relieve them of any liability for its of the faculty for the Leadership ® weaknesses, for which I am fully responsible. Thanks all. Development Program (LDP) and the legal sector. Nick is from New Zealand Bill Torbert, Professor Emeritus of Leadership and has significant international at the Carroll School of Management experience having spent ten years at Boston College living and working in Japan, Spain, Scotland, Ireland, Norway, and Dubai. Chelsea Pollen, Recruiting Specialist, Google Before joining CCL, he ran his own Chuck Palus, Manager of the Connected consulting company and spent the Leadership Project, Center for Creative Leadership last several years developing and Craig Van Dugteren, Senior Project Manager, Learning implementing customized leadership & Development, Victoria Police, Australia programs for senior leaders around David Altman, Executive Vice President, Research, the world. Nick holds a master’s Innovation & Product Development, Center for degree from Harvard University and Creative Leadership undergraduate degrees in business administration and physical education David Carder, Vice President and Executive from Otago University in New Zealand. Consultant, Forum Corporation Before beginning his business career, Jeff Barnes, Head of Global Leadership, General Electric he was a professional rugby player and Jeffrey Yip, PhD Candidate, Boston University School coach for seven years. of Management; Visiting Researcher, Center for Creative Leadership John Connell, Harvard School of Public Health John McGuire, Senior Faculty Member, Center for Creative Leadership Josh Alwitt, Vice President at Sapient Corporation Lisa Lahey, Cofounder and Principal of MINDS AT WORK™; Associate Director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education Lucy Dinwiddie, Global Learning & Executive Development Leader, General Electric Lyndon Rego, Director, Leadership Beyond Boundaries, Center for Creative Leadership Maggie Walsh, Vice President of the Leadership Practice, Forum Corporation Marc Effron, President, The Talent Strategy Group; Author, One Page Talent Management 3 ©2014 Center for Creative Leadership. All rights reserved. Michael Kenney, Assistant Professor of Public Harvard University Faculty Policy at the School of Public Affairs, Pennsylvania Thanks to the following professors and mentors whose State University ideas, questions, and refusals to answer my questions Robert Burnside, Partner, Chief Learning directly . . . kept me searching. Officer, Ketchum Roland Smith, Senior Faculty Member and Lead Ashish Nanda, Robert Braucher Professor of Researcher at the Center for Creative Leadership Practice at Harvard Law School, Faculty Director of Executive Education at Harvard Law School Simon Fowler, Methodology Associate Consultant, Forum Corporation Daniel Wilson, Principal Investigator at Project Zero and Learning Innovation Laboratory (LILA), Harvard Stan Gryskiewicz, Senior Fellow at the Center for Graduate School of Education Creative Leadership; President & Founder of Association for Managers of Innovation Dean Williams, Lecturer in Public Policy, teacher and researcher on Adaptive Leadership and Change; Faculty Steve Barry, Senior Manager, Strategic Marketing, Chair of the Executive Education Program: Leadership Forum Corporation for the 21st Century: Global Change Agents, Harvard Steve Kerr, Former Chief Learning Officer and Kennedy School of Government Managing Director and now Senior Advisor to J. Richard Hackman, Edgar Pierce Professor of Social Goldman Sachs; former Vice President of Corporate and Organizational Psychology, Department of Leadership Development and Chief Learning Officer Psychology, Harvard University at General Electric Monica Higgins, Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, focused on the areas of leadership development and organizational change Robert Kegan, William and Miriam Meehan Professor in Adult Learning and Professional Development, Harvard Graduate School of Education ©2014 Center for Creative Leadership. All rights reserved. 4About This Project Executive Summary The origin of this report stems largely from my own “In the agricultural era, doubts about the methods my colleagues and I had used in the past to develop leaders in organizations. Though the schools mirrored a garden. feedback from managers was that they were happy with the programs, my sense was that somehow, what we were In the industrial era, classes delivering was not what they really needed. mirrored the factory, with It seemed that the nature of the challenges that managers were facing was rapidly changing; however, the methods an assembly line of learners. that we were using to develop them were staying the same. The incremental improvements that we were In the digital-information era, making in programs were what Chris Argyris would call “single loop” learning (adjustments to the existing how will learning look?” techniques), rather than “double loop” learning (changes to the assumptions and thinking upon which the Lucy Dinwiddie programs were built). Global Learning & Executive Development Leader, General Electric These continual, nagging doubts led me to take a one-year sabbatical at Harvard University with the The Current Situation goal of answering one question–what will the future of leadership development look like? With the aim • The environment has changed—it is more of getting as many different perspectives as possible, complex, volatile, and unpredictable. I studied across the schools of the university (Education, • The skills needed for leadership have also Business, Law, Government, Psychology) to learn their changed—more complex and adaptive thinking approaches to developing leaders and conducted a abilities are needed. literature review of the field of leadership development. • The methods being used to develop leaders have In addition, I interviewed 30 experts in the field to gather not changed (much). diverse perspectives and asked each of them the following questions: • The majority of managers are developed from on-the-job experiences, training, and coaching/ 1. What are the current approaches being mentoring; while these are all still important, used that you think are the most effective? leaders are no longer developing fast enough or in the right ways to match the new environment. 2. What do you think we should be doing more of in terms of developing leaders? The Challenge Ahead 3. What should we be doing less of/stop doing/phase out? • This is no longer just a leadership challenge 4. Where do you see the future of leadership (what good leadership looks like); it is a development headed? development challenge (the process of how to grow “bigger” minds). The following report is divided into two sections. • Managers have become experts on the The first (shorter) section focuses on the current environment “what” of leadership, but novices in the “how” and the challenge of developing leaders in an increasingly of their own development. complex and uncertain world. The second looks in depth at four leadership development trends identified by interviewees and the emerging practices that could form the basis of future leadership development programs. 5 ©2014 Center for Creative Leadership. All rights reserved. Four Trends for the Future of Leadership Development 1. More focus on vertical development 3. Greater focus on collective rather than individual leadership There are two different types of development–horizontal and vertical. A great deal of time has been spent on Leadership development has come to a point of being “horizontal” development (competencies), but very little too individually focused and elitist. There is a transition time on “vertical” development (developmental stages). occurring from the old paradigm in which leadership The methods for horizontal and vertical development resided in a person or role, to a new one in which are very different. Horizontal development can be leadership is a collective process that is spread “transmitted” (from an expert), but vertical development throughout networks of people. The question will must be earned (for oneself). change from, “Who are the leaders?” to “What conditions do we need for leadership to flourish in the network?” 2. Transfer of greater developmental How do we spread leadership capacity throughout the ownership to the individual organization and democratize leadership? People develop fastest when they feel responsible 4. Much greater focus on innovation in for their own progress. The current model encourages leadership development methods people to believe that someone else is responsible for their development–human resources, their manager, There are no simple, existing models or programs or trainers. We will need to help people out of the that will be sufficient to develop the levels of passenger seat and into the driver’s seat of their collective leadership required to meet an increasingly own development. complex future. Instead, an era of rapid innovation will be needed in which organizations experiment with new approaches that combine diverse ideas in new ways and share these with others. Technology and the web will both provide the infrastructure and drive the change. Organizations that embrace the changes will do better than those who resist it. Four Transitions for Leadership Development Current Focus Future Focus The “what” of leadership The “what” and “how” of development Horizontal development Horizontal and vertical development HR/training companies, own development Each person owns development Collective leadership is Leadership resides in individual managers spread throughout the network ©2014 Center for Creative Leadership. All rights reserved. 6Researchers have identified several criteria that make 2 Section 1–The Challenge complex environments especially difficult to manage. • They contain a large number of interacting elements. of Our Current Situation • Information in the system is highly ambiguous, incomplete, or indecipherable. Interactions among system elements are nonlinear and tightlycoupled The Environment Has Changed—It Is such that small changes can produce Becoming More Complex and Challenging disproportionately large effects. If there were two consistent themes that emerged from • Solutions emerge from the dynamics within the interviewees as the greatest challenges for current system and cannot be imposed from outside with and future leaders, it was the pace of change and the predictable results. complexity of the challenges faced. • Hindsight does not lead to foresight since the The last decade has seen many industries enter a elements and conditions of the system can be in period of increasingly rapid change. The most recent continual flux. global recession, which began in December 2007, has contributed to an environment that many In addition to the above, the most common interviewees believe is fundamentally different factors cited by interviewees as challenges for from that of 10 years ago. future leaders were: • information overload Roland Smith, senior faculty at the Center for Creative ® Leadership (CCL ) described the new environment as • the interconnectedness of systems one of perpetual white water. His notion of increased and business communities turbulence is backed up by an IBM study of over 1,500 1 • the dissolving of traditional CEOs. These CEOs identified their number one concern as organizational boundaries the growing complexity of their environments, with the majority of those CEOs saying that their organizations are • new technologies that disrupt old work practices not equipped to cope with this complexity. • the different values and expectations of new This theme was consistent among many of the interviewees generations entering the workplace in this study, some of whom used the army phrase VUCA to • increased globalization leading to the need to describe the new environment in which leaders must work: lead across cultures In summary, the new environment is typified by an Volatile: Change happens rapidly and increased level of complexity and interconnectedness. on a large scale. One example, given by an interviewee, was the difficulty Uncertain: The future cannot be predicted her managers were facing when leading teams spread with any precision. across the globe. Because the global economy has become interconnected, her managers felt they could Complex: Challenges are complicated no longer afford to focus solely on events in their local by many factors and there are few single economies; instead they were constantly forced to adjust causes or solutions. their strategies and tactics to events that were happening Ambiguous: There is little clarity on what in different parts of the world. This challenge was events mean and what effect they may have. compounded by the fact that these managers were leading team members of different nationalities, with different cultural values, who all operated in vastly different time “There are no boundaries anymore.” zones–all of this before addressing the complexity of the task itself. Jeff Barnes Head of Global Leadership, General Electric 7 ©2014 Center for Creative Leadership. All rights reserved. ©2014 Center for Creative Leadership. All rights reserved. 8Section 1–The Challenge of Our Current Situation (continued) The Skills Sets Required Have Changed The Methods We Are Using to Develop –More Complex Thinkers Are Needed Leaders Have Not Changed (Much) Reflecting the changes in the environment, the Organizations are increasingly reliant on HR departments competencies that will be most valuable to the future to build a leadership pipeline of managers capable of leader appear to be changing. The most common skills, leading “creatively” through turbulent times. However, abilities, and attributes cited by interviewees were: there appears to be a growing belief among managers and senior executives that the leadership programs that they • adaptability are attending are often insufficient to help them develop • self-awareness their capacities to face the demands of their current role. • boundary spanning Based on the interviews, the most common current reported development methods were: • collaboration • network thinking • training • job assignments A literature review on the skills needed for future leaders also revealed the following attributes: • action learning • The CEOs in IBM’s 2009 study named the most • executive coaching important skill for the future leader as creativity. • mentoring • The 2009/2010 Trends in Executive Development • 360-degree feedback study found many CEOs were concerned that their While the above methods will remain important, many organizations’ up-and-comers were lacking in areas interviewees questioned whether the application of such as the ability to think strategically and manage 3 these methods in their current formats will be sufficient change effectively. to develop leaders to the levels needed to meet the • Jeffrey Immelt, General Electric CEO and chairman, challenges of the coming decades. The challenge states that 21st century leaders will need to be becomes, if not the methods above, then what? 4 systems thinkers who are comfortable with ambiguity. It appears that the new VUCA environment is seeing the demand move away from isolated behavioral “The overriding theme of what I’ve been competencies toward complex “thinking” abilities. hearing from clients recently is that they’re These manifest as adaptive competencies such as a bit stunned–shocked, actually–at how learning agility, self-awareness, comfort with ambiguity, and strategic thinking. With such changes in the mental the leadership-development programs they’d demands on future leaders, the question will be: had in place were not able to meet the needs how will we produce these capacities of thinking? of their business as we’ve gone through these tremendously disruptive economic 5 changes over the past few years.” Bill Pelster Principal, Deloitte Consulting 9 ©2014 Center for Creative Leadership. All rights reserved. Section 2–Future Trends for Leadership Development Trend 1: Increased Focus on Vertical This Is No Longer Just a Development (Developmental Stages) Leadership Challenge–It Is a Development Challenge Research interview question: What do you think needs to be stopped or phased out from the way leadership development is A large number of interview respondents felt currently done? that many methods–such as content-heavy • “Competencies: they become either overwhelming in training–that are being used to develop leaders for number or incredibly generic. If you have nothing the 21st century have become dated and redundant. in place they are okay, but their use nearly always While these were relatively effective for the needs comes to a bad end.” and challenges of the last century, they are becoming increasingly mismatched against the challenges • “Competencies–they don’t add value.” leaders currently face. • “Competency models as the sole method for Marshall Goldsmith has commented, “Many of developing people. It is only one aspect and their our leadership programs are based on the faulty application has been done to death.” assumption that if we show people what to do, 6 • “Competencies, especially for developing they can automatically do it.” However, there is a senior leaders. They are probably still okay for difference between knowing what “good” leadership newer managers.” looks like and being able to do it. We may be arriving at a point where we face diminishing returns from • “Static individual competencies. We are better to teaching managers more about leadership, when they think about meta-competencies such as learning still have little understanding about what is required agility and self-awareness.” for real development to occur. For a long time we have thought about leadership development as working out what competencies a leader should possess and then helping individual managers to develop them–much as a bodybuilder tries to develop different muscle groups. Research over the last 20 years on how adults develop clarifies one reason why many interviewees have grown weary of the competency model as the sole means for developing leaders. We have failed to distinguish between two very different types of “Some people want to put development–vertical and horizontal. Christ back into Christmas; I want to put development back into leadership development.” Robert Kegan Professor of Adult Learning and Professional Development, Harvard Graduate School of Education ©2014 Center for Creative Leadership. All rights reserved. 10Types of Development Horizontal development is the development of new will remain important as one method for helping skills, abilities, and behaviors. It is technical learning. leaders develop, in the future it cannot be relied on Horizontal development is most useful when a problem as the only means. As one interviewee suggested, is clearly defined and there are known techniques for it is time to “transcend and include” the leadership solving it. Surgery training is an example of horizontal competency mentality so that in the future we are development. Students learn to become surgeons through able to grow our leaders simultaneously in both a process known as “pimping,” in which experienced horizontal AND vertical directions. surgeons continually question students until the point when the student cannot answer and is forced to go back 7 to the books to learn more information. While the process of learning is not easy, there are clear answers that can “Organizations have grown skilled be codified and transmitted from expert sources, allowing the students to broaden and deepen their at developing individual leader surgical competency. Vertical development, in contrast, refers to the “stages” competencies, but have mostly that people progress through in regard to how they “make ignored the challenge sense” of their world. We find it easy to notice children progressing through stages of development as they of transforming their leader’s grow, but conventional wisdom assumes that adults stop developing at around 20 years old–hence the term “grown mind-set from one level to up” (you have finished growing). However, developmental researchers have shown that adults do in fact continue to the next. Today’s horizontal progress (at varying rates) through predictable stages of mental development. At each higher level of development, development within a mind-set adults “make sense” of the world in more complex and inclusive ways–their minds grow “bigger.” must give way to the vertical In metaphorical terms, horizontal development is like 8 development of bigger minds.” pouring water into an empty glass. The vessel fills up with new content (you learn more leadership techniques). In John McGuire and Gary Rhodes contrast, vertical development aims to expand the glass Transforming Your Leadership Culture, itself. Not only does the glass have increased capacity Center for Creative Leadership to take in more content, the structure of the vessel itself has been transformed (the manager’s mind grows bigger). From a technology perspective, it is the difference between adding new software (horizontal development) or upgrading to a new computer (vertical development). Most people are aware that continuing to add new software to an out-dated operating system starts to have diminishing returns. While horizontal development (and competency models) 11 ©2014 Center for Creative Leadership. All rights reserved.Why Vertical Development Matters for Leadership The next question may be: “Why should someone’s level of cognitive development matter for leadership and organizations?” One answer is that from a leadership perspective, researchers have shown that people at higher levels of development perform better in more complex environments. A study by Keith Eigel looked at 21 CEOs and 21 promising middle managers from various 9 companies, each with annual revenues of over 5 billion. The study showed that across a range of leadership measures, there was a clear correlation between higher levels of vertical development and higher levels of “A new leadership paradigm effectiveness. This finding has since been replicated in a number of fine-grained studies on leaders assessing seems to be emerging with an 10 particular competencies. The reason that managers at higher levels of cognitive inexorable shift away from one- development are able to perform more effectively is that way, hierarchical, organization- they can think in more complex ways. According to McGuire and Rhodes (2009) of the Center centric communication toward for Creative Leadership: “Each successive level (or stair) holds greater ability for learning, complex problem- two-way, network-centric, solving, and the ability to set new direction and lead change. People who gain another step can learn more, participatory, and collaborative adapt faster, and generate more complex solutions than they could before. Those at higher levels can learn and leadership styles. Most of all a react faster because they have bigger minds; people at later stages are better at seeing and connecting more new mind-set seems necessary, dots in more scenarios (which means they are better at apart from new skills and strategy). That’s all. But that’s a lot.” There is nothing inherently “better” about knowledge. All the tools in the being at a higher level of development, just as an adolescent is not “better” than a toddler. However, world will not change anything the fact remains that an adolescent is able to do more, because he or she can think in more sophisticated ways if the mind-set does not allow than a toddler. Any level of development is okay; the question is whether that level of development is a and support change.” good fit for the task at hand. In terms of leadership, if you believe that the future will present leaders Grady McGonagill and Tina Doerffer with an environment that is more complex, volatile, The Leadership Implications of the Evolving Web, and unpredictable, you might also believe that those Bertelsmann Stiftung Leadership Series organizations who have more leaders at higher levels of development will have an important advantage over those that don’t. ©2014 Center for Creative Leadership. All rights reserved. 12What the Stages of Development Look Like There are various frameworks which researchers use to measure and describe levels of cognitive development. Below is a short description of Robert Kegan’s levels of development and how they map against other researchers in the field. Kegan’s Adult Levels of Development • 3–Socialized mind: At this level we are shaped by the expectations of those around us. What we think and say is strongly influenced by what we think others want to hear. • 4–Self-authoring mind: We have developed our own ideology or internal compass to guide us. Our sense of self is aligned with our own belief system, personal code, and values. We can take stands, set limits on behalf of our own internal “voice.” • 5–Self-transforming mind: We have our own ideology, but can now step back from that ideology and see it as limited or partial. We can hold more contradiction and oppositeness in our thinking and no longer feel the need to gravitate towards polarized thinking. Adult Levels of Development 11 Level Kegan Levels CCL Action Logics Torbert & Rookes Action Logics Ironist (1%) 5 Self-transforming Interdependent-Collaborator Alchemist (2%) Strategist (5%) Individualist (11%) 4 Self-authoring Independent-Achiever Achiever (30%) Expert (37%) Diplomat (11%) 3 Socialized Dependent-Conformer Opportunist (4%) Study of 4,510 managers. The percentages denote the number of managers measured at each stage of development using the sentence completion test. 12 According to interviewees, the coming decades will Torbert and Fisher less than 8% have reached that level increasingly see managers take on challenges that require of thinking. This may in part explain why so many people them to engage in: strategic thinking, collaboration, are currently feeling stressed, confused, and overwhelmed systems thinking, leading change, and having “comfort in their jobs. A large number of the workforce are with ambiguity.” These are all abilities, which become performing jobs that cause them to feel they are “in over more pronounced at level 5. Yet according to studies by their heads” (Kegan, 2009). 13 ©2014 Center for Creative Leadership. All rights reserved.What Causes Vertical Development McGuire and Rhodes describe vertical development as a three-stage process: The methods for horizontal development are very different from those for vertical development. 1. Awaken: The person becomes aware that there is Horizontal development can be learned (from an a different way of making sense of the world and expert), but vertical development must be earned that doing things in a new way is possible. (for yourself). We can take what researchers have learned in the last 75 years about what causes vertical 2. Unlearn and discern: The old assumptions are development and summarize it by the following four analyzed and challenged. New assumptions are conditions (Kegan, 2009): tested out and experimented with as being new possibilities for one’s day-to-day work and life. • People feel consistently frustrated by situations, dilemmas, or challenges in their lives. 3. Advance: Occurs after some practice and effort, when new ideas get stronger and start to dominate • It causes them to feel the limits of their current the previous ones. The new level of development way of thinking. (leadership logic) starts to make more sense than • It is in an area of their life that they care the old one. about deeply. Torbert and others have found that cognitive development • There is sufficient support that enables them to can be measured and elevated not only on the individual persist in the face of the anxiety and conflict. level, but also on the team and organizational level. Developmental movement from one stage to the next McGuire and Rhodes (2009) have pointed out that if is usually driven by limitations in the current stage. organizations want to create lasting change, they must When you are confronted with increased complexity develop the leadership culture at the same time they and challenge that can’t be reconciled with what you are developing individual leaders. Their method uses a know and can do at your current level, you are pulled six-phase process, which begins by elevating the senior to take the next step (McGuire & Rhodes, 2009). In leadership culture before targeting those managers at 13 addition, development accelerates when people are the middle of the organization. While personal vertical able to identify the assumptions that are holding development impacts individuals, vertical cultural them at their current level of development and development impacts organizations. test their validity. The challenge for organizations that wish to accelerate the vertical development of their leaders and cultures will be the creation of processes and experiences that embed these developmental principles into the workplace. “A major part of our job is helping people develop how they think. How they get to an answer matters more than ever.” Jeff Barnes Head of Global Leadership, General Electric ©2014 Center for Creative Leadership. All rights reserved. 14 Example of a Vertical Development 14 Process: The Immunity to Change The “Immunity to Change” process was developed over a 20-year period by Harvard professors and researchers Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey. It uses behavior change, and the discovery of what stops people from making the changes they want, to help people develop themselves. How it works: Leaders choose behaviors they are highly motivated to change. They then use a mapping process to identify the anxieties and assumptions they have about what would happen if they were to actually make those changes. This uncovers his or her’s hidden “immunity to change,” i.e., what has held his or her back from making the change already. The participant then designs and runs a series of small experiments in the workplace to test out the validity of the assumptions. As people realize that the assumptions they have been operating under are false or at least partial, the resistance to change diminishes and the desired behavior change happens more naturally. Why it accelerates development: The method accelerates people’s growth because it focuses directly on the four conditions of vertical development (an area of frustration, limits of current thinking, an area of importance, and support available). Many leadership programs operate on the assumption that if you show people how to lead, they can then do that. However, the most difficult challenges that people face in their work lives are often associated with the limitations of the way they “make meaning” at their current level of development. When a person surfaces the assumptions they have about the way the world works, they get the chance to question those assumptions and allow themselves the opportunity to start to make meaning from a more advanced level. For example, a manager may have difficulty making decisions without his boss’s direction, not because he lacks decision-making techniques, but because of the anxiety that taking a stand produces from his current level of meaning-making (the Socialized Mind). How this is being used: The method is currently being used in the leadership development programs of a number of leading banks, financial services firms, and strategy consulting firms. It is best suited for leaders who already have the technical skills they need to succeed, but need to grow the capacity of their thinking in order to lead more effectively. 15 ©2014 Center for Creative Leadership. All rights reserved.Trend 2: Transfer of Greater Developmental Ownership to the Individual Interview question: What should be stopped or phased out in leadership development? Response: “Stop sending people to courses they don’t want to go to.” According to social psychologists, people’s motivation to Despite staff’s doubts about the current top-down grow is highest when they feel a sense of autonomy over development methods, we can see clues to the future 15 their own development. However, some interviewees of development in the growing demand for believe that the training model common within executive coaching. organizations for much of the last 50 years has bred What principles can be learned from this demand dependency, inadvertently convincing people that they for coaching that can be expanded to all are passengers in their own development journey. The development practices? language of being “sent” to a training program, or having a 360-degree assessment “done on me,” denotes the fact Some modifying factors for coaching: that many managers still see their development • The manager chooses what to focus on, not the coach. as being owned by someone else, namely HR, training companies, or their own manager. • The process is customized for each person. Even as methods have evolved, such as performance • The coach owns her development; the coach feedback, action learning, and mentoring, the sense for guides the process (through questions). many still remains that it is someone else’s job to “tell • The coach is a thinking partner, not an me what I need to get better at and how to do it.” Many authority/expert. workers unknowingly outsourced their own development to well-intentioned strangers who didn’t know them, • There is no “content” to cover. didn’t understand their specific needs, and didn’t care • It is a developmental process over time, not an event. as much about their development as they themselves should. This model has resulted in many people feeling like Despite this demand for coaching, the barrier has always passengers. The challenge will be to help people back into been that it is difficult to “scale” the process, because the driver’s seat for their own development. of the cost and time needed for the coach. However, if greater ownership of development is transferred back to Several interviewees point out that the above issue has the individual, with HR, external experts, and managers been compounded in the last 10 years by the demand seen as resources and support, there is no reason that placed on managers to take on the role of coaches and these same principles could not be applied on a larger talent developers. Many staff, however, express skepticism scale throughout an organization. at being developmentally coached by managers, whom they believe are not working on any development areas themselves. To paraphrase Rob Goffee’s 2006 book, 16 “Why should anyone be developed by him?” In an organization where everyone is trying to develop someone else, but no one is developing themselves, we might wonder whether we are really approaching development from the right starting point. ©2014 Center for Creative Leadership. All rights reserved. 16Leadership Development for the Masses While many organizations say that What Development Might Look Like they need leaders at all levels of the business, a number of interviewees Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey (2009) suggest that you pointed out that this statement would know that an organization had people taking appears inconsistent with their ownership of their ongoing development when you could practices, as long as they continue to walk into an organization and any person could tell you: train and develop only their “elite” 1. What is the one thing they are working on that managers. Leadership development will require that they grow to accomplish it can become democratized, if workers get a better understanding of what 2. How they are working on it development is, why it matters 3. Who else knows and cares about it for them, and how they can take ownership of their own development. 4. Why this matters to them In his study on how Colombian drug traffickers were able to grow their operations despite a multidecade campaign against them costing billions of dollars, Michael Kenney found that a key factor was the traffickers’ ability to outlearn and outadapt their U.S. government 17 adversaries. Kenney discovered that traffickers, despite lack of education, were driven to learn and develop by the “high risk/high return” for learning. The rewards for those who learned the most were money and status; the risks for those who failed to learn were prison and sometimes death. Colombian drug cartels do not have HR departments or training companies to manage their training programs, yet these young, often uneducated traffickers still find sufficient motivation in the risk/return for learning to drive their own development. If organizations believe that their people would not be motivated to take more ownership of their own development, they might stop and ask,“How clear and visible is the ‘risk/reward’ for learning in our organization?” 17 ©2014 Center for Creative Leadership. All rights reserved.In addition to these points, interviewees suggested “The industry needs to ask itself that some of the following factors would also be present in an organization where people were taking how leadership development greater ownership of their development: became so elitist. The world’s • Recognition from senior leaders that in complex environments, business strategies cannot be challenges are big enough executed without highly developed leaders (and that traditional horizontal development now that we need to think won’t be enough) • Buy-in from the senior leaders that new methods about how we can democratize for development need to be used and that they leadership development, take will go first and lead by example • Staff to be educated on the research of how it back to the masses—to development occurs and what the benefits are for them the base and middle of the • For all staff to understand why development socioeconomic pyramid, not works better when they own it • A realignment of reward systems to emphasize only the peak.” both development as well as performance David Altman • Utilization of new technologies such as Executive Vice President–Research, 19 Rypple, which allows people to take control of Innovation, & Product Development their own feedback and gather ongoing Center for Creative Leadership suggestions for improvement • Creation of a culture in which it is safe to take the type of risks required to stretch your mind into “It makes little sense to begin the discomfort zone executive development We are already seeing examples of this happening at processes at very senior levels, innovative organizations such as W. L. Gore and IDEO, as well as at younger companies like Google, where as many companies do. Instead managers may have up to 20 direct reports each. Because top-down feedback and coaching is impractical the process must start early.” with so many direct reports, staff members are expected Morgan McCall, Jr. to drive their own development by using peers to gather “Executive Ask” their own feedback on areas to improve and to coach 18 Academy of Management Executive each other on how they can develop. ©2014 Center for Creative Leadership. All rights reserved. 18Growth Fuels Growth While many HR staff may be delighted at the possibility proceed. Finally, both Kegan and Torbert’s research that, in the future, people would take more ownership suggests that as more people transition from the levels for their own development, some may question whether of the socialized mind to the self-authoring mind, there people are inherently motivated to grow. Yet, the majority will naturally be a greater drive for ownership of people can reflect on what is common knowledge in by individuals. most workplaces: the people who grow the most are Of course not everything can be organized and carried also the ones hungriest to grow even more. Clayton out by the individuals, and the role of learning and Alderfer’s Existence, Relations, Growth (ERG) model of development professionals within organizations will human needs identified that the need for growth differs remain crucial. However, it may transform into more of 20 from the needs for physical well-being and relationships. a development partner whose main role is to innovate Alderfer found that the need for physical well-being and new structures and processes for development. Marc relationship concerns are satiated when met (the more Effron, president of the Talent Strategy group, predicts we get, the less we want), whereas the need for growth that much of the HR function may soon focus only on is not (the more growth we get, the more we want). developing talent, with much of the rest of their The implication for development is that if we can help duties being outsourced. people to get started on the path of genuine vertical This could mean that rather than a traffic cop development, the drive for still more growth 21 selecting and directing people into programs, the gathers momentum. future L&D professional could become more like a In addition, social psychologists have long identified community organizer who facilitates people, processes, that a sense of autonomy (ownership) is crucial for systems, and structures that connect networks people to feel intrinsically motivated. If the experience of people to each other and spreads a culture of of development is combined with a sense of autonomy development throughout the organization. Several over the development process, individuals are likely to interviewees pointed out that the most effective gain a significant boost in their motivation to leadership development programs shift responsibility for developing leaders away from HR and toward the current leaders of the organization. GE, for example, expects both the CEO and the senior managers to spend a significant amount of time at its leadership university (Crotonville) training future leaders. For L&D professionals this would mean partnering with senior leaders to build a true culture of development, a task that would require a great deal of skill and development for those who take up the challenge. The role of the learning professional would become both more critical to the business and more challenging for its practitioners. And despite positive signs that people are ready to take on greater ownership, several interviewees point out that we may yet need to be patient. It took us 50 years of the expert model to arrive at our current mind-set for development; it may take some time to transition to the next. 19 ©2014 Center for Creative Leadership. All rights reserved.