With each new generation comes change. The Baby Boomers watched television change from black and white to color. Generation Xers watched broadcast television evolve to cable, and the Millennials would rather watch a computer screen than a TV.
Just as television has evolved, so has leadership. The leadership's first generation centered on motivation or style. The second generation examined a leader's skill mastery. Now, the third generation of leadership has emerged and concentrates on a leader's ability to read the environment effectively and achieve results.
Business magazines and books profile "celebrity leaders"—such as Jack Welch—in terms of style and skills, which overlooks the key factor that made them notable: their ability to deliver results. Since results count so highly in forming opinions of leaders, it naturally follows that leadership's third generation examines the leader's result orientation.
The advantage of the third generation of leadership is that it provides a framework for leaders to make a wise business decision on goals to pursue, benefits to communicate, and what must happen to ensure execution. Competencies and style are necessary, but insufficient, for leadership success. These must be exercised within a framework that uses the environment and targets results.
Dr. Mary Lippitt is president of Enterprise Management Ltd., a firm that specializes in developing leadership effectiveness, building high trust cultures, and executing strategic change.
By Dr. Stephen C. Lundin
Organizations don't innovate, people do.
Much of what is written about innovation is written from a strategic, top management, or organizational perspective. This literature is important to the development of knowledge about innovation but insufficient for one big reason: Ultimately, innovation is the product of human beings. Hence, if you want to increase the level of innovation in an organization, a logical way to approach the task would be to improve the innovation capabilities of individual employees.
CATS: The Nine Lives of Innovation constitutes a curriculum for building innovation capability. CATS is based on a basic belief that we all have the capacity to innovate, but that capacity requires development. Each of the nine lives enhances the capability to innovate by developing one aspect of innovation. A fundamental assumption of CATS is that when individuals with a greater innovation capability populate the teams and task forces of an organization, the overall level of innovation will increase.
CATS: The Nine Lives of Innovation provides both a framework and a set of tools. The framework is helpful in organizing the rather unruly world of innovation at an individual level. The tools provide a variety of ways to improve innovation capability for those who are already good at it, as well as those who thought they didn't have a creative bone in their body. You don't have to be bad at innovation to get better.
Stephen Lundin, Ph.D., is the best-selling author of the "FISH!" series of books, and has an inventory of work experience ranging from dishwasher to think tank executive, teacher, business school dean, golf caddy, camp director, small business owner, and national sales manager. His new project, CATS: The Nine Lives of Innovation, will be released as a book, workbook, and training program in 2009.
By Ajay Pangarkar
The balanced scorecard (BSC) increasingly is the strategic business tool of choice for many organizations, and it is directly implicating workplace learning into the strategic equation. The primary objective of the BSC is to link the organization's strategic objectives and direction to tangible measures encompassing four strategically focused areas. Fundamentally, the BSC is about performance measures. Coincidentally, this is also what our role as learning professionals has become, as well (hence the term, "workplace learning and performance").
One of the four components often ineffectively applied is the "learning and growth" perspective. The BSC is an opportunity for senior management and those with the responsibility for organizational learning and performance to communicate through a common language, establish realistic tangible measures and targets, and attain the ultimate goal: the organization's strategic objectives. With the growing emphasis on making training accountable within the organization (business impact and ROI), getting management to develop and apply the learning and growth component, and ensuring learning professionals understand business, it is clear the BSC will play an ever-increasing role in the future.
Furthermore, training and development departments must focus on two primary issues: managing internal tasks and spearheading workplace learning initiatives. These initiatives need to be in line with organizational objectives and integrate learning activities into everyday business processes. This requires learning professionals to understand business processes and their connection to other operational areas and the ability to communicate outcomes in business terms. Three specific areas of knowledge are required: an understanding of financial concepts, developing lasting and result-oriented internal partnerships, and communicating outcomes in business and strategic terms.
Developing these skills also will facilitate efforts to obtain buy-in from all levels of decision-makers and participants within the organization. If you only seek support from the highest-level decision-makers, the training, more often than not, is doomed to fail since those directly affected were not consulted. Learn how to get the inside track within your organization from training participants, mid-level managers, and executive management to ensure your initiative is a success.
Ajay Pangarkar is a learning strategist and thought leader known for his passion for delivering business results from every learning initiative. His efforts have led him to develop assessment management systems and to publish three books, including "Building Business Acumen for Trainers: Skills to Empower the Learning Function" and his most recent, "The Trainer's Balanced Scorecard: A Complete Resource for Linking Learning and Growth to Organizational Strategy" (Pfeiffer 2009).