The Leaderful Way.
Increasing Employee Engagement and Business Performance by Unleashing the Leadership Potential Already in Your Organization
It is widely known that increased discretionary effort, work that goes beyond the basic job requirements, leads to higher performance, reduced turnover, and positive endorsements of the workplace. Leadership development often attempts to create these desired employee outcomes by focusing on the personal competencies of a small number of “high potentials” or executive leaders at the top. Instead, we believe that effective leadership development creates these outcomes by transforming the work environment, creating a leaderful organization – one that is “full” of leadership – where everyone leads together and at the same time.
Why Work With Us? We are a group of consultants, coaches, and facilitators that can help you create a safe, collaborative environment where everyone contributes, thereby unleashing the leadership potential that already exists in your organization. Given an increasingly flexible, competent, and technology-sophisticated workforce, your organization should operate in ways that encourage leadership at all levels. The “bottom-line” benefits include increased quality, innovation, proactivity, resiliency, and learning.
Leaderful Action Learning
The leaderful consultancy is committed to developmental experiences that promote collective “leaderful” practice, a form of dynamic leadership that is distributed across a range of individuals in which everyone participates in leadership both concurrently and collectively. The modality that we prefer for our “leaderful” development is known as “action learning,” a strategy used in a group setting whereby employees seeks to generate learning from interacting with their colleagues while attempting to solve real (not simulated) work problems. Participants form learning teams to work on designated projects of strategic import typically formulated by “sponsors” in upper management. In learning teams, often facilitated by skilled process consultants, participants discuss the practical dilemmas arising from their projects as well as the application or misapplication of theories attending to them. In this way they not only learn how to solve a corporate-wide problem often outside their area of expertise but also learn management skills within a team setting.
The connection between action learning and leaderful practice is critical to our consultancy and its offer to our clients. We believe that change in the direction of more democratic processes that can unleash leadership potential (as described in our consulting brief) is best achieved when managers are immersed in their own practices. We merely accelerate the process by placing them in an action learning setting to see how they might “learn their way out!” We then expose them to reflective dialogue to help them sort through the blockages that get in the way of productive discourse and action.
Our action learning approach consequently develops particular habits and attitudes that give rise to an appreciation of leadership as a collective process that extends beyond the individual. It develops in participants a peripheral awareness of one another. They see value in sharing leadership. In both the project and learning team features of action learning, team members begin to make use of the team’s resources and recognize the strengths and weaknesses of others, e.g., who provides support to team members in need, who fosters team spirit, who knows where to find answers to the most intractable of problems, who explores and reports on opportunities outside the team.
While working with participants often at staff and managerial levels, we also prefer to set up dialogues with their bosses, with their sponsors, and with top management. We like everyone to be on the same page in an appreciation of the learning process. In other words, we want the teams to produce effective projects of value greater than what could be produced by business consultants, but at the same time, we want all levels of the organization to have a transformative experience in leaderful practice. So, at the end of the project, we like to have a celebration of learning during which the merits of the action learning projects are subjected to a full reflective dialogue to determine next steps rather than have sponsors render a thumbs-up or thumbs-down verdict.
We are prepared to discuss this design in more depth with you and also offer demonstrations of our approach, using both ½ and full-day formats. We look forward to working with you!