Creating a Leadership Pipeline

Posted on March 11, 2008. Filed under: HCI Summit, Trends |


Richard Wellins Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Research
Development Dimensions International (DDI) and Author of “Talent Management in Motion: Keeping Up With an Evolving Workforce” moderated our panel today on creating a leadership pipeline. Panelists included:

  • Debbie Logan, Global Talent Development, Halliburton
  • Joseph C. ILvento, Global Director Leadership & Development, Citi

So the panel started with Wellins saying employee communication/HR processes shouldn’t suddenly become business processes, they already are.

Into the pipeline… DDI has surveyed more than 12k leaders in 1,500 organizations. Seventy-five percent of senior leaders say leveraging talent is their top priority. This was the highest ranked result. This is not HR execs, so a critical movement from the top-side.

At the same time, faith in corporate leadership has declined significantly in the past ten years. HR execs faith in leaders dropped 12 points from 47 percent to 35 percent. Ouch! Similarly, this year top leaders have less faith in their first time, first level leaders.

Ilvento thought today’s flatter organizations have reduced opportunity. First line managers are often stars and have less training today, thus less confidence in them. Logan says promotions occur because of technical excellence, not leadership skills. Training does not occur…

Formal workshops are unfortunately the most used training session. Assignments are often the hardest learning experiences to better manage the training aspects. Embracing structures around experiences in the actual job can be much more effective training than a workshop.  A diversity of training methods yields the best training program, according to leaders.

Logan says the company is looking at its individual tasks as places to better adapt and the learn. Online learning is not as effective for senior leaders. Age has nothing to do with it. It’s hard for them to focus online with everything else going on. They need to separate from the computer and go somewhere.

A lot of goals were discussed, and a very serious conversation ensued about the effectiveness of our organizational training.  In addition, companies need to embrace a lot more real world experiences.  This was a point emphasized and reemphasized throughout the session.

This was a highly conversational session, with breakouts and active discussion.


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