“Leader-proof” your transformation efforts: Mind the gap

Posted by Noah Rabinowitz on May 24, 2017.

As the world rapidly transforms around us, organizations have had to learn how to adapt quickly or risk falling behind, or even worse, become extinct. For example, only 12 percent of the Fortune 500 com­panies from 1955 are still in business, and last year alone, 26 percent fell off the list.1 During periods of disruption and change, leaders can either serve as the primary catalyst for growth, or hold companies back. One of the greatest challenges today is understanding whether the leaders you have in place are the right leaders to support transformation.

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Three keys to making culture change stick


Posted by Marc Kaplan on April 18, 2017.

Culture is top of mind for leaders around the world and has become widely recognized as a competitive advantage in executing organizational strategies. Organizations need to be ready and able to adapt their culture as their strategies evolve. Deloitte research found that 86 percent of executives surveyed rate culture as “very important” or “important,” and 82 percent say “culture is a potential competitive advantage.”1 However, the same survey revealed that only 12 percent of companies believe their organizations are driving the “right” culture. This may not sound like an issue, but research shows that when culture and strategy are aligned, companies can show as much as 50 percent differential in performance,2 certainly something worth working toward.

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A better way forward: Learner-centric leadership development

A better way forward: Learner-centric leadership development
Posted by Noah Rabinowitz on January 6, 2017.

As we’ve discussed in parts one and two of our four-part series, leadership development is about giving people the knowledge, tools, and experiences they need to be effective leaders at your organization. That means developing them in the context of your business strategies and the issues you face in executing those strategies and reaching goals. Delivering that type of contextual leadership development starts with thinking differently about how you approach leadership learning. To be truly effective, your learners—not the content or the delivery mode or the underlying technology—should be at the center of your approach.

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A better way forward: A business-first approach to leadership development

A better way forward: A business-first approach to leadership development
Posted by Noah Rabinowitz on November 09, 2016.

You may be familiar with cookbook approaches to leadership development: a dash of reading, a sprinkling of inspirational lectures, a few stretch assignments, a bit of mentoring, a case study or two, and even some cool field trips. The result might make leaders feel more prepared or more skilled in general and typically provides a great opportunity to expand their peer network, but the learning often isn’t readily applicable to the real-world problems of the business. In the second installment of our four-part series on leadership development, we look at how organizations can make the development effort more real, more relevant, and more likely to make a meaningful impact by tying it directly to the business.

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The chicken or the egg

Does culture create a leader, or can a leader create culture?

The chicken or the egg
Posted by Anthony Abbatiello on October 07, 2016.

What came first, the chicken or the egg? That question may be as old as time itself.

At Deloitte, we’re pondering a modern version of that question. Does the leader create the culture or does the culture create the leader? Taking that a step further, what’s the cost to an organization’s culture if the leader is a “bad” egg? Culture is a system of values, beliefs, and behaviors that shape how real work gets done in an organization. When organizational culture is aligned to business strategy, the workforce will act and behave in ways that support the achievement of business goals. It’s the leaders’ duty to uphold the values and beliefs of the organization’s culture through their actions and decisions. This, in turn, enables the execution of strategy.
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A better way forward: Digging out of the leadership development black hole

A better way forward: Digging out of the leadership development black hole
Posted by Noah Rabinowitz on September 09, 2016.

Leadership development is big business, to the tune of $31 billion in 2014.1 But where’s the payoff for that investment? Many companies don’t really know (and their consultants allow it to happen). They assume it’s a good thing to do, but leadership development is notorious for not being tracked or assessed in conjunction with the rest of the business or with the same rigor as other decisions and investments. This situation is not likely to be tolerated in any other area of the business and is clearly not sustainable. Yet here it persists, a veritable black hole where plenty of dollars go in, but few measurable results come out. I’d like to propose a better way.

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New TEDx talk: How to be smarter and make better choices (in just 13 minutes!)

New TEDx talk: How to be smarter and make better choices (in just 13 minutes!)
Posted by Juliet Bourke on May 10, 2016.

Five years ago I started reading everything I could find on the topic of diversity of thinking and decision making. There was a lot more opinion than fact, so I started doing my own research too. And, because I work in consulting, my team and I did a lot of our research in real workplaces. So our ideas are thoughtful and practical.

I made mistakes—the biggest one was to think that diversity of thinking was a substitute for capability. It’s not. You can’t just put a whole lot of people into a room who know nothing about a topic and assume that diversity of thinking will plug those knowledge gaps. Take it from me—I tried it, it doesn’t work.

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