Client Profile & Challenge
A global healthcare company that develops and manufactures pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and nonprescription health products, has gone through numerous changes as part of a turnaround initiative. It divested assets, reorganized into 4 primary groups, and strengthened its finances. It also had acquired new business units.
To support those strategic efforts, the company centralized its leadership development program and defined new organizational competencies. The company wanted to create a common understanding of leadership internally, especially with promising frontline managers.
Those up-and-coming leaders were spread throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. To work across geographies and time zones, the organization needed an asynchronous
leadership development experience.
Our Frontline Leader Impact (FLI) program was an ideal fit.
Solution & Results
The organization identified 51 participants based on managers’ recommendations. We know the optimal cohort size for this kind of virtual experience is 15-35 participants. That size balances having a wide enough range of experiences to create vibrant discussions, while also being small enough that each participant has a voice. So we divided participants into 2 cohorts.
To maximize the impact, we took extra steps to engage both the participants and their managers. Kick-off meetings were held with each group; to generate excitement and set expectations for program attendees, and to explain to managers how they could support their direct reports during the leadership development experience. We also sent weekly guides to those managers, so they could discuss the learning material with their direct reports and how to apply it in their jobs. Research shows that manager support and engagement helps participants stay accountable and retain and apply what they learn.
The FLI program includes “Impact Points,” which gamify learning by adding energy to online discussions and providing a fun element of competition, as participants can see how many points they and their peers are earning throughout the experience.
This gives us and our clients another tool to assess the effectiveness of the Frontline Leader Impact learning experience in real time.
Over 6 weeks, the FLI program focuses on developing the key leadership competencies our research has found leaders on the front lines need to succeed: Self-awareness, learning agility, communication, political savvy, influencing outcomes, and motivating others. Participants engage in over 18 hours of learning and discuss insights with one another on the online platform.
The participants carry out 2 projects to put their learning into practice. First, they develop individual leadership growth plans in which they identify their own strength and challenge areas and decide how to address those after FLI is over.
Second, participants take on a key leadership challenge, which makes conceptual material relevant and concrete, accelerating participant learning. Some of the key leadership challenges chosen by these 2 cohorts were:
- Motivating direct reports to execute a crucial part of their jobs that had historically been neglected.
- Leading change management in conflicting or outdated processes.
- Building influence within a cross-functional team to ensure overall project goals are achieved.
The client reported that FLI provided significant value. When asked if they would likely recommend the course to others, participants gave Frontline Leader Impact an average score of 8.2. Pleased with the “white glove” virtual experience we offer, the client is looking to move forward with implementing additional leadership development at various levels, including the senior team, as a way to equip the organization with the skills needed to face future disruption to the healthcare industry.
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