In times of rapid change, senior executives want to bolster bottom-line performance and continuously develop their organizations — and that calls for building leadership learning into the everyday execution of strategy. But how do you do that effectively?

Bill Pasmore, CCL’s senior vice president for organizational leadership development, has worked with clients, partners and colleagues to link strategy and leadership to improve performance. “Companies need to leverage leadership development throughout the system to build the skills, beliefs and culture they need to succeed,” he says.

Pasmore points to Cardo as a case study of the power of integrating leadership development with business strategy. Pasmore recently hosted a CCL Webinar to show how the global company is transforming to a high-commitment, high-performance culture.

As with CCL’s approach to transforming organizational cultures, Cardo executives began with the knowledge that individual and organizational beliefs must align with the business strategy. In other words, leadership culture is critical for organizational change.

During the Webinar, Peter Aru, Cardo CEO, said that to accomplish its ambitious new global, integrated strategy, the company needed to transform its culture. “I am not naïve,” he said. “The strategy is constrained by our culture.”

With the goal of building a single Cardo culture, the company built a leadership development process rooted in the work of Michael Beer of Harvard Business School and Truepoint. Beer’s model for creating high-commitment, high-performance cultures includes performance alignment, psychological alignment, and continuous learning and change.

Truepoint facilitated a “strategic fitness” process to help Cardo leaders assess where there were gaps between the strategy and the reality of the organization. Then, a leadership development process was created, using a combination of individual training and leadership skill-building, coaching and reflection, action learning and a commitment to continuous learning. Action learning projects “are where things happen” from a learning perspective, and, at the same time, the business is seeing a return of up to 24 times its investment with those projects.

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