Action Learning Leadership Development: Telecom

Using Action Learning to Develop Technology Leaders in a Growing Telecom Company

Client Case Study

Situation

This regional Telecom Company developed a new market strategy and began the transition from a utility to a high-tech, communication service organization.  In preparation for this strategic shift, IT leaders wanted to prepare their mid-level managers to take on a leading role in executing a new strategy that would double the size of the company and put it on a national scale.

The goal for this initiative was to provide mid-level IT managers with executive management skills, greater leadership perspective, and core capabilities needed to take on critical new responsibilities, change initiatives, and new technologies. Specific goals for emerging leaders included:

  • Managing technology expansion programs with high levels of efficiency, effectiveness, and quality in a cost effective manner.
  • Identifying non-IT opportunities that impact the company’s bottom line and increase managers’ enterprise-wide understanding.
  • Balancing strategy execution with tactical challenges.
  • Communicating IT’s value proposition at all levels and roles within the organization.

Complications

  • Change: Managers had little reason to change the way they worked for a very long time; now they needed to innovate and drive value.
  • Learning Expectations: Participants were only used to traditional training with little accountability to learn. Now they would be on the hook to not only apply their learning, but also to produce tangible business impact.
  • Relevance: Provide a learning experience that was relevant to participants’ current and future roles within the company.
  • Executive Sponsorship: Get significant levels of senior executives’ participation to link action learning experiences to current and future IT initiatives.
  • Risk-Taking: The company’s hierarchical organization structure discouraged mid-level managers from taking risks and innovating.  This made it difficult to balance IT innovation with the rest of the company’s desire for IT to remain consistent and conservative.

Approach

The program combined traditional executive and leadership development approaches with an action learning format. Once a month for 4-hours, we provided targeted training on topics such as communication skills, problem solving, conflict management, motivating employees, risk management, and others. For the remainder of that day, and in between sessions, participants worked in cross-functional teams, with a goal of providing a significant contribution to the company’s bottom line or competitive position.

Teams progressed through the phases of a major project while they received just-in-time training, coaching, mentoring, and the tools necessary to succeed. Four teams of 4 participants went through the following steps over a twelve-month timeframe:

  1. Identify opportunities to either drive new revenue or decrease operational costs.
  2. Select one high potential opportunity and create a business case to present to senior executives for implementation approval.
  3. Lead the project implementation, engaging and influencing targeted areas within the company.
  4. Measure results from the project.

During the course of the project, each team received the following just-in-time support:

  • An executive mentor who provided knowledge and input on project focus, company politics, and how to keep on track.
  • A shared Executive Sponsor, the Chief Technology Officer, who met with teams between sessions to provide strategic guidance.
  • A senior operations manager who helped provide subject matter expertise to the program, the facilitators, and the teams.

Results
In twelve to twenty four months:

  • $150,000 in bottom line impact was realized in Year 1
  • $500,000 in bottom line impact was realized in Year 2
  • 25% of participants were promoted immediately following the program as a result of their performance and executive visibility.
  • 12.5% of participants made lateral moves as a result of interest, performance, and new relationships with non-IT executives.
  • The development of new critical processes and identification of marketing opportunities.

Related Information

I continue to be impressed by the level of leadership development training and management expertise and quality of advice and facilitation that LSA has to offer.

What a smart and client-centric group of great people who really know how to help assess and develop high performing leaders.

Tracy Esposito
Director

zynga LSA Global gaming client

We consider LSA Global the top outsourced learning and development partner.

We work closely with LSA to customize leadership and management development programs to meet our growing business needs.

I would highly recommend LSA to any company wanting to deliver high quality and practical learning solutions for their leaders and managers.

Terri Wright-Scheer
Vice President Human Resources

We reviewed the top Leadership Development offerings and selected LSA’s 12-month Leadership Program based upon the value and systemic approach.

The feedback on the program, approach, and results was phenomenal. While other programs may be better known, the other options were more theoretical and did not compare in terms of LSA’s practicality, quality, and results.

We could not be happier.

Stacey Porter
Senior Manager Learning and Development

Roche

LSA Global has been a great partner in helping us move toward being “the leading developer of talent in the service performance management industry.”

I have engaged LSA to help develop best-in-class programs in the areas of: Executive On-boarding, Manager Training, Sales Training and Coaching, Employee Engagement, and Instructional Design.

They have consistently met or exceeded my (very) high expectations and are always responsive to my needs to increase performance, engagement, customer satisfaction, and sales growth.

Mike Normant
Senior Director, Training & Development

Service Source

In my years working with LSA, it seems like I’ve had proven and thoughtful experts at my fingertips to help me identify and deliver the right solutions to satisfy our unique needs.

The entire LSA team has become a trusted friend of Actel — ensuring we provide state-of-the-art coaching, leadership development, and management training programs to meet our complex and ever-changing business and people needs.

Linda Mitchell
Training Manager

We turned to LSA to help us custom design and deliver a management development solution to help drive performance. They have done an excellent job diagnosing the business situation, designing a leadership approach that fits our culture, and delivering a first class solution with the support systems necessary to make a real difference.

I recommend LSA Global to anyone looking for real results.

Sally Buchannan
VP Human Resources

LSA’s action-learning leadership approach has been very beneficial to me, our leadership team, and the entire organization.

The balance of development and results has been excellent.

We have made huge progress, and I was also able to identify 2-3 high potentials while having the extra benefit of people stepping up to carry key strategic projects forward.

The experience was better than anticipated.  I could not be more pleased.

Heather Feltman
President & CEO

LSS

I continue to be impressed by the depth and breadth of LSA’s expertise in leadership development, and management development.

What a smart and client-centric group of great people who really know how to help leaders attract, engage, develop and retain top talent in a practical and results-driven manner.

Thank you LSA!

Tracy Esposito
Director, HR Business Partner

I’ve been associated with LSA for the last 8 years and have found them to be extremely professional and client-focused.

I’ve participated in a number of solutions ranging from Performance Management to Leadership Training.  I’ve found the quality to be superior.

They are always well prepared and have definitely done a considerable amount of pre-work in order to customize to our unique culture and goals.

Duane Schroeder
Human Resource Manager

Having tripled in size and recently merged, LSA helped our executive team to increase our level of strategic alignment, to solidify our new direction, and to push our agency forward.

As we look to rapidly scale, the clear, actionable, and critical few strategic moves combined with how we differentiate ourselves to our top accounts and target clients has really set us on a great path to success.

This is exactly what we needed to get to the next level. Thank you LSA!

Matt Britton
CEO

Thanks for your incredible patience and passion working with our leadership team to create alignment.

Your leadership and executive coaching services have been one of the most effective I’ve ever known.

Debbie Von Raesfeld
Director and HR Business Partner

AMD

LSA is an instrumental training outsourcing partner helping us to build leadership and management capacity while strategically investing in our people.

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Their ability to custom design, deliver, and evaluate high impact Management Training Programs has been excellent. They are true business partners and a pleasure to work with.

Margaret M. Mader
Vice President, Human Resources

Hyperion

For our go to training outsourcing partner, LSA provides exactly what we want and need – which is not an easy task.

As always, they design and deliver outstanding leadership development results and high quality management training programs that totally align with our unique business and talent strategies!

Elizabeth Siebert
Director, Organizational Excellence & Development

Intuit

Over the years, both at 3Com and now at Redback, I’ve found LSA Global to be a valuable partner. The recent management programs that they delivered for Redback’s executive and management teams was the right solution, of the highest of quality, and customized to fit our unique business and culture. I would highly recommend LSA to any company looking for top quality solutions.

Gina Fulton
Vice President of Human Resources

At a time of change in our marketplace, LSA Global did an exceptional job helping our executive team create strategic clarity by helping us to define, clarify, and prioritize our corporate vision, mission, values, differentiation, target clients, strategic priorities, success metrics and key roles.

They beautifully navigated a very difficult and fuzzy situation, respectfully cleared out all of the cultural elephants, and shared impactful insights and leadership development theories along the way. They have transformed our business.

Laurie Sewell
President & CEO

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