LSA Global Announces Action Learning Leadership Performance – Case Study Results

Santa Clara, CA, March 23, 2009 – LSA Global, the premier one-stop global training and consulting firm that focuses on achieving measurable business results with a select group of clients, today announced results from a recent client case study.

“Leading and forward-thinking companies are still investing in their people,” states Russ Silva, Head of the Leadership Practice for LSA Global. “More and more, the investments are taking the form of action-based leadership training initiatives to help drive the top and bottom lines.”

Though leadership as a discipline is abstract, expectations of leaders are crystal clear. We expect leaders to make decisions with an enterprise perspective—decisions that add value to the bottom line and inspire employees to achieve a congruent organizational design and vision.

“This recent case study with a leading financial services institution reaffirms our belief that training and business results can, and should, go hand-in-hand.” According to Silva, “These kinds of results should be the norm, not the exception.”

Background
This industry leader in the real estate investment market decided to capitalize on slow economic times by developing their existing and future leaders while simultaneously improving their business operations.

Goal
The goal of the program was to develop the next generation of leaders that would significantly grow the company and maintain the philosophy and culture created by the original founders. Specific objectives were to:

  • Identify key opportunities that would impact the company’s bottom line
  • Execute strategies that would create a distinct competitive advantage
  • Initiate and lead change effectively within the organization

Challenge
The Leadership Development Program needed to explicitly address the following challenges:

 

  • Effectively utilize the collective company and industry knowledge of senior executives in different functional roles
  • Provide a learning experience that was relevant to participants’ day jobs and future roles within the company
  • Remain at all times practical and applicable to the overall corporate strategy so that results from the team initiatives were clearly visible to and appreciated by senior executives
  • Generate bottom line financial benefits in terms of increased revenue and decreased costs far exceeding the overall costs of the program

 

 

Approach
An action learning format provided the foundation of the program. 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. The teams of three went through the following steps over a six month time period:

  1. Identified opportunities to either drive new revenue or decrease operational costs
  2. Selected one high potential opportunity and created a business case to present to senior executives for implementation approval
  3. Led the project planning, implementation, engaging and influencing most areas of the company
  4. Measured the results of their efforts

During the course of the project, each team was supported by an executive coach who provided significant knowledge to the team about their project focus, company politics, and how to keep on track. Each team also had an executive sponsor—the CEO, the President, or the Chief Risk Officer, each meeting with their assigned team on a regular basis to provide strategic decision making training and guidance.

Results
The Leadership Development Program produced significant results across three dimensions: business results, leadership maturation, and organizational learning.

1. Business Results

  • Approximately $3 million realized in year 1 bottom line impact
  • $10 million plus expected in bottom line impact in year 2
  • Development of new critical processes
  • Validation of several key current processes
  • Identification of new high potential market opportunities
  • Recognition of several very high potential new leaders in the company

2. Leadership Maturation
The most profound and meaningful learning for the participants was their own reflections based on their experiences at each stage of their project. While they learned about theories, methods and tools that could help them, their biggest “Ah Ha’s” came from breakthroughs in their own thinking, or from the consequences of their actions, as evidenced by the comments below. Participants identified the following key areas of learning:

 

  • “Seeing opportunities”; not overlooking ideas because they seemed too simple
  • Presenting to senior management – being brief and knowing when to stop “selling”
  • Pre-selling your ideas before ‘official’ meetings within the organization
  • Doing enough due-diligence to trust the data you receive
  • Optimizing an internal process can generate revenue as much as cutting costs
  • Big picture ideas are great, but smaller, more manageable projects often have greater “yield”
  • Acting quickly to vet great ideas
  • Not relying on outside partners to determine your revenue
  • Asking lots of questions in the beginning and organizing accordingly
  • Being flexible with your ideas/visions and being adaptable to a fast changing environment
  • Making sure everyone has a clear understanding and agreement on the objectives/deliverables, etc
  • Not being afraid to step up and lead, particularly in the absence of leadership. Being confident
  • Knowing that it is incredibly valuable to work inter departmentally
  • It is not enough just to have good ideas. You need to be able to convince other people that your ideas are good in order for your good ideas to gain traction
  • Absent accountability, opportunities (or $$) can fall through the cracks

 

 

3. Organizational Learning
The breadth of the opportunities addressed in this program required involvement from nearly the entire company and expanded the cross-functional learning and discovery process to all employees who were involved. As participants learned what they could achieve by acting as leaders, so did all who were tangentially involved in the projects.

Action Learning Results
Finally, the following participant quotes attest to the success of the action learning format in developing new leaders:

  • “Good microcosm of the issues and opportunities that happen every day at our company.”
  • “The team learned how to manage working in an unstructured environment, dealing with time pressures, and working with different personalities.”
  • “Typically skills development is done through formal training in a seminar with a lecture, simulations, and/or role playing for a few hours, making it easy to go back to your day-to-day routine and old habits. The leadership project was an opportunity to develop long lasting skills over a six-month period working on a real world problem with actual financial benefits to the company.”
  • This crash-course in navigating the roads to successful leadership at our company provided hands-on experience that will serve me well in my career.”

To learn more about LSA Global’s Leaders in Action Learning Program, please visit http://www.lsaglobal.com/learning-solutions/onsite/Bottom-Line-Learning-Leaders-In-Action.asp

About LSA Global

Since 1995, LSA has helped leading organizations create and maintain distinct competitive advantages through people. We are a training and consulting firm that is skeptical of the value of stand-alone training. For development to provide value, we believe that learning should be approached as a business change initiative–not as an event or employee benefit.

Our solutions focus on full implementation in the areas of:

  • Assessment
  • Sales Revenue Growth
  • Leadership and Management Performance
  • Project Management Performance
  • Measurement

We believe our clients’ success in the marketplace is realized through increased revenue, decreased costs, and higher productivity.

We are fiercely devoted to the success of our clients and proud that over 85% of our business comes from repeat business with satisfied clients and that we have a 97%+ customer satisfaction rating.

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Karen King, SPHR
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We recently surveyed our agents after their participation in the Contact Center training. The results were impressive: 100 percent rated the overall experience as being “valuable” with 85 percent giving it the highest rating of “very valuable”. Also, 100 percent found this selling model to be valuable with 80 percent rating it as “very valuable”, and 100 percent found the coaching methods and practices featured to be accurate and insightful.

Technology Company
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Michelle A. Mitchell
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Natalie McCullough
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