By, Frank Danzo – Senior Partner
In a company, leadership is critical to success or failure. Investing in future leadership is a question every company faces, yet many companies are not willing to take the time or spend the money to do just that. In the case of AMRI, they have done both – spent the money and more importantly their senior executives also have committed their time to mentor high potential employees and help them become the next generation of leaders.
Senior Vice President Dawn Von Rohr told a group of high-level potential employees, “Investing in leadership development of high potential employees is a commitment the company is making in its future as well as the people sitting in the room. It comes with both opportunity and responsibility. The opportunity is to learn and grow in your career and have exposure to highest level executives in the organization. The responsibility is to invest your time, be open to feedback and new experiences, and apply what you learn to increase your value to the company.”
AMRI connected with Experience on Demand to help them to develop and execute a year-long leadership development for 20 of their high potential employees.
The senior executives of AMRI nominated employees they felt had the highest potential and would benefit from a formal process. Once the nominees were collected, a vetting process followed which included senior executives reviewing the nominees and meeting to discuss each candidate and then make the final selections.
The selected high potential employees were matched with a mentor for the next twelve months and invited to participate in a kick-off training session. Prior to the kick-off session, each participant was asked to complete a 360-feedback assessment and DISC analysis.
During the kick-off session, the participants were guided through a leadership model to provide a framework and common leadership vocabulary. They were asked to prepare a career roadmap to demonstrate their future interests, craft their personal brand, test the strength of their network, and develop three (3) objectives they want to achieve in the next 12-months.
For each of the eight (8) aspects of leadership, the group was split into four (4) groups to brainstorm on how they can make that element of leadership come alive within their area of responsibility. Each group would narrow their list to the one (1) suggestion they felt was most realistic to implement. Then the groups would share suggestions with the larger group. At the end of the day we would have four (4) ideas how this high potential group could implement each element of leadership.
During the day the group was guided to build a mentoring plan to share with their mentor that included feedback from their 360 and DISC assessments, summary of their communication style, career roadmap, personal brand, network strength evaluation, and objectives they hope to achieve. This plan would be shared with their mentor to provide a foundation for the next 12-months.
The next day each participant had a one-on-one meeting with their mentor to share their plan, start building a relationship, agree on objectives, and lay out a schedule for future meetings.
We surveyed the participants on the workshop and received great feedback.
We will be following up on each participant through the year to ensure they are maximizing the benefits of the program and to help improve the program for future participants.