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Workshop Notes: Leadership Development

 We thought you might be interested in receiving a summary of the main points discussed at the latest SSH (Salans, Scala, Higher Talent) breakfast seminar on leadership development, hosted by Michael Bronstein, Employment Law partner, Salans International Law firm. Delegates enjoyed a lively, vibrant discussion, spectacular views of the Thames looking across to the Tate Modern, and a delicious breakfast.

 

The new leadership model: Janice Caplan

A new leadership model based on “shared vision, shared values and shared understanding”©  is vital to enable businesses to compete and survive in the new world.

 

Leaders must

  • create conditions for collaboration, innovation and change
  • role-model the organisation’s values
  • communicate a clear vision
  • take a future-oriented approach and develop long-term strategies
  • hold ‘meaningful conversations with direct reports about performance and careers, as well as about strategy implementation so as to disseminate ‘shared understanding’
  • develop the people who will be the next to occupy their seats
  • actively promote a talent mindset that emphasises that everyone is important

Does the shared leadership model work at a global level across cultures?

The complexity of global working is one of the factors driving the shift away from “command and control,” and its ‘do it my way’ message, to the “shared vision, shared values, shared understanding” model, which allows people in different countries and different parts of the business to do it their way, but within certain common guidelines.

 

MTV (Money, Trust and Vision): Michael Bronstein

Bonuses and variable pay are generally worded so they are completely at the discretion of the employer. This often leads to disputes, reinforces a ‘command and control’ model, erodes trust and encourages a short-term approach. The courts are moving employers away from this by emphasising that unlimited discretion must be subject to the implied term that it will be exercised genuinely, rationally and in good faith. Craft a reward strategy, spelling out the criteria for reward, rather than tightly wording a bonus scheme. Look carefully at performance conditions because if they are challenged, they may not be as you wanted. Strike the right balance between rewarding individual achievement and collective results.

 

The implied term of trust and confidence in the contract of employment has previously focused on employers’ obligations. To take account of new ways of working, the courts are now evolving the term to be one of mutual trust and confidence.

 

Directors’ responsibilities and contracts should be reviewed in the light of the Corporate Governance Code. It is important to remember to review contracts when promoting internally.

 

Brand Me: Alison Hughes

 Increasingly employers are recruiting for the new behavioural competencies and coaching skills required of the “shared vision, shared values, shared understanding” model, as well as ability to negotiate your way around the new organisational structures, especially matrix working. There is also a greater awareness of matching people not just to the job, but also to the cultural fit. This requires sophisticated assessment techniques, as a higher performing candidate in one organisation may not perform so highly in another.



[1] The Value of Talent: promoting talent management across the organization; Caplan, Janice; Kogan Page, London, Philadelphia, New Delhi 2011

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People in business today want outstanding learning and development, when they need it, at a time that suits them, and delivered in a manner that fits their learning styles and preferences. Businesses need people to come to grips with new challenges quickly. There is no time for catch up and it is vital to quickly decide which strategic opportunity to take advantage of, and then be able to act quicly. This requires a deep understanding of your people, and who has the potential and the aspiration to take on a particular challenge. It requires a workforce that is constantly learning and developing in line with the business needs on the horizon.

 

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