Developing Leaders and Organizations for Breakthrough Results
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Client Testimonials

"Our leaders have all benefited tremendously, both personally and professionally, and we are a more collaborative and much better lead organization as a result. The development journey Doug and his colleagues facilitated has actually helped us change the culture within the organization."

Scott Dinsdale
SVP, Digital Operations & New Technology
Sony Music Entertainment

Developing Senior Leadership

Why is leadership development important and what factors are critical for success?
Companies around the world devote a huge amount of time, money and effort to leadership development and training. Even in the face of increasing uncertainty and dramatic change, companies continue to dedicate resources to this vital source of competitive advantage. The message is clear – leadership development matters. The recent "perfect storm" of organizational challenges and leadership pressures has prompted study after study hoping to determine a key to survival. And in study after study superior financial and organizational performance have been linked to insights and inspiration of effective leadership. In a recent study the Corporate Leadership Council found that organizations with strong leadership bench strength have approximately 10 percent higher total shareholder return than their weaker peers. Similarly, companies with above average financial returns have more comprehensive succession planning processes and are more committed to systematically developing their leaders.

What brings these results? Research and a review of best practice in leadership development have identified five factors that drive successful leadership development. Companies have shown that by following these practices they can effectively improve their leadership development results and achieve a healthy ROI from their organization's commitment to leadership development. They are:

  • Start with Senior Management
  • Link Leadership Development Directly to the Business
  • Identify and assess individuals on key competencies that drive the business
  • Build an Integrated Leadership Strategy Linked to Performance Management and Succession Planning
  • Hold Senior Leaders Accountable for Developmental and Business Results

The research and our experience have demonstrated that individually each of these factors will yield positive results; however, practiced together, they can propel an organization to new heights in leadership development.

How MDA Associates International builds high-impact, business-focused, customized leadership development programs.
We know that leaders who keep learning and growing, during good times and bad, may be the ultimate source of sustainable competitive advantage. MDA Associates International has been working with companies for over 25 years to turn this fact into a reality. Too often leadership programs are viewed as irrelevant, too theoretical and disconnected from the leader's job. The whole experience is too often poorly designed and executed.

In order for leadership development programs to be effective they must pass five tests.

  1. The leaders involved must be able to recognize that the leadership skills, practices and knowledge being taught are important for them to learn.
  2. The program must be structured and delivered in a manner that is exciting, engaging and energizing.
  3. The program content must be business-focused and closely connected to the issues and challenges the participants deal with in their daily lives as leaders.
  4. The program must include a reliable assessment component that provides unbiased feedback on how others perceive the leader and skilled coaches to help them interpret the data and develop realistic improvement plans.
  5. The program must provide clear opportunities for participants to apply what they've learned to the way they perform their jobs.

We know there is no such thing as a standardized program. Different business challenges and market conditions and unique strategies require different kinds of leadership. We have been designing and delivering highly successful programs that pass these five tests for over two decades for companies on four continents including GE, Citibank, Sony Music, Sri Lankan Airlines, HSBC, GoodHope Asia, Gillette, Bayer, MAS Holdings, Hirdramani Group and Gather.com.

The ability to attract and retain superior intellectual capital is a primary source of competitive advantage. Leaders are best measured by the results they achieve. MDA Associates International helps organizations identify the competencies that differentiate between your average and superior performers and their leaders need now and for the future, and define the results by which their success will be measured. We design and deliver development processes that assure capabilities will be available when needed. These include performance management, learning processes and programs, retention, and succession planning.