Tag Archives

25 Articles

Building Team Resilience w/ Kathryn McEwen

Posted by Alex Fullick on
Building Team Resilience w/ Kathryn McEwen

Join me Thursday, June 22/23 at 1pm EST!  I’m joined by globally renown resilience team building expert, organizational psychologist, author, and entrepreneur, Kathryn McEwen. Resilience in the workplace is a topic organizations around the globe is tackling, and trying to understand what it really means and how to address it. Kathryn will help us understand this.

During our discussion, Kathryn talks about:

1. Defining team resilience,

2. Building personal resilience at work,

3. Building resilient teams,

4. The impact and culture of organizational culture,

5. Measuring resilience,

6. Aligning team resilience with other disciplines (e.g., BCM, Risk, etc.),

7. DE&I…and so much more!

Don’t miss Kathryn great insights on how to build resilience – in ourselves and in our teams. It’s one you don’t want to miss. Enjoy!


The Customer Experience and Business Continuity w/ Charlein Barni

Posted by presspass on
The Customer Experience and Business Continuity w/ Charlein Barni

Join me Thursday, March 9/23 at 1pm EST on the VoiceAmerica Business Channel!

As a result of COVID, there is allot more talk and interactions between teams – internally and externally – with regards to Business Continuity, Disaster Planning, and the like. But what doesn’t seem to be talked about very much, if at all, is the customer experience, I speak with long-time BCM and customer experience specialist, Charlein Barni, about BCM and the customer experience.

We talk about:

1. Defining what ‘customer experience’ means,

2. Defining exactly who is a customer (more than you might think),

3. Internal and external organizational views and interactions,

4. What org’s sometime get wrong about the customer experience,

5. How important organizational culture is to the customer experience,

6. When an experience ends…,

7. Measuring engagement with customer experiences and how engagement is often misinterpreted,

8. The BCM lifecycle and what it contains,

9. The most important part of the BCM lifecycle when it comes to the customer experience, 10. Measuring customer experiences…and much, much more.

It’s obvious Charlein is passionate about BCM and the customer experience. Don’t miss her insights as she talks about a topic not often broached in BCM. Enjoy!


Bus. Continuity Mgmt.: A Guide to Org. Resilience and ISO 22301

Posted by rstapholz on
Bus. Continuity Mgmt.: A Guide to Org. Resilience and ISO 22301

Join me May 19, 2022 at 1pm EST!

Sometimes the size and scale of Business Continuity Management (BCM) can be intimidating – to people in our own industry and to those trying to understand the industry. I speak with noted expert and author of ‘Business Continuity Management: A Practical Guide to Organizational Resilience and ISO 22301’, James Crask.

For this episode we talk about:

1. Defining resilience,

2, What can be learned from international standards (the benefits and the pitfalls),

3. Lessons for the BCM and resilience industries from COVID19,

4. Establishing governance in BCM and Resilience,

5. Writing plans and procedures (and what to do with the ‘fluff’), and

6. Exercising our plans – and who should be involved. And much more!

James helps bring clarify to many key BCM topics to enable any professional and organization thrive in their BCM and resilience programs. Enjoy!


Cyber-Attack Response: A Focus on Resilience & Reputation

Posted by presspass on
Cyber-Attack Response: A Focus on Resilience & Reputation

Join me Jan 14/21, 9am EST as I talk to senior crisis management and business continuity consultant Mark Hoffman. We’ll discuss how the Crisis Management Team and the Cyber-Security team can work together to define a solid response, manage communications, and ensure quality decision making when a cyber attack occurs.

Cyber attacks are on the increase – don’t miss this!


Show Logo w Microphone.jpg

Everyone’s Actions Matter – How Will You Participate in Positive Change?

Posted by presspass on
Everyone’s Actions Matter – How Will You Participate in Positive Change?

To receive the Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blogs via email, please sign-up here.

This blog is provided by Dan Mushalko, as a companion to the interview with Jack Modzelewski and his interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled Leadership, Communication and Credibility in a High-Stakes World that aired on April 14, 2020.


Humanity sits unquestionably in transition. This is particularly true in the United States, which faces three simultaneous and intertwined crises:  a wounded economy, a blistering pandemic, and dynamic social upheaval from racial inequality.

There simply is no going back to the old normal. This tumultuous trio weighs heavily on realities we’ve hidden and ignored for too long.

Change, then, is inevitable.  Whether that change advances us or mires us in the past depends firmly on our leadership. Successful change depends on everyone participating in the change process. This has never been more true. We each get to take an active role and, more than ever before, our voice impacts the success or failure of the changes we are seeing. The phrase, “many hands make quick work” applies here. Where a group of people are working together, toward a common cause, the change effort is much easier.

From individual Facebook posts to mass-appeal pulpits of TV pundits, too many of us are reacting to that change with fear. Poor leaders divide us to amplify our fear, wielding it for power at the polls.

Fortunately, there’s a science to change. Change is inevitable, so of course it’s been studied. Biology and chemistry, chaos theory and game theory – much of science rests squarely on the universe’s need for change.  In business, this has resulted in the field of change management.  From a broader organizational perspective, change is a vital part of survival. In biology, we see evolution and survival of the fittest. In business, similar principles apply. We hear them expressed as change or die. The same would be true of non-profits and political organizations.

If science and organizations thrive on change, where does all this angst come from?

Bluntly, fear of change is, in part, the result of bad leadership.

Short of Charles Dickens sending three ghosts to them in one night, our current crop of bad leaders won’t improve.  That means it’s up to you to lead us through this change. We are in a time where the actions of each individual matter more than ever. Just calm one person.  Allay their fear.  All you need is one person helped to make a difference. It starts with you leading yourself. It doesn’t matter if you are a college student or a CEO, leadership always starts with yourself before you can effectively lead others.


Try these steps:

  • Ask “why.” Why is change happening? Why is it needed? How will it impact me?
  • Remember that (videos of throngs aside) real change is individual; it happens person by person. Your reaction matters.
  • Change is a choice. Ask them – What future would you choose? How can you help bring about a more positive, sustainable, and just future?
  • Keep in mind that much of the fear arises when people see change coming, but don’t know how to deal with it in their personal lives or within their organizations.
  • Help them. From COVID to racism, explore why change is needed. Conflict feeds fear, so be calm and seek to understand. Compassion and empathy begin with you. You don’t need to agree or disagree, you can just listen and learn and reflect on what you are hearing before expressing your point of view.
  • Recalling how you have been successful at making personal and/or organizational change in the past can boost your self-confidence about your personal change journey.
  • Once you have managed your own concerns, share your personal success with others. How have YOU embraced change? How did you overcome the challenges you faced? Are you helping build personal or societal infrastructure so the change will be lasting and positive?

I believe in a positive future, one in which society helps every one of us become the best versions of ourselves. Understanding that change — especially revolutionary change as we’re undergoing now — isn’t intuitive. Positive change needs guidance from you.


To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

Dan Mushalko’s professional life combined a short stint at NASA to a long ride in radio…with experiences often overlapping. Dan merges leadership, creativity, and science for people and organizations. The thread through it all: mixing creativity and leadership. Dan is a creative and innovative leader specializing in media management/leadership, creative concepts in audio, new communications technology, media analytics, creativity fostering and consulting, teaching, writing, and science.

Photo by Ian Panelo


How to Help Midlevel Leaders Grow and Develop

Posted by presspass on
How to Help Midlevel Leaders Grow and Develop

To receive the weekly blogs via email, please sign-up here.

The following blog is provided by Liz Kislik. It is a companion to her interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled Defining Organizational Problems: Beyond Personal Experience that aired on May 26th, 2020.


Midlevel leaders are absolutely crucial to managing the guts of an organization and accomplishing its business. Unfortunately, even competent, up-and-coming leaders can languish if they don’t get appropriate developmental attention from their senior leaders, but those senior leaders sometimes expect junior leaders to develop on their own.

In an interview I did with Amir Ghannad for The Transformative Leader podcast, we talked about how senior leaders can provide the right input to middle managers to ensure they’re achieving their own successes and supporting the organization’s continued growth.

Be Intentionally, Persistently Curious

Leaders often think of middle managers in terms of their roles and responsibilities and form monolithic assumptions about how middle managers are expected to think and what their considerations are. But every individual takes action based on what seems best to them at the time. If their choices seem wrong, probe to find out their reasons.

When leaders think, “Oh, that’s trivial. That’s dumb. I’ll just tell them to knock it off,” they’re actually undercutting their subordinates’ autonomy and ability to adjust and perform better. If you ask what prompted middle managers’ actions or comments instead of making assumptions, you can approach them in a more open, less judgmental way and you’ll seem less like a know-it-all. You’re also more likely to take their opinions and concerns more seriously.

During our conversation, Amir told me about two skillful, productive people who had been in conflict for 12 years based on a single mistaken impression. Once the mistake came to light, the relationship improved dramatically, but it took months of probing to uncover the original misapprehension. Amir’s story demonstrates that no directive to behave differently can effectively cut through someone’s deeply held pain (even if that pain is unnecessary) — and how finally getting to the bottom of a long-held conflict is a true relief.

Partner on Problems and Perspectives

Say you do figure out where your midlevel leader is coming from. You can’t do an improvement to them. You may be able to see what needs to change, but that doesn’t mean they’re ready to hear it. So, after finding out what they’re thinking, go to wherever the other person is mentally, and take their perspective rather than dictating to them from on high.

Unless it’s a true emergency, try to ignore your own reaction and the intensity of your beliefs about what would work better. Suppress your impulse to impose solutions, because when you slice through difficulties like the proverbial hot knife through butter, subordinates may not feel ownership for the situation. They may follow your directions but neglect to think broadly about costs and benefits, sequencing, or other operational details — even if they know more about operations than you do — and mistakes are more likely to be made.

Don’t Give Leaders Solutions; Teach Them How to Develop Solutions

The old saw, “Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions!” is a common complaint among leaders who believe that their people don’t think and want to be spoon fed. Risk-averse middle managers may be comfortable having you act decisively and save them time and effort by telling them what to do. But in the long run, you build better solutions when more people contribute to them. And why create unnecessary dependency that slows down implementation and turns you into a bottleneck?

You may need to teach the people involved new ways of thinking and interacting if they’ve developed the habit of expecting you to call the shots. This kind of development requires coaching rather than directing. So, ask middle managers what factors lie under the scenarios they present, and to be explicit about pros and cons — not just as a general list, but as detailed, second-order potential consequences. Encourage them to hypothesize about why negative patterns recur and speculate about multiple potential alternatives.

As midlevel leaders begin to see you being consistently curious, open to their views, willing to partner, and supportive of their decision-making, not only will they be better partners for you but they also may start exhibiting those behaviors with their subordinates as well. That’ll help develop your next cadre of up-and-coming managers, and strengthen your organization from the bottom up.

Onward and upward —


To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

Liz Kislik is a management consultant and executive coach, and a frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review and Forbes. Her specialty is developing high performing leaders and workforces, and she helps family-run businesses, national nonprofits, and Fortune 500 companies like American Express, Girl Scouts, Staples, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Highlights for Children solve their thorniest problems. Her TEDx talk, “Why There’s So Much Conflict at Work and What You Can Do to Fix It,” has been viewed over 160,000 times. Liz received her BA from Yale University and earned an MBA in Management from NYU.

Photo by Christina Morillo


Posted by presspass on

To start or to continue receiving the weekly blogs via email, please sign-up using this link: subscribe to Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blog.

The following blog is provided by Dr. Rick Brinkman. It is a companion to his interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled How to Bring Out the Best In People at Their Worst that aired on April 28th, 2020.


Conflict can take many forms. It can be in your face, or passive aggressive behind the back. It can be caused by a specific context like meetings where typically assertive people talk too much while others drop out. The first step to successfully exiting a conflict or even better preventing it in the first place, is to understand why people act the way they do. In order to do that I would like to introduce you to the Lens of Understanding, from our book, “Dealing with People You Can’t Stand, How to Bring Out the Best in People at Their Worst.”

When you understand why people act the way they do, then you will be empowered to transform and prevent conflict behaviors. Let’s examine behavior through the Lens of Understanding. We have a green Cooperation Zone and people have 4 intents operating within them: the intent to Get Things Done, to Get Things Right, to Get Along with People, and to Get Appreciated by people. Behaviorally speaking if a person is in a Get it Done mode they will be focused on the task at hand and become more assertive to make things happen. If things are not getting done and perceive others as wasting time, then they have a tendency to go into the yellow Caution Zone and will become more controlling because if they can take over they can make things happen. Sometimes the fact that they take charge and move things forward is not a problem but a solution. That really depends on how it is done. People can also go into what we call the red Danger Zone and their behavior is more destructive and can easily become a Tank. A Tank declares martial law and runs right over you. Life is really simple to them. You are part of the solution or you are eliminated. They may rip you apart personally, but the irony is, “it’s nothing personal”. You just happen to be in the way of an end result and so must be eliminated.

However, control has other expressions. When people have suppressed anger or resentment, Sniping is often the result. At a meeting their attack is hidden in put down humor, snide remarks and sarcasm. This can be to your face or also behind your back. Sabotage and malicious gossip are also versions of this behavior. A third controlling behavior is Know-it-All. They control through knowledge because they really know a lot, but they are closed minded to everyone else’s possible contribution. In a meeting they can take the group down endless irrelevant tangents.

If we shift gears to the intent to Get it Right, we find people still focused on the task but less assertive because they must slow things down to make sure all the details are covered.   If the people around them are not paying attention to accuracy, then they can move into the yellow zone and become more perfectionist. The positive of that is all the details are covered but if they go too far into the red danger zone, they can get to a point where no one including themselves can meet their high standard and then begin to feel helpless or hopeless. When people feel helpless, Whining is the result. When people feel hopeless, Negativity results. What they both have in common is they speak in generalizations that “everything is wrong, nothing is right, and it’s always that way.” It is these generalized problems that drive everyone around them crazy, because the first step to problem solving is specifics. You can’t solve a generalization.

Other people in the face of that unattainable perfection just get frustrated and give up. That’s when you hear, “Fine, do it your way. Don’t come crying to me when it doesn’t work out.” From that point they become the Nothing person and give up.

You also get Nothing behavior from a different area of the Lens. Out of the intent to Get Along with people you get people who are friendly and helpful. Here the yellow zone is all about get approval from others. And since if you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say it at all, Nothing behavior is a common result. Agreeable Yes behavior also stems from this motivation. Out of the desire to please and get approval, people don’t consider their own needs but just say yes to whatever anyone else wants. Maybe behavior can also originate from this zone. We have all told a salesperson, “I’ll think about it.” Were you really planning on thinking about it? No, it was approval-oriented behavior. Passive aggressive behavior also originates out of this zone. They are nice to your face but become a Sniper behind the back.

Shifting mental gears to the intent to Get Appreciated by people, we find the focus is still on people but behavior tends to be more assertive because what goes hand in hand with appreciation is a desire to contribute to others. But if they are not getting the appreciation they feel they deserve, their behavior gets more attention seeking. The red zone version can be a temper tantrum or what we call the Grenade. It is different than a Tank attack in that the Tank is focused on a specific person and you know what the issue is. When a Grenade blows up they do so in 360 degrees, indiscriminately and everyone gets hit. You are more likely to hear things like, “It’s the government’s fault! That’s the problem with the world today.” and other statements that make no sense given the present circumstances. A Tank is demanding action. A Grenade is demanding attention.

What you also get out of a need for attention is another kind of Sniper; friendly fire. These are people who like you and use put down humor or teasing as a way of showing their affection. There is no ill intent, but it can still have painful consequences.

Last but not least another behavior with an extreme need for attention is Think-They-Know-it-All behavior. Here you have someone acting like they know what they are talking about, but they don’t. You get one-upmanship in this category. If you had a great vacation, they had a better one. If you were sick, they were sicker. If you had a big inauguration, they had a bigger inauguration.

Tank, Sniper, Know-it-all, Think-They-Know-it-All, Grenade, Yes person, Maybe person, Nothing person, No person, and Whiner are the top ten-problem behaviors people face. But the good news is communication is like a phone number and there is a “right number” behaviorally that you can dial that can pull people out of their stress response and back into the normal zone of behavior.

Detailed strategies for all the behaviors are beyond the scope of this article but are certainly available in the book, “Dealing With People You Can’t Stand”, published by McGraw-Hill.

Download a free Lens of Understanding and see a live presentation of the Lens of Understanding in Dr. Brinkman’s trademark Educating through Entertainment style here.


To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

Dr. Rick Brinkman is best known for his Conscious Communication® expertise conveyed to millions of people via keynotes and trainings in his trademark Educating through Entertainment style. He has performed over 4000 programs in 18 countries. He is the coauthor of six McGraw Hill books including the 2,000,000 copy international bestseller: Dealing With People You Can’t Stand: How to Bring Out the Best in People at Their Worst. Which has been translated into 25 languages. His latest book is: Dealing with Meetings You Can’t Stand, Meet Less and Do More.  His clients have included: the Astronauts at NASA, LucasFilm, Sony Pictures, the FBI, Defense Department, Lockheed Martin, Adobe and many more. He has been featured as a communication expert on CNN, the Wall St. Journal, the New York Times, and O Magazine.

Photo by Kaboompics .com

Practical Advice for Businesses in Crisis – Emerging

Posted by presspass on
Practical Advice for Businesses in Crisis – Emerging

To start or to continue receiving the weekly blogs via email, please sign-up using this link: subscribe to Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blog.

The following is a guest blog written by Mike Sayre.  It is a companion to the interview with Paul Gibbons titled Impact-Leading Change in the Digital Age that aired April 21st, 2020 on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future.


What to start pushing forward on as you think about emerging from this crisis. You do need to push forward!

In the a previous two article, you learned about communicating openly and honestly with your team and understanding your cash and credit resources to push forward. But what do you push forward on?

Because this blog series is meant to be both practical and tactical, I am assuming that you and your company already have a mission, vision and values that are all in alignment and are the basis for the culture of your business. If not, please check out my At C-Level blogs 2, 3 and 4 at the Innovative Leadership Institute website.

As I write this, much of the world is in some kind of lockdown status for “non-essential” businesses. A major indicator that your business is not as essential as you might like it to be, is that during the pandemic, your business was either designated as “non-essential” or your sales dropped like a rock and will take months, if not years, to recover. Whenever your sales are falling off significantly, most of the following applies as well. You always want your business to be “essential” to fulfilling the needs of your customers!

Of course, there are varying degrees of “essential” and some businesses will rebound more quickly than others. What degree of “essential” is your business?

To get a gauge on that, ask yourself, “What are people doing or buying right now instead of what we provide and, more importantly, why?

Then ask yourself,

  1. If the pandemic ends tomorrow, will they immediately come back to us as customers?
  2. If not immediately, is there something we can start doing now to incentivize them to come back sooner?
  3. Is it possible they will continue on with what they are doing now and not need us at all, or nearly as much, going forward?

In any of these three cases, it’s time to engage with your customers and your team to come up with appropriate incentives to insure they come back and as soon as possible, or come up with new directions to keep them from splintering off to those new-found alternatives…which, actually, you and your team should be doing on a regular basis anyway!

If that all sounds like Marketing 101, it is. But it is amazing how much we forget and how far away we can get from our customers in a pandemic, or when things have just been going really well for a while! Your owners, customers, employees, suppliers and communities are all depending on you and your team to be thoughtful and committed in this process!

What does the business and/or its offering need to look like to not only keep current customers, but also to attract new customers as your business emerges from your crisis? Fact is, you will need new customers to fill in for current customers who just won’t come back no matter what you do, and to grow the business and thrive again going forward. What are your competitors doing? Is that what your customers want? Is your new offering really a compelling proposition for your customer and for your business?

Sales in our profitable electronics repair business (something like $12M-$15M at the time) with customers like Oracle, HP, Xerox and IBM were in decline…a crisis for us. Our customers told us we were being excluded from new bidding processes because we only had one location, which made the shipping cost of doing business with us too expensive. To be added back to the bidder lists, we needed to add our own repair locations in Europe and Asia like our much larger global competitors. Our vision had to be “adjusted” from being “the best in the business at what we do” to being “the best in the world at what we do!” We already had an international salesperson selling our customized electronic solutions who had made some nice partnership connections for us in The Netherlands and Hong Kong. So, we cultivated those connections into relationships, raised money from investors, bought a small well-run repair business in The Netherlands, and partnered with our repair contact in Hong Kong to create a small joint venture operation there. We were then put back on the bidding lists, the repair business started growing again, and we eventually achieved our vision to be “the best in the world,” according to our largest customer! Yes, this is a much bigger story, but I think it illustrates the point.

Now that you have some ideas on how you want to emerge from this crisis, you need to focus on what will have the biggest impact for your customers and business, based on what you can actually do considering your resource availability and/or constraints.

I sometimes use a quick model to evaluate such ideas/alternatives with my team:

“Impact” can be short term or long term. So you have to consider your time horizons on each alternative.

“Resources” can be financial, expertise, people, equipment, facilities, etc. Considering all of these, how would you rate it in terms of being possible for your business to do it?

“Score” is just multiplying your two ratings. This is where your risk analysis comes in.

Idea #1 is a slam dunk for an okay impact at best.

Idea #2 would have a huge impact, but is really beyond your resources in a big way.

Idea #3 would have a sizable impact, and you have the majority of what you need…do you have the money or other less obvious resources to fill in what’s missing?

This is just one way to look at it and a place to start. The larger the potential investment, the more analysis you really need to do. If you have the resources to do more than one of the alternatives, and they all make sense strategically, redo the model by taking out the best alternative and assume those resources no longer exist. Re-rate, score, and decide.

Please don’t let any model substitute for your common sense! Your results should mirror your intuition. If not, I’d think it through again.

Now, it’s time to think about the people and capabilities in-house that can be redirected to build up new business capabilities without causing major disruption in the current business, depending on how large the challenges are in the current business.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.


About the Author

Mike Sayre has successfully piloted businesses through difficult times of crisis for over 20 years – as a CEO, COO, CFO, and/or Board Director. He is currently an independent executive leadership consultant working through Civilis Consulting and the Innovative Leadership institute, trusted partners inspiring and enabling perpetual innovation, evolution, and growth in leaders and their businesses.  If you would like to learn more or get help, please contact Mike through LinkedIn.

Building a High Impact IT Leadership Development Program Leveraging Technology

Posted by presspass on
Building a High Impact IT Leadership Development Program Leveraging Technology

To start or to continue receiving the weekly blogs via email, please sign-up using this link: subscribe to Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blog.

This blog shares the case study of the IT Leadership Development Program co-created by Innovative Leadership Institute and Expedient. More can be learned about this program on the Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future podcast with Steve Gruetter titled Building Aspiring CIOs and ‘C’ Level Leaders.


The Challenge/Vision: The Central Ohio CIO Forum identified a gap in the number of leaders ready to step into CIO roles for the projected regional growth. To address this opportunity, they partnered with Expedient and the Innovative Leadership Institute to build an IT Leadership program that meets 2.5 hours per month, including six in-class learning sessions with pre-defined topics, roundtable executive presentations, and discussion sessions, and two networking events.

According to the American Society of Training and Development, US businesses spend more than 170 Billion dollars on a leadership-based curriculum, with the majority of those dollars spent on “Leadership Training.” According to McKinsey, “there is no silver bullet for successfully developing leaders—more than 40 key actions must be taken to increase chances of success to 80 percent”. As a leader interested in developing or as an organizational leader interested in developing people working for you, it is essential to have useful information about how to select a leadership development program. There are plenty of opportunities to spend your money from one-day classes to online programs to comprehensive university programs. How do you make the best decision to ensure you are investing your time and money wisely and that you have a high probability of success from your investment?

Goal: elevate the quality of IT Leadership in Central Ohio to support succession planning, economic development of the region, healthy business growth, and business financial success, improve employee engagement, and attract and retain top technology talent to the Central Ohio region.

Solution: The program is co-delivered by Innovative Leadership Institute and Expedient that leverages best leadership models and content, leadership assessments, learning technology, and learning methods and processes. The image below reflects the combination of tools and approaches. Listen to participant feedback 5-minute video to learn more about how participants describe their involvement and impact.

IT Case Study 1.png




Program Design

ILI, in partnership with Expedient, designed the program to meet the outcomes and desired learning experience based on CIO Forum goals and designated topics. This section describes the details of the approach to designing and delivering the program.

  1. Identify the best leadership models and materials to meet the learning goals.
  2. Identify the best learning approach based on leading research focused on the most effective method for leadership development. The approach leverages
    1. In-Class Program content – In-class activities 2.5 hours/month (six content sessions and four expert round table discussions (moved to Zoom during shut down). Programs are updated regularly based on trends and leadership research.
    2. Round tables – Local CIOs provide insights from their professional experience to help IT Leaders build business understanding as well as perspective about the journey to becoming a senior leader. These sessions are very open and candid. Jeremiah Gracia, Economic Development, City of Dublin, Ohio, leads a roundtable talking about workforce development. The City of Dublin is a co-sponsor of the program.
    3. Networking events are a crucial element of the program. A strong community requires leaders to build a network to share information as well as support one another in navigating the challenges technology leaders face.
    4. Assessment – Participants take pre and post-session Innovative Leadership behavior assessment powered by SkillNet (some with Boss feedback). Participants incorporate this feedback into learning assignments. Read the blog by Mike Kritzman, founder of SkillNet A Proven 5 Step Approach to Solve Skill Gaps and listen to his podcast SkillNet: Personalized Learning Framework for Your Company. We invite you to take a free mini-ILI Competency assessment.
    5. Parallel path complete leadership workbook activities presented in six modules: leverage International Award Winning Innovative Leadership workbooks, podcasts, and videos delivered by the Kajabi Online Platform. Kajabi Online Platform podcast with founder Travis Rosser. Read the blog post based on Forbes article Leveraging Technology To Improve Leadership Development.
    6. Create accountability by submitting the leadership workbook activities as deliverables and receive feedback: track deliverables and attendance for certification.
    7. Strengthen network and support community by sharing assignments with learning partners (matched using Position Success Indicator to identify the best match) Position Success Indicator podcast with Founder Mark Palmer. Read the Blog by Mark Palmer The Position Success Indicator (PSI): Your Job Fit Solution for the Future of Work.
    8. Challenge previously held constraints by the class participants on how to be a leader and show leadership traits
    9. Build a network of like-minded peers in each cohort, a group of technology professionals whose opinion they can trust, based on class interaction
    10. Evaluate progress by soliciting participant and CIO feedback on participant’s development progress.
    11. Collaboration by Slack (Advanced Leadership Program Only).
    12. Certification for participants who complete all requirements successfully earn an Innovative Leadership Certification. Muskingum University recognizes this certification for its Master of Information Strategy and Systems Technology (MISST) program for three credit hour leadership class.

The basis of this learning approach is 15 years of experience teaching leadership development to MBA students. You can learn more by listening to a podcast with Steve Gruetter and Maureen Metcalf discussing the program in depth.


  1. Participant success
    1. 200 participants in the first four cohorts, representing 104 Central Ohio organizations
    2. 45 of the first 150 participants (30%) have had a promotion since the first cohort started (per LinkedIn)
    3. 8 participants promoted to a C-Level role – CIO, CTO, CISO, Chief Strategy or Chief Transformation Officer
    4. 82 of the first 150 participants have earned a certification of completion
    5. 8 participants advanced to participate in the Advanced Leadership Development Program Pilot
    6. $44,000 raised so far for the Central Ohio CIO Forum Scholarship Fund from the first four cohorts
    7. The last three cohorts had 32%+ women participants
    8. The previous three cohorts have had 32%+ minority participants
    9. Participants are taking advantage of the Muskingum MISST program three credits course waived for course participants
  1. Survey results
    1. Results from IT Leaders Program as measured by CIOs they report to – answers provided reflect a 1-5 scale:
    2. How much have the participant(s) individual leadership skills and/or performance improved over the last year attributable to what they have learned by being in the program? 4.5
    3. If the participant(s) currently leads a group, how much has the culture and/or performance of their group improved over the last year attributable to the participant’s leadership? 4.5
    4. How much better prepared are the participant(s) for additional leadership responsibilities/promotion in the future? 5.0
  2. Approximately 50% of participants meet the rigorous requirements for certification.
  3. Community successIT Case Study 2.png
    1. Better prepared leaders for additional leadership responsibility (see survey results).
    2. Program enrollment remains substantial and increasing – companies continue to enroll the maximum number of participants in the class. Over 75 companies have registered their employees. Cohort five has the most significant number of participants well in advance of program kick-off. 25% enrolled six months in advance of program kick-off.
    3. Promotion of local leaders – companies fill senior roles with local talent.
    4. ILI continually updates content – content remains fresh to address community requirements. ILI adds refreshed content and value to each successive course.
    5. Diverse leaders – programs continue to attract increasing rates of women and minorities, thereby improving the quality of leadership because of a more diverse pool of candidates.
  4. Watch a 5-minute video of participants describing the impact in their own words.

Conclusion: The best leaders elevate their leadership quality because they actively participate in well designed and effectively delivered leadership development programs. The IT Leaders programs involve a range of activities that include participants learning key frameworks, building skills, practicing new behaviors, reflecting on new skills and self-awareness activities, and feedback. We created the program to leverage the latest research on leadership development for adult learners. One defining feature of this program is that it heavily leverages technology to support learning outcomes. When the State of Ohio was on work from home requirements, the IT Leaders program helped its participants in building the leadership skills they needed to navigate the complex and uncertain territory of leading during a pandemic. Future classes will continue to build on the success of the past four years.


To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

Maureen Metcalf, CEO of the Innovative Leadership Institute, is a renowned executive advisor, coach, consultant, author and speaker.

Photo by Christina Morillo

A Wave of Inspiration

Posted by presspass on
A Wave of Inspiration

To start or to continue receiving the weekly blogs via email, please sign-up using this link: subscribe to Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blog.

The following blog is provided by Anie Rouleau. It is a companion to her and Daniele Henkel’s interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future on titled Certified B Corporations Seek to Improve Our World that aired on March 24th, 2020.


In 2003, I went on a solo adventure and traveled around the world for 18 months. In every country I visited, I sat down in the parliament to hear what the local pressing socio-economic issues were. Time after time the same challenge surfaced… the environment.

From Africa – where the concern was access to clean drinking water, to Australia – where I swam over disappearing grey coral reefs, to Chile – where I witnessed a plane flying over lakes to steal water for Argentinian vineyards.

Growing in up Canada with the abundance of freshwater lakes and rivers surrounded by two oceans, I was flabbergasted by this reality. I quickly understood the meaning of Blue Gold, a book by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke that deeply moved me.

Concerned about this reality, water became my inspiration and motivation.


A Wave of Innovation

Principal source of all life, water is vital to human health.

Paradoxically, water is the main ingredient in almost all of our products. Water is also required to use most of our products. Offering biodegradable products to limit the damage in our water sources is a good start, but we must also be aware of the harmful repercussions of single use plastic packaging. These containers and plastic particles are largely found in our oceans and today form impressive plastic islands. We are part of an industry known for its single-use packaging and products that have damaging impacts on the ecosystem.

As conscious citizens and a responsible company, it is our duty to ensure the least impact possible on our waterways throughout the lifecycle of our products. For example, our new ecodesigned dish tabs have been tested to be efficient at low temperatures from 45° Celsius and in a shorter wash cycle. Not very extraordinary for some, but highly impactful on a larger scale and a small win for the company.


A Wave of Freshness

In our collective imagination, a wave represents a strong force of nature. Sometimes calm and peaceful other times tumultuous, water occupies an intimate place in which ecological concerns come to take root. If the wave on our bottles could talk it would tell you that it symbolizes cleanliness, foam, and effectiveness. Figuratively, the wave is our source of inspiration and wealth that must be thought of every day. Its beauty is present in every room where there is a water source in our homes, from the laundry room to the kitchen.

It’s easy to forget to drink enough water every day, it’s equally easy to forget that we waste water every day. In Canada, we’re privileged by its abundance from coast to coast, from the base of the Rocky Mountains in the West to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in the East.

Let the wave on our bottles serve as a daily reminder throughout your household that water is precious and an essential part of our lives.

A Wave of Change

Just like our products, an actual ocean breeze does not smell like anything, yet it brings a sense of peace, wellness, and desire for change. Water scarcity is a worldwide challenge that is current and pressing, awakening a strong motivation for change. What if one day our entire product line contains no water and has no packaging?


To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.


About the Author

Anie Rouleau, a Montrealer born to a business-oriented family, Baléco’s Founding CEO knows how to do business without compromising her values and convictions. That’s why she chose to redefine the notion of clean by creating a line of ecofriendly home and body care products designed for conscious living. Fervent defender of local sourcing, she sits on different committees, including Made in Montreal. Women leadership and ethics being causes close to her heart, she is a mentor for young women in business. She is also part of Quebec entrepreneurship promotion groups. Mother of two, Anie is driven by her desire to protect future generations. By investing in innovation and eco-design within an industry which sets his sight far from sustainable development issues, she seeks with Baléco to define tomorrow’s business as a transparent entity, respectful of its employees, the community and the environment.


Photo by Alexandra Côté-Durrer

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

Follow by Email