Driving new growth: Don’t assume your team’s skills are right for what’s next

In mountain climbing, reaching a mid-mountain plateau is not as fulfilling as ascending to the summit. Rarely will any climber start out to scale a mountain with the idea of stopping at a plateau below the summit.

But in planning the assault on the mountain, veteran climbers know that different skills and capabilities are needed at each step along the way. The skills that enabled you to reach Base Camp on Mt. Everest – such as the ability to navigate rocky terrain in a relatively oxygen-rich environment – won’t be enough to reach the summit, where climbing in snow and ice with little oxygen is the challenge. 

Your organization faces a similar circumstance. SETD program

The executive leadership skills that got your organization to its current level of success may not be the skills needed to get it to the next stage. 

Reaching a growth plateau

Organizations often hit a “growth pause” – a point at which their current executive leadership’s expertise goals have been realized, revenues and profits plateau, and growth slows or stalls altogether. 

An executive team leading a pre-product startup requires a different set of skills than the knowhow needed to optimize operations for a credible, sustainable, or mature business. At this point, leadership abilities need to be reevaluated to determine what is needed for continued ascendance. 

Organizations must ask themselves several questions: 

  • What mix of skills do we need  to succeed at our current stage and to get ready for the next? 
  • Does our team have the mix of skills needed? 
  • Will gaps in executive team skills hamper growth? 
  • Can our team’s skill set be developed or enhanced for success now, such as through hiring or culling, and to get ready for the next stage? 

In almost every case, the right mix of leadership team skills can address stalled growth and get you back on track. Earlier needed skills may no longer be helping, and necessary new skills may be missing. Or, the skill development strategy may need to be overhauled. 

Assessing the pause cause

IntelliVen has constructed a one-of-a-kind, tailored, thorough and immersive program to provide answers and solutions to these questions and more. 

The Strategic Executive Team Development Program provides a leader and team with unique insight into the needed skill sets at each stage of an organization’s development, based on 24,000 data points gathered over decades of research

The program approach is  rooted in an extensive study of the best mix of skills in executive leadership for each stage of organization maturity, from pre-market concept to mature going concern. 

IntelliVen Principal consultant Dr. Brent Green and the IntelliVen team offer a unique executive team skills assessment and gap analysis. This offering pinpoints the capabilities needed to spark new growth for your organization by assessing your team’s skills, then comparing them to your organization’s benchmark stage. 

Assessments are conducted using data collected in one-on-one sessions with the CEO and interviews and electronic surveys with each team member. Insights and recommendations are shared with the CEO ahead of interactive, facilitated sessions that explore results and implications with the team. 

Unblocking growth

The process reveals executive team members’ individual and collective proficiencies in a mix of nine competencies across three categories: 

  • Knowledge of industry, technology and organizational capabilities
  • Ability to analyze and synthesize what they know
  • Planning and execution. 

We refer to the three areas as KNOW, THINK, and ACT.

The results reveal deficiencies in skills that likely block growth and hinder the evolution of the organization to the next stage.

Most importantly, the program offers custom executive team development action plans, for each team member and for the team as a whole, that address gaps and opportunities for development specific to your venture and team, help them evolve, rekindle growth, and put them back on a “hockey stick” growth curve.

Based on the IntelliVen Manage to Lead System, the action plans align your team members and focus them on evolving the business to address performance and growth blockers.

The MtL tools, templates, and methods are taught in an Immersion Program that is unique in that it is team-based leadership development that captures proven best practices for driving change as applied to your organization’s case.

MtL distills the lessons of a team of highly successful leaders over decades into a clear and concise series of modules and accompanying tools. Elements of it have been taught at MIT, Stanford, University of Maryland, George Mason University, Golden Gate University, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Learn more about the new program here:  Strategic Executive Team Development Program 

Achieve Breakthrough Performance with More Effective Leadership

Growth is good.

But growth can be really hard.

Maybe your organization’s growth has plateaued. Why has it stalled? Is the issue in strategy, alignment, execution, backlog, or capacity? Maybe all these areas?

Or maybe you have the opposite problem, and growth is exploding and your team can’t keep up. What needs to change to enable the organization to scale?

IntelliVen has created one-of-a-kind tailored and immersive experiences to prepare your leaders to answer these questions and address these problems.

The Manage to Lead for Breakthrough Performance Program arm leaders and their teams to maximize organization performance when facing a variety of challenges crucial to meeting your goals. 

The program introduces practical tools, methods, and principles consistent with Organization Development (OD) best practices for leaders and their teams, and their HR/OD business partner or business consultant if they have one.

All organizations can benefit, especially those struggling to reach the next level or those facing such rapid growth that leaders are overwhelmed. Other organizations will find value as they seek to innovate in the face of market disruption. The program will also benefit those looking to capitalize on new technology, introduce new products, enter new markets or manage strategic initiatives. 

The IntelliVen MtL for Breakthrough Performance Program focuses on making sure your leaders are clear and aligned on important questions such as:

  • What are we trying to accomplish?
  • What do we provide?
  • Who are our target customers?
  • What problem do we solve for them?
  • What are we counting on each other to do?
  • How do we identify and respond to performance blockers?
  • Do our leaders possess and use the mindset, interpersonal skills and behaviors that propel excellent team performance?

MtL Systems and Programs do not make judgements or provide answers. Instead, they provide tools, methods, and principles leaders learn to apply as they see fit in their organization. Up-and-coming leaders with technical backgrounds find MtL particularly helpful in that it makes people and business skills accessible and easy to implement.

IntelliVen is a San Francisco-based management consulting firm that works with up-and-coming leaders and their teams to get clear, aligned, and on track to achieve breakthrough performance.  Our proprietary system of tools and templates package what we have learned from decades of running and growing dozens of successful businesses.

We make doable the hard-to-implement actions driven by disarmingly simple truths.

The MtL Breakthrough Performance Program is offered as:

  • A Side-by-Side Accelerator Program where MtL-Consultants work alongside inhouse teams who learn and apply MtL tools, templates, and principles as they progress towards completion on a specific change initiative.
  • An MtL Immersion Program Academy where MtL Senior Operating Partners lead a cohort of two to five organization, unit, or function leaders and their top teams through 10 modules of asynchronous topic content and live sessions.

Either way, Your Case IS the Course. The program is a shared experience for a leader and team to work on, not just in, their business. You will apply business and organization development best practices to conceive, launch, and guide initiatives that realize targeted benefits, with real-time feedback. 

Guided by IntelliVen Principal Consultants with deep experience across all aspects of business, leadership, and organization development, your team will be immersed in a unique interactive online curriculum complemented with live online or in-room workshops featuring role-playing, case-based concept exploration, and direct feedback and assistance on your own case. 

Program alums join a Learning Community that is connected continuously online, and that convenes live virtually semi-annually, where new MtL System tools are introduced and progress with case application and lessons learned are shared.

The MtL Breakthrough Performance Program is based on the IntelliVen Manage to Lead System, a collection of tools, methods, and principles drawn from decades of experience applying organization development concepts and human behavior theory to developing successful organizations.  MtL melds competence in process and business for breakthrough performance improvement as depicted in the following diagram:

Process and Content
Manage to Lead flipped classroom learning where Your Case IS the Course

We work with several universities to develop and offer leading executive team development programs. Our approach is distinguished in that everything we do reflects executive competence in organization development and the practical application of human behavior theory.

Elements of MtL have been taught at The University of San Francisco, American University NtL/MSOD, MIT, Stanford, University of Maryland, George Mason University, Golden Gate University, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

UMass Amherst announces affiliation with IntelliVen

September 9, 2020

AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst has announced a new collaboration with IntelliVen, a leading executive team development organization, to provide interactive, remote learning programs designed to raise the performance and effectiveness of leadership teams.

The collaboration represents another step in developing a robustumass portfolio of options for UMass Amherst alumni and students to continue learning beyond their college degree.

IntelliVen offers immersive programs designed to help an organization’s core leadership team tackle the unique challenges of managing a growing organization, especially in today’s turbulent markets. IntelliVen’s proprietary set of course modules enables an interactive, remote learning experience that leaders take along with their teams to unlock their true potential to perform and grow.

“IntelliVen teaches leaders, teams and organizations to set direction, achieve team alignment, implement strategy, and make the change they want to grow faster and perform better,” said Peter DiGiammarino, IntelliVen managing partner.

“Education is a journey not a destination. In fact, we view it as a lifelong journey, not something that ends when a person receives a college degree,” said John Wells, UMass Amherst senior vice provost. “That’s why partnerships like this are so important. They provide affordable, convenient access to our students and alumni interested in continuous, lifelong learning.”

Members of the university community will receive a discount on the standard price of IntelliVen’s leadership development immersion programs. More information on the programs as well as directions on how to enroll can be found on the IntelliVen Manage to Lead Immersion Program page.

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst is one of the major public research universities in America. Nestled in Amherst, Mass., the campus is consistently ranked among the top public research universities in the nation. It offers a rich cultural environment in a rural setting close to major urban centers. Working with the UMass Amherst schools and colleges, University Without Walls (UWW) is a leader in online education offering degrees and certificates in several subject areas. The vision for UWW at UMass Amherst is to create a learning experience that supports the needs and goals of lifelong learners. UWW will expand access to education by creating high-quality, innovative pathways that meet the unique needs of future learners any time, any place.

About IntelliVen & Peter DiGiammarino

The Manage to Lead System evolved initially from work DiGiammarino did as a UMass Bateman Scholar in Residence in 2010. After more than 35 years of success running organizations with a blend of both advanced business and organization development competence, he coalesced into a leadership development program what he had learned to share with others. He developed and went on to teach Manage to Lead to master’s students in business and in organization development at American University, University of San Francisco and Golden Gate University. In 2018 he worked with an expert in virtual learning programs who worked with Stanford to offer the program remotely to cohorts of executives and their teams on the UMass UWW platform. Learn more at intelliven.com.

3 Truths and 6 Power Skills to Master Organization Politics

Organization politics make a lot of people uncomfortable. The untrained hope is that if politics are ignored, and if a job is done well, then well-earned rewards will come. Things rarely play out that way.

Organization politics is defined as anything done at work to increase the odds of success that has nothing at all to do with the work itself. Master executive coach and workplace psychologist, Dr. Dory Hollander, presents three unassailable truths about how things work in organizations and Six Power Skills for mastering the art of career enhancement. Continue reading 3 Truths and 6 Power Skills to Master Organization Politics

Case: The Ideal Mix of Sr. Executive Team Skills for Success

Case Background

Leaders of fast-growing, early-stage organizations operate at a fast pace. Often, the last thing there is time to do is to assess the top team’s skills and performance to determine how to prepare them for the next stage of growth.

Most team members know each other pretty well. They have a good idea about:

  • What each other is good at doing.
  • What each has contributed.
  • How each has grown.
  • What each should focus on next to improve.

However, team members rarely have the time, energy, training, or nerve to share what they know in a forthright, supportive conversation with one another.

Yet there are serious consequences to not providing feedback when it is needed most. As highlighted in the Wall Street Journal article, “How To Tell If You Are a Jerk in the Office” (C-Suite Strategies, Journal Report, Feb 23, 2015), confidential feedback for executives is important. Not only are leaders and co-workers affected adversely by dysfunctional behavior, but business performance and customer service can be damaged, often permanently, if poor behavior continues.

IntelliVen, a San Francisco-based executive development organization, uses a proprietary approach to help top leaders and their teams address executive feedback issues head-on. For example, IntelliVen worked with a fast-paced, $10M financial analytics firm serving Freddie Mac, U.S. Treasury, and Capital One among other leading financial institutions. The IntelliVen approach was used to assess the firm’s top team of senior executives relative to norms for successful organizations at a similar stage of evolution and to identify individual and team opportunities for learning.

Continue reading Case: The Ideal Mix of Sr. Executive Team Skills for Success

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