GO Magazine DDI February 2013 Issue 1


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Great People. Great Organizations. Great Results.
GO provides the information, inspiration, and perspective HR leaders, managers, and practitioners—as well as those from outside of HR—need to make their leaders more effective, make their organizations more successful, and make themselves proud of the work they do.

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GO Magazine DDI February 2013 Issue 1

  1. 1. GO Customers Matter at Nebraska Furniture Mart 20Julie Clow’s Work Revolution 24Guessing Less When Hiring 26Great People. Great Organizations. Great Results.2013 Vol. 10, No. 1What Your Next CEO Needs to Know 10Global Strategy,Local ImplementationHow Foster Wheeler is buildinga global talent pipeline.Page 4Foster Wheeler’sBeth Sextonand Kathleen Korpita
  2. 2. 2GOVOLUME 10 • NUMBER 1 • 2013PUBLISHERRichard S. Wellins, Ph.D.MANAGING EDITORCraig IronsCREATIVE DIRECTORSusan RyanCONTRIBUTING WRITERTerri SotaEditorial and Circulation:GOc/o Development Dimensions Intl.1225 Washington PikeBridgeville, PA 15017-2838Telephone: 412-257-0600go@ddiworld.comABOUT DDIFor over 40 years, DDI has helpedthe most successful companies aroundthe world close the gap between wheretheir businesses need to go and thetalent required to take them there.Our areas of expertise span every level,from individual contributors to theexecutive suite:- Success Profile Management- Selection & Assessment- Leadership & Workforce Development- Succession Management- Performance ManagementDDI’s comprehensive, yet practicalapproach to talent management startsby ensuring a close connection of oursolutions to your business strategies,and ends only when we produce theresults you require.You’ll find that DDI is an essentialpartner wherever you are on your jour-ney to building extraordinary talent.© Development Dimensions International, Inc.MMXIII. All rights reserved.GReadySet...TACY BYHAMThere’s now a “training pill” forhorrible bosses! Check out thevideo.On its web site, Inc. magazine recently ran an infographic under the heading“Jerk Alert: The Real Cost of Bad Bosses.” Among some of the nuggets compiled fromvarious studies:• Three out of every four employees report that their boss is the worst and moststressful part of their job.• Among the top flaws employees see in their bosses: 1) fails to inspire, 2) acceptsmediocrity, and 3) lacks clear vision and direction.• 65 percent of employees say they’d take a new boss over a pay raise.Then there’s this from DDI’s own research: More than one-third of employees saythey don’t consider their boss to be an effective manager.So what’s the best way to develop leaders who don’t act—or lead—like jerks? In thisissue of GO, we introduce you to the best antidote we know: DDI’s new InteractionManagement®: Exceptional Leaders (IM: ExLSM) series. As you will see here, we’vereimagined frontline leadership development, starting with a mix of courses that targetthe skills leaders need to be effective now. We’ve also found great ways to take trainingbeyond the classroom, accelerate development, and provide leaders with an engaginglearning experience. Check it out beginning on page 16.In this issue, you can also read about how Foster Wheeler created a consistent globalapproach to developing its talent, and about how Nebraska Furniture Mart built a strongcustomer service culture.Plus, you can catch highlights from DDI’s latest Global Selection Forecast; spend a fewminutes with Julie Clow, author of The Work Revolution; and learn how a leading CEOis passing on his hard-earned wisdom to future chief executives.It’s all information we hope you can use to do your job better—and promote a“jerk-free” workplace.Happy reading!Tacy Byham, Ph.D.Senior Vice President, Leadership Solutions, DDI
  3. 3. contentsGO VOLUME 10 • NUMBER 1F E A T U R E S4 Foster Wheeler’s Execution ExcellenceThe global engineering and construction companyand power equipment supplier is building a strongerleadership pipeline.10 What CEOs Wish They Had KnownOne of the business world’s most respected CEOs is shininga light on what it takes to be successful in the top job.12 When It Comes to Leadership, All ConversationsAre CrucialLeaders spend a significant portion of their time engaged ininteractions. The quality of those interactions can have asignificant impact.16 Get to Know—and Love—IM:ExLSM!Meet the new Interaction Management®: Exceptional Leaders(IM: ExLSM) series—it’s frontline development reimagined forthe realities of today’s workplace!20 Where Customer Service Is BigNebraska Furniture Mart is known for its huge stores—and its even bigger focus on customer service.26 Moving Selection Beyond GuessingDDI’s latest Global Selection Forecast examines how—and how effectively—organizations are hiring.D E PA R T M E N T S9 Trend TrackerFindings from our new frontline leader study,Finding the First Rung in China and India.14 What’s GOing OnDDI again takes part in the CNBC Asia BusinessLeaders Awards, our work with Bosch und SiemensHausgeräte (BSH) wins the prestigious German HRExcellence Award, plus great DDI client stories on video.19 InfoGraphicHow broken is leadership?24 Coffee on the GO with Julie ClowThe author of The Work Revolution envisions a workplacedefined by “freedom and excellence for all.”34191210LEADERSHIP ISBROKENDDI’s survey finds that few people thinkbusiness leadership is adequate.HUMANRESOURCES:WHAT ARE THE BEST LEADERS DOING?EMPLOYEES SAYOF LEADERSARE HIGH-QUALITY25%OF LEADERSARE HIGH-QUALITY38%ONLYOF EMPLOYEES ARECURRENTLY WORKING FOR THE49%OF BOSSES ARE EFFECTIVE!ONLY34%BEST MANAGER THEY HAVE EVER WORKED FOR60%53% 51% 56% 57%40%RECOGNIZINGSUPPORTING INVOLVING LISTENING EXPLAININGRATIONALEMAINTAININGSELF-ESTEEMLeaders with strong interaction skills producestriking results among their teams.HAVE MOREENGAGEDTEAMS89%83% LEAD TEAMS TO EXCEED THEIRPRODUCTIVITY GOALS3 TIMES LESS LIKELYTURNOVER ISLEADERSTHINK THATBESTBOSS% of leaders that currently do thisINTERACTION SKILLSMAKE THE DIFFERENCE!26 241620© Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.
  4. 4. 4GREATORGANIZATIONS© Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.
  5. 5. The global engineering and construction company and powerequipment supplier is building a stronger leadership pipeline.When she was interviewing for the senior vicepresident of human resources job at Foster Wheeler,Beth Sexton met with the CEO, who asked what musthave seemed to him a straightforward question: Howwould she hold people accountable for the compa-ny’s talent initiatives? Sexton gave an unexpectedanswer: She wouldn’t hold people accountable; asthe CEO, he would.Sexton’s response revealed an important insight shehad gained while working in other organizations. HRcan create the talent infrastructure and build andimplement the talent systems; however, for a talentstrategy to be successful, the senior team has to ownit. This insight has served Sexton and her colleagueswell as they have worked to help Foster Wheeler, the12,000-employee global engineering and constructioncompany and power equipment supplier build theleadership pipeline needed to drive profitable growtharound the world.“In everything we’ve done, the major decisions havebeen made by the line,” says Sexton, who strives toreinforce the strategic importance of talent to theorganization. “Our primary role is to design andimplement robust HR processes and tools. However,line management needs to be accountable for execu-tion. Our talent management motto is global strategy,local implementation.”Since passing that interview with the CEO and joiningthe company in 2008, Sexton has, along withKathleen Korpita, director, global talent management,and the Foster Wheeler global HR team, helped buildthe talent infrastructure and systems. They’ve launchedan assessment initiative for the organization’s topleaders and an impactful development system formore than 1,500 frontline leaders worldwide.Their success is due in large part to a strong focus onexecution and a deep understanding of what it takesto provide consistent, relevant development to lead-ers, regardless of their level or location.NOTHING LIKE THIS BEFOREFoster Wheeler was formed in 1927 with the combina-tion of two companies whose roots date back to the19th century. In the ensuing decades, the companyenjoyed tremendous growth and success, but in the21st century Foster Wheeler’s senior leadershiprecognized that the company needed to be unified andconsistent in its practices. This was especially impor-tant for a global company that operates in 28 countries.FOSTER WHEELER’SEXECUTION EXCELLENCE5 © Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.
  6. 6. 6“When it comes to project execution,our clients want the Foster Wheelerbrand delivered consistently anywherein the world,” says Sexton. “They havethe same expectations wherever theyare. If it’s a client in Finland, they wantthe same quality as would be deliveredin China or anywhere else in the world.”That consistency, Sexton says, neededto carry over to the company’sapproach to talent management.“If we have an employee that goes onassignment to a different part of theworld, they need to be able to have thesame expectations of their manager,whether it’s how the manager coaches,or the HR processes they follow.”But just as important as having a globaltalent strategy was the realization thatFoster Wheeler had a number of gapsin its succession plan, and that itlacked accurate, actionable data toassess its future senior leaders.To address this issue, Sexton andKorpita worked with DDI to design acustomized assessment approach forthe C-level leaders that was then cas-caded down to lower-level senior lead-ers. The approach brought togethermultiple assessment tools, includingpersonality inventories, 360-degreefeedback, interviews, and a feedbacksession to share the results.“For the development process wewere able to put together the rightpieces so that when we assessedsomeone, we could get the data weneeded to form a development planfor them,” says Korpita.She also says that the success of theassessment process led to an impor-tant insight.“The assessment process was instru-mental in helping us analyze our lead-ership strengths and developmentneeds on a global basis. The assess-ment results revealed a global need toimprove talent management skills atall levels in the organization. This ledto the creation of the Learning to Leadprogram.”LEARNING TO LEAD AT THEFRONT LINESLeadership development wasn’t newto Foster Wheeler, but at the timeKorpita developed Learning to Lead in2011, there wasn’t a centralized,organization-wide approach. Instead,development programs were thedomain of the operating units, some ofwhich had programs in place andsome of which were largely inactive.Learning to Lead changed that.Geared toward all Foster Wheelerfrontline leaders, the program isdesigned to develop a targeted set ofleadership competencies, includingDelivering Results, DevelopingPeople, Engaging and Motivating,Enhancing Relationships, and SettingDirection. It also reinforces the com-pany’s core values.The program features courses fromDDI’s Interaction Management®leader-ship development system. Among thecourses included in the curriculum are:Essentials of Leadership, Setting Perfor-mance Expectations, Reviewing Perfor-mance Progress, Getting Started as aNew Leader, Coaching for Improvementand Coaching for Success. The coursesare delivered by 29 internal facilitatorswho work either alone or in pairs. Theydeliver the courses across all 14 operat-ing units and at all Foster Wheeler loca-tions around the world.To help reinforce the skills and con-cepts leaders learned in the courses,Foster Wheeler’s senior managersparticipated in a condensed version ofSupporting Leadership Development.This course helped them understandthe importance of their role in support-ing learning and driving the behaviorchange required throughout the organ-ization. For the second year of the pro-gram, senior managers participated inCoaching for High Performance, acourse to help them understand theimportance of building and sustaininga coaching culture at Foster Wheeler.Rather than designing and implement-ing the program at corporate and thenexpecting that all of the operatingunits would implement it, Sexton,Korpita, and the global HR team tooka different approach.“This program came about throughinfluence, collaboration, relationship-building, and sharing the knowledgepeople needed to make the right deci-sions,” says Korpita. “We really exe-cuted on Beth’s philosophy of ‘globalstrategy, local implementation.’”A big part of the “global strategy, localimplementation” approach was buildingin flexibility so that Foster Wheeler’sHR people around the world andGREATORGANIZATIONSA big part of the“global strategy,local implementation”approach was buildingin flexibility.© Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.
  7. 7. across the various operating unitscould make adjustments, such asadding optional courses to the curricu-lum and changing some of the coursecontent to suit learners better. In itssecond year, the program becameeven more flexible with the addition ofmultiple optional courses, such asLeading Change and High ImpactFeedback & Listening, which the oper-ating units could add to the curriculum.Dick Lively, senior vice president,human resources, for Foster Wheeler’sglobal power group business, has beenintegral to rolling out Learning to Lead.As one of the 29 internal facilitators,Lively delivers the courses in locationsworldwide, as well as in the U.S. Hisfacilitation approach speaks to hiscommitment to connecting with learn-ers, as well as to the flexibility built intoLearning to Lead.“I’ve delivered the courses all over theworld in different cultures,” he says.“Dealing with different people, figuringout how everybody ticks, and how it’srelevant for people is the key.”“Because we did global strategy, localimplementation, the HR people had avested interest in making it success-ful,” says Korpita. “I think because wedidn’t dictate exactly how things hadto be done, I can tell you that justabout every operating unit haschanged something.”DELIVERY EXCELLENCEWhile the Learning to Lead programwas accepted by Foster Wheeler’sHR staff around the world, what mat-tered most was how it was receivedby frontline leaders and its effective-ness in developing their skills. Onthese fronts, Learning to Lead hasbeen a tremendous success.In a global survey of 243 participantsin the Learning to Lead program, par-ticipants gave the courses an averageoverall rating of 4.37 on a 5-pointscale (with 5 being the highest possi-ble rating). The survey also showed a44-percent overall increase, post-training versus pre-training, in thenumber of leaders who said they dis-played effective leadership behaviors.In addition, 338 observers of learners(those they work with) were asked torate whether or not the leaders dis-played effective leadership behavior,pre- and post-training. These observersidentified a 30-percent overall increasefor the leaders.Perhaps more important: Leadersreported improvements in their overalljob performance, while observersreported improvements in the per-formance of their teams.But the impact hasn’t stopped there.As one Learning to Lead program par-ticipant explained, “Not only has thishelped me with my job, dealing withvendors and fellow Foster Wheeleremployees, but [the training has] alsoaffected my daily communicationswith my wife, children, and the activi-ties of my life.”One of the most important factorscontributing to the success of FosterWheeler’s talent initiatives is theactive support of the senior leaders,who have shown an understanding ofthe importance of building a strongerleadership pipeline to changing theorganization’s culture.“I don’t think any training program willwork if the leadership doesn’t under-stand that they need to cultivate anenvironment for the behaviors to bedemonstrated,” says Korpita. “Thenthey have to provide feedback to theirpeople so that the behaviors becomeingrained. Then those behaviorsbecome the norm, and that normbecomes the culture.”While senior leaders have been doingjust that, they also have becomeadvocates for the programs.“Our customers, the line managers,speak for the effectiveness of the pro-gram to their peers,” says Sexton.“That’s important, because then it’snot Kathleen and me doing the ravingabout the assessments or aboutLearning to Lead.”7“The line managers speakfor the effectivenessof the program totheir peers.”Kathleen Korpita, director, globaltalent management, helped buildLearning to Lead through influenceand collaboration.© Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.
  8. 8. Umberto della Sala, Foster Wheeler’spresident and COO, is among the seniorexecutives who have become championsfor the talent initiatives.“The leadership assessment processesand tools are improving our internal pro-motional and external hiring decisions,as they are now based on robust, target-ed data on the leadership and functionalcompetencies required for success. Inaddition, the assessment data hasimproved development planning, whichis key to building the next generation ofleaders at Foster Wheeler.”Antonio Vietti, director of human resourcesat Foster Wheeler Italiana, sees the impacton the organization’s business.“The Learning to Lead program at FosterWheeler Italiana has had a positive impacton the effectiveness of leaders, resulting innumerous team-level improvements thatwill ultimately improve the organization’sbottom line.”✪ To learn about how Foster Wheeler isfueling organizational change with the rightleadership skills, listen to the recording ofthe March 18th live webinar which is part ofour Talent Management Unplugged series.Find out more about InteractionManagement®, including the new IM:ExLSMseries for developing frontline leaders8HOW TO...KEEP FACILITATORS FRESH AND ENGAGEDBeth Sexton says that the 29 internal facilitators have been critical to the success ofFoster Wheeler’s Learning to Lead program. Here’s how she and her team ensurethey stay effective.• Stress the need to keep improving. “Even though we have exceeded our expec-tations on the scores and feedback we’ve been getting from our managers, we arestill committed to continuous improvement,” says Sexton. “That’s why we think it’sso important to identify and share best practices.”• Help them connect. “One of the things I was worried about was getting these 29people to understand that they’re part of something bigger,” says Kathleen Korpita.To help them make and maintain that connection, she created an internal facilitatornetwork that provides a forum for facilitators to discuss shared challenges andnew ideas, and examine the metrics associated with the delivery of the courses.• Keep them sharp. Korpita has launched a “facilitator sustainability” initiativewhere, as a master trainer, she will co-deliver courses with facilitators andalso use the Development Accelerator tools built into DDI’s new InteractionManagement®: Exceptional Leaders series to help keep their skills fresh. “It’simportant to remember that being a facilitator isn’t their full-time job; they areHR professionals first. We need to be able to help them seamlessly move backinto the facilitator role when they need to deliver a course.”• Emphasize personal development. “I think our own HR people would tell youthat this is one of the best things that happened to them, and to their careers,” saysSexton. “I feel like we’ve been able to help them look at this as a big part of theirown personal development, and it’s been a homerun in every direction.”Beth Sextonsenior vice president, human resources© Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.
  9. 9. Telling Number:42TRENDTRACKEROn the Front Lines in Chinaand India—Without LeadersEmployment trends in China and India warn of an increasinglyinsufficient supply of “ready-now” managers to meet theburgeoning demand. To understand the challenges facingcompanies in these two countries, DDI surveyed 482 frontlineleaders in China and 891 in India. The complete findings areincluded in the report, Finding the First Rung in China and India.Percent of managers in China who werepromoted because of their technical expertise.Unfortunately, these technical experts weremore likely to need development in seven outof nine leadership competencies.Source: Finding the First Rung in China and India.PERCENT OF MANAGERS WITH DEVELOPMENT NEEDS9China (n=1,480) India (n=255) United States (n=2,567)Source: Manager Ready®assessment dataManaging RelationshipsGuiding InteractionsCoaching for SuccessCoaching for ImprovementInfluencingDelegation & EmpowermentProblem/Opportunity Analysis66%52%43%37%32%31%88%73%56%78%56%36%27%50%27%71%76%60%47%46%29%The Great Disconnect: Assessment …More leaders in China and Indiaare lacking core leadership skillsthan their counterparts in the U.S.The chart compares the percent ofManager Ready®participants—inthe three countries—withdevelopment needs in key leadershipcompetencies. At least 27 percentof participants have a need in anygiven competency; the largestproblem areas are GuidingInteractions and Delegation& Empowerment.... vs. Self-EvaluationFor several of the skills, managers (especiallyin India) expressed a level of confidence intheir abilities that was uncorroborated byassessment results. In all of the competenciesa greater percentage of leaders in India ratedthemselves as a “strength” than did leadersin China.CHINA INDIAManaging Relationships 22% 44%Guiding Interactions 20% 38%Coaching for Success 17% 40%Coaching for Improvement 22% 42%Influencing 25% 38%Delegation & Empowerment 21% 38%Problem/Opportunity Analysis 23% 41%PERCENT OF MANAGERS RATINGTHEMSELVES A “STRENGTH”© Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.
  10. 10. 10WHAT CEOs WISHTHEY HAD KNOWNWilliam R. Johnson, chairman, president & CEO of H.J. Heinz Company, has held hisorganization’s top position for nearly 15 years—a long tenure of success leading one ofthe world’s most iconic global food companies. That’s not to say, however, that Johnsondidn’t have a lot to learn once in the job. In fact, becoming a chief executive was morechallenging than he expected.“When I was named CEO of Heinz, there was just so much I didn’t anticipate, in terms ofthe impact on both my professional life and my personal life,” says Johnson. “Lookingback, there are a number of things I wish I had known.”A few years ago, as Johnson reflected on his transition, he began to wonder if his experi-ence was unique. Johnson was certain his peers at other global public companies musthave encountered surprises of their own as they settled into the unfamiliar territory of theCEO role, but information on the subject of CEO management transitions seemed to bescant or fragmented.One of the business world’s most respected CEOs is shininga light on what it takes to be successful in the top job.William R. Johnson,president and CEO ofH.J. Heinz Company,commissioned a study ofCEO management transitions.© Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.
  11. 11. That realization led him to commission a study in whichsitting CEOs would be interviewed and their insightsand experiences documented. The research was initiallyintended to enhance management transition planning atHeinz and prepare its future leaders, but the results wereso candid, enlightening, and instructive that Johnsondecided to green light a book project.The result is Preparing CEOs for Success: “What I WishI Knew,” a book based on the study commissioned byJohnson and written by the lead researchers, Leslie W.Braksick and James S. Hillgren of The ContinuousLearning Group, Inc.For the study, Braksick and Hillgren interviewed 27 cur-rent and former CEOs of some of the world’s largest andmost successful companies, mining their experiencesand insights about the challenges they faced—many ofwhich were unexpected—and what they had learnedabout themselves in the process. The global companiesrepresented by this group of leaders included AT&T,Bank of America, Caterpillar, General Mills, Johnson &Johnson, McKesson, and PepsiCo, to name a few.Eight common themes emerged from the interviews, rep-resenting what the CEOs said they were not prepared for,and the things they wish they’d known before they movedinto the role: 1) tenacity, patience, and judgment requiredfor decision-making, 2) unique challenges posed by theleadership team you inherit, 3) prioritization takes on awhole new meaning, 4) developing a trusting relationshipwith your board is essential, 5) transitioning well matters,6) unending governance challenges, 7) public scrutiny: noprivate life, and 8) isolation of the job.These themes are illuminated by many insightful quotesfrom the CEOs, who articulated the stresses, difficulties,pleasant surprises, and valuable lessons learned.Consider some of the quotes from CEOs interviewedabout prioritization:“I was surprised by the time management and prioritiza-tion challenges—both on internal and external things.I had to learn to say ‘no’ and to manage my time better.”“I had no idea how physically demanding the job wouldbe. For this job, I need to be energetic, focused, anddisciplined all of the time.”“I knew that the job of CEO would be demanding, butI was surprised at how much it truly infringes on mypersonal life. This is truly a 24/7 job.”“My biggest surprise is that being CEO is as fun as it is.”As its title implies, Preparing CEOs for Success is morethan a book of reflection. It also includes information onthe personal qualities, career experiences, and manageri-al practices to which the CEOs attributed their success.As the authors point out, this information is meant tobenefit those accountable for developing future CEOs,including board members, succession committees, sittingCEOs, and HR leaders.“I believe preparing CEOs is one of corporate America’smost important obligations,” Johnson said in Septemberwhen delivering a keynote speech on the study findingsto a group of HR executives. “It’s a particularly impor-tant challenge for HR people today, because it’s criticalthat they are preparing leaders for the next generation.”In addition, the book features a “CEO Handbook”containing advice from the 27 CEOs for their successorsand for others who aspire to become CEOs of global,multibillion-dollar companies. This advice covers areassuch as handling the handoff from the previous chair-man/CEO, working with a board of directors, combatingthe isolation of the job, and dos and don’ts for succession.As Johnson points out, advice such as this is especiallyvaluable given the high bar set for CEOs today.“In this rapidly changing and challenging environment,we need well-prepared, dynamic leaders that possesscharacter, drive, experience, integrity, courage, talent, andvision, so that they can deliver exceptional performance inany situation.”✪ Preparing CEOs for Success is available throughmajor online booksellers, in both paperback ande-book editions. The net proceeds from thebook are being donated to Ronald McDonaldHouse Charities, which creates, finds, andsupports programs that directly improve thehealth and well-being of children.11 © Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.
  12. 12. WHEN IT COMES TO LEADERSHIP,ALL CONVERSATIONS ARE CRUCIALLeaders spend a significant portion of their time engaged in interactions.The quality of those interactions can have a significant impact.12By Mark Busine© Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.Inthe four decades leading up to 2010, perhaps the most sig-nificant change in the corporate landscape was the transitionfrom an economic society based on physical and tangibleassets, such as plants and equipment, to one based on intan-gible assets, including customer relationships, brand, ideas,and innovation. It is now estimated that intangible assetsaccount for more than 80 percent of an organization’s value,and knowledge workers more than 40 percent of the workforce.In recent years, McKinsey and Co. has explored the relation-ship between workplace interactions and the productivity ofknowledge workers, believing that the key to improvingknowledge-worker productivity lies in organizations’ ability toidentify and address the barriers workers face in their dailyinteractions. This research, for which McKinsey examinedseveral knowledge-based organizations, focused on thebroader barriers (physical/technical, social/cultural, contextu-al, and time) that inhibit effective workplace interactions.While these barriers matter, this view overlooks an importantreality: Leaders spend a significant portion of their timeengaged in interactions, and the quality of these interactions,including informal discussions, has a significant impact onthe performance and productivity of both the individuals andthe organization.Consider for a moment the amount of time wasted in poorlymanaged meetings. Or worse, the lost productivity whensomebody leaves a discussion frustrated and disengaged. Iforganizations were able to quantify the financial impact of poorconversations, they would quickly conclude that improving thequality of workplace interactions must be a priority for both theorganization and individual leaders. Indeed, one might con-clude that the ability to manage interactions effectively is at theheart of successful leadership.THE COMMON INTERACTION TRAPSThrough our research and our work with thousands of leadersaround the world and across all levels of the leadershippipeline, we at DDI have identified seven common interactiontraps that inhibit leader, team, and organizational effectiveness.1. Going straight to fixing the problem. Leaders, whohave often been rewarded and promoted for getting thingsdone and fixing problems, can jump too quickly to pre-senting the solution. In doing so, they fail to understandthe context of a situation and miss opportunities to includeall parties.2. (Mistakenly) believing one size fits all. Over time, peopledevelop a preferred style and/or approach to interactions.In their comfort level with how they prefer to do things, theycan be oblivious to the impact their approach has in certainsituations and on certain individuals. They may also strug-gle to accommodate different perspectives.3. Avoiding the tough issues. Many leaders struggle toaddress the tough issues; in particular, performanceissues. They lack the skills and insight to diffuse uncom-
  13. 13. 13 © Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.fortable situations and/or tackle sensitive topics. As aresult, issues can go unresolved, leading to even greatertension and more serious problems.4. Inconsistently applying skills. Leaders often adopt adifferent approach when confronted with different situationsand contexts. As a result, they may readily apply skills tosome interactions while not applying them to others—aninconsistency that can breed confusion and feed a percep-tion that the leader is ineffective.5. Influencing through the facts only. As leaders movethrough the ranks, they increasingly need to influencethrough personal rather than position power. Too often,leaders rely on logic and rationale to position an argumentor point of view when they would be better served by a“softer” approach that will allow them to build strong net-works, and appeal to the unique needs and circumstancesof individual stakeholders.6. Spotting opportunities for change but forgetting toengage others. Leaders often recognize opportunities forimprovement in areas such as products and processes butstruggle to include and engage others in the changeprocess. They don’t proactively encourage their teammembers and peers to develop ideas; they oversimplify theissues surrounding change and show little appreciation forthe impact that change can have on people.7. Coaching in the moment. When they need to coach directreports, leaders often struggle to provide coaching in atimely fashion—when it’s needed most. Furthermore, theconclusions leaders reach about their team members’development needs can often be superficial, causing themto miss opportunities to investigate fully and understand theunderlying performance gaps.IMPROVING LEADERSHIP INTERACTIONSIn the field of electronics, a circuit breaker is an automaticelectrical switch designed to protect an electrical circuit fromdamage caused by an overload or short circuit. Its core func-tion is to interrupt an otherwise-damaging electrical flow.When leaders have and apply the skills they need for effec-tive conversations with their team members, peers, and otherkey stakeholders, the skills act as a sort of circuit breaker toprevent damage to critical relationships. At DDI, we refer tothese critical skills as the Interaction EssentialsSMbecausethey are the foundational behaviors that make leaders effec-tive. They include:• Maintain or enhance self-esteem.• Listen and respond with empathy.• Ask for help and encourage involvement.• Share thoughts, feelings, and rationale (to build trust).• Provide support without removing responsibility(to build ownership).The Interaction EssentialsSMalso include interaction guide-lines that form a five-stage process (Open, Clarify, Develop,Agree, and Close) leaders follow to ensure that interactionsachieve their intended outcomes.These skills may sound like common sense, but our researchhas shown that leaders often lack them. The good news isthat these skills can be developed. With the right training,practice, and continual application, any leader can acquirethese skills and become adept at conducting effective andsuccessful conversations that serve to strengthen relation-ships, and drive engagement and results.CONCLUSIONIn many organizations, people typically are moved into lead-ership positions based on their strong technical knowledgeand skills. In fact, the promotion into a leadership role is oftena “reward” for having demonstrated technical excellence.However, the assumption that people with strong technicalskills make good leaders is simply not true. The functions andskills of leadership are quite different and require a funda-mental shift in the way one thinks and operates.The transition to a leadership role is difficult. It’s challengingbut also achievable. Acquiring core skills, such as interactionskills, is possible for anyone willing to try new behaviors andnew ways of viewing themselves and their work.✪ To read more about the importance of interactions, download theDDI research paper Driving Workplace Productivity Through HighQuality Interactions.MARK BUSINE is general manager,DDI Australia.download
  14. 14. 14WHAT’S GOING ONDDI Again Takes Part in CNBCAsia Business Leaders AwardsIn November in Bangkok, DDI again presented theAsia Talent Management Award at the 11th CNBCAsia Business Leaders Awards 2012. The winnerwas Dr. Lee Suk-Chae of KT Corp. for his personalinvolvement in supporting and nurturing his organi-zation’s next generation of leaders. Rich Wellins,senior vice president, DDI, presented the award.CNBC pioneered the Asia Business LeadersAwards (ABLA) to acknowledge exceptional CEOsacross the region. As CNBC’s research partner,DDI conducts in-depth, face-to-face interviews withshortlisted CEOs to assess their leadership qualitiesbased on criteria such as strategy formulation andexecution, talent management, innovation, culture, and social contribution.Each year, DDI conducts in-depth interviews with top CEOs across 10 coun-tries: China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines,Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.“DDI plays a critical role in the selection process, continually outdoing them-selves in capturing the strengths and achievements of the candidates, andalways managing to give our judges a selection of the best corporate lead-ers Asia has to offer,” says Satpal Brainch, managing director of CNBCAsia Pacific.Other awards presented at the ceremony included: Asia Business Leaderof the Year: Mr. N. Chandrasekaran of Tata Consultancy Services; AsiaInnovator of the Year: Mr. M.S. Unnikrishnan of Thermax Ltd.; CorporateSocial Responsibility Award: Mr. Choo Chiau Beng, of Keppel Corp;Thailand Business Leader of the Year: Mr. Aswin Techajareonvikul of BerliJucker Co. PCL (BJC); and the Lifetime Achievement Award: Mr. DhaninChearavanont of Charoen Pokphand (CP).Also in November, CNBC and TV18 hosted the India Business LeadersAwards (IBLA) to celebrate the spirit of excellence in business leadershipin India. At the awards ceremony in Mumbai, DDI was proud to present theIndia Talent Management Award to Mr. Kuldip Kaura of ACC Ltd.View a video of the ABLA ceremony.DDI sits down with some stand-upindustry experts for an engagingseries of conversations.Hear from your peers—talentexecutives on the front lines ofindustry-leading organizations,working to accommodate the challenges ofchange: branding, customer service, andleadership.Each 45-minute webinar features a distin-guished client discussing the talent strategythey spearheaded in response to a particu-lar business pain point. The engaging con-versation will conclude with your questionson leadership development, high potentialacceleration, assessment, and hiring. Sojoin the conversation.March 18 | Foster WheelerFueling organizational change withthe right leadership skills.April 17 | VF CorporationDesigning a consistent global brandwith its top talent.May 23 | AlcoaProducing stronger frontline leadersfor a better bottom line.Learn more about these webinars.DDI’s Rich Wellins with AsiaTalent Management Awardwinner Dr. Lee Suk-Chae ofKT Corp.© Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.
  15. 15. DDI ONTWITTERWWW.TWITTER.COM/DDIWORLD15✪ Podcasts✪ Research Reports✪ Video✪ Bonus ContentVisit www.ddiworld.com/GOGODEEP!DDI’S WORK WITH BOSCH UNDSIEMENS HAUSGERÄTE (BSH) WINSGERMAN HR EXCELLENCE AWARDDDI’s executive development program for home appliance manufacturerBosch und Siemens Hausgeräte (BSH) won the prestigious German HRExcellence Award 2012 in the “Leadership Development” category.The award-winning program for top executives is aligned with BSH’sbusiness goals. It is based on the results of a DDI development center,which provides a long-term sustainable development path and suppliesthe organization with talent.The HR Excellence Awards honor outstanding HR projects that demon-strate extraordinary creativity, innovation, and integration into corporatestrategy and sustainability.Read more about the award-winning program.✪Watch Some Great Stories!We have built a great—and growing—onlinevideo library of our clients telling their talentmanagement stories. Each video features anHR professional or leader telling how DDIhelped his or her organization with a talentmanagement challenge—whether it was buildinga leadership pipeline, selecting and developingthe best, or developing exceptional leaders.GO WINSMARCOMAWARD!GO was named a 2012 Gold MarComAward winner by the Association ofMarketing and CommunicationProfessionals, an international associ-ation of creative professionals. Awardjudges “look for companies and indi-viduals whose talent exceeds a highstandard of excellence and whosework serves as a benchmark for theindustry.” GO was selected for a GoldMarCom award from among more than6,000 entries from throughout the U.S.,Canada, and several other countries.To access theDDI client videolibrary, visitwww.ddiworld.com/GO.Insights from 10 Years ofAssessment DataDDI has launched a series of Leadership Insights articles that represent a10-year culmination of assessment analytics.Each piece explores over a decade of executive assessment data to examinethe characteristics of leaders who rise to the top, and what talent managersand HR professionals can do to help make leaders more successful.Click here to download this first piece in the series.© Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.
  16. 16. 16To create transformative experiences for your frontlineleaders, we researched, refined, and perfected the optimal com-bination of timeless and new skills. Then we created a robust,easy-to-deploy mix of training options for maximum flexibilityand efficiency. And we even created innovative new ways tobuild on our proven approach to translating development intosustainable behavior that drives business results. In short, wetook something great and made it even greater!GET TO KNOWAND LOVEIM:EXL!DDI has recently launched our NEW Interaction Management®:Exceptional Leaders (IM:ExLSM) series—it’s frontline developmentreimagined for the realities of today’s workplace!SM© Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.
  17. 17. 17IT’S DEVELOPMENT YOUR LEADERS WILLACTUALLY ASK FOR!The content hits the mark. The topics covered in all26 half-day IM: ExLSMcourses equip leaders to:Coach for PerformanceManage ChangeInspire InnovationBuild Engagement and TrustMake Decisions and Drive ResultsInfluence, Network, and PartnerSelect, Develop, and Retain TalentPlus, we’ve surrounded these courses with the tools,methodology, development planning, manager support,and technology required not only to train leaders, but totransform them into better leaders.We’ve made it engaging! Your leaders will love theIM: ExLSMcourses, from the enjoyable learning activities,games, realistic business cases, and thought-provokingdiscussions, to the participant materials and videos thatconnect course concepts to real-world application.Extraordinary leaders need essential skills. IM: ExLSMdevelops the skills leaders need right now, such as drivinginnovation and leading remote teams, and it also empha-sizes those timeless behaviors that effective leaders havealways needed and always will. We refer to these behaviorsas the Interaction EssentialsSMbecause they are the founda-tional skills that make leaders effective.Because great leaders do great things! The skillsand stronger interpersonal behaviors leaders learn inIM: ExLSMcan be used anywhere, including at home andin the community. It’s not just about developing betterbosses and coworkers, but about growing better peoplewho make a positive impact on the lives of others—in andout of the workplace.THIS GOES FAR BEYOND THETRADITIONAL CLASSROOMA new standard for leveraging critical individualassessment data to make learning more efficient.Facilitators can use assessment data from Manager Ready®or Leadership Mirror®to drive personalized learning bytailoring course delivery and skill practice opportunities tothe specific needs of each learner.The latest technology and flexible learning options—blended to perfection. Because how leaders use tech-nology has changed, with IM: ExLSMwe’ve incorporateddelivery options including traditional classroom, web-based training, virtual classroom, and support for tech-nology-enabled social and peer learning.Development Accelerators. Each IM: ExLSMcourseincludes course-specific activities learners can use before,during, or after training to delve deeper into specific coursetopics, refresh their knowledge and skills, apply what theylearn, and track their progress.Online learning support resources. To expand theirIM: ExLSMexperience, learners can complete an onlinesimulation to see how they measure up in their ability tomeet others’ personal needs when interacting with teammembers and peers. They also can log onto DDI®AnyTime. This innovative new mobile resource is likehaving “a coach in your pocket” that leaders can accessfor course-specific content, job aids, and additionaldevelopment resources where and when they need itmost. For the ultimate in post-training support, you cangive your leaders access to OPAL®, DDI’s comprehensiveonline performance support system which features thou-sands of tips, pointers, and skill-sharpening activities.Plenty of great tools and techniques to prompt innovation within the organization.What really helped was the amount of interaction.Hearing other individual points of view sparked ideas for my team.© Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.
  18. 18. 18THE INTERACTION MANAGEMENT®:EXCEPTIONAL LEADERS (IM: ExLSM)COURSES- Accelerating Business Decisions- Addressing Poor Performance- Advanced Coaching- Building a Service Culture- Building and Sustaining Trust- Coaching for Peak Performance- Communicating for Leadership Success- Delegating with Purpose- Developing Yourself and Others- Driving Change- Engaging and Retaining Talent- Executing Strategy at the Front Line- Fostering Innovation- Leading in These Times- Leading Meetings That Work- Leading Virtually+- Making High-Quality Decisions- Maximizing Team Performance- Planning and Managing Resources*- Reinforcing Leadership Development- Resolving Workplace Conflict- Setting Goals and Reviewing Results- Strategies for Influencing Others- Strengthening Your Partnerships- Strong StartSM- Your Leadership Journey+ Available as a web-based course only.* Self-study course.HERE’S JUST SOME OF WHAT OURCLIENTS—AND THEIR LEADERS—ARE SAYING ABOUT IM: EXLSM. . .“The participant activities, slides, videos, managersupport, and Development Accelerators have risento a new, higher standard of excellence.”“I love what I see in IM: ExLSM.”“The highly interactive style was conducive to learn-ing the materials and the high energy kept everyoneengaged and involved.”“As a new leader, the interactive and hands-onnature . . . was exactly what I needed.”“Very interactive. Great group activities. Heightensawareness on your own leadership style.”“What really helped was the amount of interaction.Hearing other individual points of view sparkedideas for my team.”“I was thinking how I could implement strategies/techniques/actions with my team.”Click here to learn moreabout IM: ExLSM?© Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.
  19. 19. LEADERSHIP ISBROKENDDI’s survey finds that few people thinkbusiness leadership is adequate.Learn more about the Interaction Essentialshttp://www.ddiworld.com/leadership-todayHUMANRESOURCES:WHAT ARE THE BEST LEADERS DOING?EMPLOYEES SAYOF LEADERSARE HIGH-QUALITY25%OF LEADERSARE HIGH-QUALITY38%ONLYOF EMPLOYEES ARECURRENTLY WORKING FOR THE49%OF BOSSES ARE EFFECTIVE!ONLY34%BEST MANAGER THEY HAVE EVER WORKED FOR60%53% 51% 56% 57%40%RECOGNIZINGSUPPORTING INVOLVINGLISTENING EXPLAININGRATIONALEMAINTAININGSELF-ESTEEMLeaders with strong interaction skills producestriking results among their teams.HAVE MOREENGAGEDTEAMS89%DON’T WAIT:IMPROVE YOUR LEADERSHIP NOW83%LEAD TEAMS TO EXCEED THEIRPRODUCTIVITY GOALS3TIMES LESS LIKELYTURNOVER ISLEADERSTHINK THATBESTBOSS% of leaders that currently do thisINTERACTION SKILLSMAKE THE DIFFERENCE!19IT’S NOT only HR who thinks leaderquality is low. In DDI’s 2011 GlobalLeadership Forecast nearly 1 in 4leaders rated their organization’sleaders as just “fair” or “poor.”EMPLOYEES STATED clearly thatthey are not looking for their leaderto be a friend: “Took time to socializewith me” and “Asked about myhobbies and interests” came atthe bottom of the list of behaviorsthat set best-ever leaders apart.JUST 5 PERCENTof employeesof WORST managers agreed that“My manager does a good job ofhelping me be more productive.”Want to see more?Download the full Lessonsfor Leaders from thePeople Who Matter:How Employees Aroundthe World View TheirLeaders study.downloadIN THE 2012DDI global workforcestudy that produced the findings citedin this infographic, nearly half ofemployees felt they could do theirboss’ job, only better. But only46 percent would actually wanttheir boss’ job.A WHOPPING 98percent ofemployees of BEST managers agreedwith the statement, “I feel motivatedto give my best to my manager.”WHEN WORKING FOR theirWORST manager, 68 percent ofemployees wanted to leave the jobbecause of their manager’s attitude.© Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.
  20. 20. Megan Berry Barlow is from Texas where, by repu-tation because of the size of the state, everything isbigger. But she was taken aback the first time she visitedNebraska Furniture Mart’s Omaha location.“When I moved from Texas to Nebraska, I didn’t workat Nebraska Furniture Mart right away,” recalls BerryBarlow, the company’s human resources director. “Weneeded some furniture for our new house and my hus-band kept telling me we have to go to NebraskaFurniture Mart. It’s so big. I said, you know I’m fromTexas, how big could it be? We went, and I was actual-ly a little bit overwhelmed. It is that large.”Large barely begins to describe the scale of the colossalstores, located in Omaha, Nebraska; Kansas City,Kansas; and Des Moines, Iowa. The Kansas City andOmaha locations each have a footprint of more than onemillion square feet, including both showroom and dis-tribution space. A fourth store, to be located in BerryBarlow’s native Texas, is slated to open in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in 2015. It will be the largest locationWHERE CUSTOMER SERVICE IS BIG20GOTOWORKNebraska Furniture Mart is known for its hugestores—and its even bigger focus on customer service.© Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.
  21. 21. yet at 1.8 million square feet—with a showroom the sizeof 10 American football fields.Size matters at Nebraska Furniture Mart, which pridesitself on its low-price guarantee as much as on its expan-sive showrooms. Its locations are destinations, drawingin customers who travel hundreds of miles from all overthe midwestern U.S. to shop for furniture, flooring, elec-tronics, and appliances. But the customer experience iswhat matters most of all.“If you go to any Nebraska Furniture Mart store, you’llpretty much hear everyone sharing the same philosophy,that everything we do begins andends with our customers,” says AprilJackson, training and organizationaldevelopment manager.It’s a commitment that is carried outthrough the organization’s talent sys-tems.“SELL CHEAP AND TELL THE TRUTH”Like many other big business successstories, Nebraska Furniture Mart’sbegins with one individual: RoseBlumkin, a Russian immigrant who, in 1937, opened a fur-niture store in the basement of her husband’s pawn shop indowntown Omaha. “Mrs. B,” as she is still affectionatelyreferred to within the organization (she died in 1998 at age104; she worked at the company until she was 103), builtNebraska Furniture Mart on a simple yet timeless mantra:“Sell cheap and tell the truth.”Selling cheap and telling the truth remains NebraskaFurniture Mart’s core operating philosophy 14 yearsafter Blumkin’s death and nearly three decades after shesold an 80 percent stake in the business to investorWarren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway company. The evi-dence is visible everywhere in the stores, from the wideselection of offerings found in its showrooms to the cut-ting-edge electronic price tag system updated daily toensure customers are getting the lowest prices. But themost important evidence is found in the organization’scustomer-centered approach to its people.“We try to write all our strategies and hire people webelieve will be able to deliver an exceptional experienceto our customers. That’s just who we are,” says Jackson.“We pride ourselves on being able to provide an excep-tional experience for every customer that walks throughour doors or shops on our web site.”Making sure the right people are in all roles—salespeo-ple, managers, those working in back office jobs, distri-bution center employees—begins with hiring those whoare the right fit. To make this happen, NebraskaFurniture Mart has instituted hiring processes that com-bine testing and interviewing. For the testing compo-nent of the process, depending on thejob for which the candidate is apply-ing, he or she will take DDI’s job-applicable Team Member CareerBattery, Customer Service CareerBattery, Sales Insight Inventory, orLeadership Insight Inventory. Heor she also goes through one ormore Targeted Selection®behavioralinterviews. The Targeted Selection®system targets the competencies andmotivational fit required for success in each job.In addition to determining whether or not the individualhas the skills and ability to do the job, the process alsoserves to reveal whether or not the candidate is a goodmatch with the organizational culture.“If you don’t have the right attitude, that’s the deal-breaker,” says Berry Barlow.Getting hired is just the beginning. Once on board,employees go through an intensive multi-day orientationprogram where, as Jackson points out, the focus on cus-tomer needs is emphasized throughout.“When we do our new employee orientation, we sharethe history of our company, which centers around Mrs.B’s fundamentals, including sell cheap, tell the truth, andtake care of our customers. And as we talk aboutNebraska Furniture Mart today and our future, you cansee those themes resounding throughout our culture.21“We pride ourselveson being able toprovide an exceptionalexperience for everycustomer that walksthrough our doors”© Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.
  22. 22. Each new staff member leaves knowing that our cus-tomers come first, and we will all work together tomake sure each experience is exceptional.”New employees, as all incumbent employees did beforethem, also go through a customized version of DDI’sService Plus®customer service training course, whichDDI has recently re-introduced as Taking the Heat, aspart of the Interaction Management®: ExceptionalPerformers series. The Service Plus®training helps par-ticipants recognize the business impact of customerretention, develop skills to identify and respond to dis-satisfied customers, and use a set of best practices to turndifficult customer situations into positive interactions.The training, which stretches overthree days, represents a major costfor a retail organization that needsto keep people on the job, makingsales and taking care of customers.But Nebraska Furniture Mart seesit as a worthwhile commitment—one that’s supported from the top ofthe organization.“Our president, Ron Blumkin, whois Mrs. B’s grandson, is a greatchampion of Service Plus,” saysJackson. “He truly believes that the skills you learn in thecourse are life skills that will make you a better personand make your life easier. As a matter of fact, he’s oneof our facilitators for Service Plus.“And he really does practice what Service Plus teaches.If you see him out on the sales floor interacting with acustomer or with a staff member, he never misses anopportunity to use the Key Principles taught in the course.We’re very fortunate to have him as a role model.”It’s not just the senior leaders who support the customerservice culture, but all leaders. To help them in this crit-ical role, Nebraska Furniture Mart has established adevelopment program for frontline leaders that incorpo-rates courses from DDI’s Interaction Management®leadership development system.“We did a needs analysis and tried to really understandwhat our managers and supervisors really needed to helpthem lead their teams with that mindset of always takingcare of our customers, as well as taking care of ourstaff,” says Jackson. “All of the courses in our leadershipdevelopment program are DDI courses, which allows usto reinforce the language and concepts that are inService Plus. We’ve really set up everything aroundcreating an exceptional customer experience.”To track the usage of the customer service skills,Nebraska Furniture Mart relies on customer surveys.Survey questions such as whether or not the customer islikely to return to the store, help gauge whether or notemployees are successfully deliv-ering the best-possible customerexperience.“You get to a point where the pricealone won’t bring customers in, sothe differentiator becomes how youtreat your customers. Exceptionalcustomer service is the way we dif-ferentiate ourselves from our com-petitors,” explains Jackson.To further reinforce and perpetuateNebraska Furniture Mart’s culture,Berry Barlow has begun working with senior manage-ment on a succession strategy, and on identifying anddeveloping future senior leaders.At only 3,000 employees, Nebraska Furniture Mart isnot one of the larger companies within BerkshireHathaway. However, Berry Barlow says that it is at theforefront when it comes to its focus on talent.“When we go to the national meetings, we are middle ofthe pack, in terms of size. There are some organiza-tions, such as Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Fruit ofthe Loom, which have tens of thousands of employees.This particular year I walked away with a sense of sat-isfaction for the work we do because we were focusingon the same things as some of those big guys. We’vestarted to look at the people we need for the future, and22Nebraska Furniture Mart will open itslargest store yet in Texas in 2015.© Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.
  23. 23. what it will take to help them developthe skills necessary to keep us compet-itive. Those were the same things thatthose other, larger organizations arethinking about.”THEY WON’T SHOP ANYWHERE ELSEWhen Jackson is asked what the payoffis for Nebraska Furniture Mart’s cus-tomer service commitment, she getsright to the heart of it.“When I think about our commitmentbeing successful, I like to look at sales.When sales are strong it means cus-tomers are coming in the doors, talkingwith our salespeople, and then they areoff to tell their friends about NebraskaFurniture Mart, and they themselvescome back for their future needs. If wetake care of our customers, they keepcoming back and they tell others toshop here.”Jackson also speaks of customers whovow they won’t shop anywhere else,and those who proudly announce thattheir family has shopped at NebraskaFurniture Mart for generations. “That,to me, means that we’re really walkingthe talk.”Berry Barlow says she regularly seesand hears of instances where employ-ees are using the customer serviceskills they have developed.“The last time I taught Service Plus, Ihad a manager come in and tell mehow, the night before, he had witnesseda situation where a customer ended upbeing very unhappy. Then he told meabout how great this one particularstaff member did at taking care of thesituation, how he looked for opportuni-ties to exceed the customer’s expecta-tions. Not only did the staff membersolve the problem, but then he also tookthe customer’s purchases out to her carand unloaded them for her, which isreally not something we typically do. Itwas just something else he felt he coulddo to really wow the customer.”The training also helps contribute tostrong employee loyalty and engage-ment, an area the organization tracksby surveying employees.“Our goal would be that you wouldnever think about going anywhere elseother than Nebraska Furniture Mart topurchase home furnishing items. Iwould like to think the same thingabout HR, that our employees are sohappy that they don’t ever want acareer elsewhere,” says Berry Barlow,who points out that seven percent ofemployees have been with the organi-zation for 20 or more years.Jackson concurs that NebraskaFurniture Mart is not only a customer-focused organization, but also a greatplace to work.“I just think this is just such a uniqueorganization. They figured out how todo it a long time ago, and it’s reallyrooted in the ability to build reallystrong relationships. I love workinghere.”Learn more about Nebraska Furniture Martand its history of focusing on its customers.23✪Megan Berry Barlow,human resources directorApril Jackson,training and organizationaldevelopment managerNebraska Furniture Mart’sThree Keys to GreatCustomer Service1. Selecting the right people.2. Setting clear expectations.3. Ensuring leaders serveas great role models.© Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.
  24. 24. 24The author of The Work Revolutionenvisions a workplace defined by“freedom and excellence for all.”After completing a Ph.D. in behavior analysis, Julie Clow spenther early career “dutifully working in traditional corporate envi-ronments” designing and delivering training courses. Her work-ing world view exploded in 2006 when she began a five-yearstint at Google. The company’s expectation of innovation and itsunique culture inspired her book, The Work Revolution:Freedom and Excellence for All. Her experience at Google alsohelped shape her Work Revolution Manifesto, which proclaims“Freedom in the workplace is worth fighting for, and every per-son and every organization can be excellent.”The Work Revolution, as Clow envisions it, needs to begin notwith a leadership coup or sweeping reforms, but rather withsmall, individual efforts that, in concert and over time, possessthe power to turn a rules-driven corporate culture upside down.She talked to GO about the current state of the world of work, theneed to change its nature and structure, and why youngeremployees may already be firing the Work Revolution’s first shots.GO: What inspired you to write The Work Revolution?CLOW: It was the high-definition contrast between my experi-ence with traditional organizations—with set times, dress codes,and top-down direction—and my introduction to Google. All of asudden I was an adult; co-workers viewed me as a colleaguewith something significant to offer. I saw how positively and per-sonally I responded to an environment built on trust, and Ibecame passionate about trying to articulate what I was feeling.I began to question the assumptions behind the way we managepeople, and take a fresh look at whether or not we needed allthose rules and regulations. The book was an outgrowth of theliberating environment I so wholeheartedly embraced at Google.Coffeeon theGO withJULIE CLOW© Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.
  25. 25. 25COFFEE ON THE GOGO: Do we really need a workrevolution?CLOW: Absolutely. The biggest rea-son is that the type of work that we’redoing now is vastly different than thework we did at the turn of the 20th cen-tury. While most of the jobs of yorewere manual-labor intensive, today’sjobs are knowledge-based. It’s nowmuch more about innovation and find-ing new ways of solving problems. It nolonger makes sense to have a manage-ment system that is structured to elicitspecific behaviors and deliver pre-scribed outcomes. Companies such asGoogle understand that in this environ-ment, we need to empower people tomake an infinite number of decisionsabout a world of unknowns, which mayor may not require solutions. In thebook, I wrote about the outdated toolsthat are no longer effective.GO: What is the impact onemployees when companies donot update their tools to align withthe times?CLOW: I think employee disengage-ment is the most debilitating symptom ofan ailing corporate culture. If you showup to work each day, and you’re workingon something in isolation—without anyunderstanding of how your efforts sup-port the bigger picture or add value—it isreally easy to become bored and dissat-isfied. When iron-fisted managers reignas the all-answer guys and are dismis-sive of new ideas and the people whopropose them, they continue to wreakhavoc on organizational morale. Badmanagement is a result of not question-ing the status quo, not moving forward,and not empowering employees.GO: Speaking of questioning thestatus quo and moving forward,how does innovation figure intothe need to reinvent work?CLOW: Bottom line: When companiesfail to think innovatively, profits shrink.Executives get fixated on the notionthat they’re producers of X, Y, and Z,rather than focusing on being problem-solvers for their end-users. And, prob-lem-solving is an ongoing, constantlyevolving process.If we continue to believe as an organi-zation that we have all the answers, weforfeit the opportunity to take our les-sons learned and apply them to thenext hurdle or innovation. Highturnover, as a result of inside-the-boxthinking, is also very destructive to anorganization. If instead you can revolu-tionize the workplace, you’ll likely enjoyfavored employer status and attract toptalent to drive greater innovation.GO: You point out that the revolu-tion has a special appeal to GenYers. Does its success rest withthem? Is the movement genera-tional?CLOW: I think it resonates with GenYers in particular, although I don’tbelieve their entrance into the work-force necessitated the kinds of changeswe are discussing. I really believe thatthe revolution will grow skyward, andthe Gen Yers have a demonstratedaffinity for grassroots initiatives. Ibelieve real change will start with them,and I’ve seen some examples to sup-port this. Readers have told me that asa result of the book, they’ve revisedtheir mission statements, so that theirstated roles are now part of the collec-tive mission of the company and areinfused with promises of possibility. I’veheard this new perspective more fromthe Gen Y group than from any of theother age demographics. I know thisisn’t a statistically significant sample;just a few data points, but it’s veryencouraging.I think a lot about Facebook and how itbegan with that generation and grewfrom there. One of the arguments Imake in my book is that the work revo-lution may similarly find a home withinthat generation and move upward, fol-lowing a similar trajectory.GO: What is the most surprisingreaction you’ve gotten to thebook?CLOW: A reader asked to connect withme on LinkedIn, then shared that she’djust finished my book and promptly quither job!Julie Clow’s book, The Work Revolution:Freedom and Excellence for All, is availablenow at bookstores and through major onlinebook retailers.View a series of videos of Clowdiscussing The Work Revolution.© Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.
  26. 26. Despite a global recession and an altered economiclandscape, the number-one challenge for organizationshas remained unchanged in the five years since DDI’s lastGlobal Selection Forecast: Whom to hire? Businesses,fortified with lessons learned and leaner and meaner oper-ations, understand better than ever that talent decisionsare the toughest and most critical to future success.Another constant: Knowing more and guessing less aboutyour candidates is the key to effective hiring.In fact, Know More. Guess Less. is the title of the GlobalSelection Forecast 2012 report, and as it shows, there isstill a lot of room for improvement in many selectionprocesses. Although companies have years of hiring expe-rience and benefit from established, formalized humanresource systems, most have trouble identifying qualifiedcandidates and employing the right tools to ensure theyhire the right people.For the Global Selection Forecast 2012, which was co-sponsored by Oracle, more than 250 staffing directors andmore than 2,000 new hires from 28 countries providedtheir perspectives on their organization’s selectionprocesses. Staffing directors offered insights into whatselection systems look like today; meanwhile, new hiresprovided an unprecedented view of how those systems areperceived. The new hires also shared their post-hire expe-riences. Organizations of all sizes are represented in the2012 Global Selection Forecast, with the majority beingmultinational. For-profit organizations span 33 industries.The findings included in the report comprise three mainsections that align with the different steps of the evalua-tion process: 1) the current state of the selection strategyand system, 2) the effectiveness and opportunities forimprovement, and 3) the post-hiring leveraging of datacollected during the selection process.DDI’S LATEST GLOBAL SELECTION FORECAST EXAMINES HOW—AND HOW EFFECTIVELY—ORGANIZATIONS ARE HIRING.MovingSelectionBeyondGuessingJazmine Boatman, Ph.D., and Scott Erker, Ph.D.26© Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.
  27. 27. 27THE STATE OF SELECTION SYSTEMS TODAYStaffing directors must not only bring in high-quality talentto meet today’s needs, but also make selections based onfuture needs. So how are the selection systems stacking up?When asked to rate the effectiveness of their selection sys-tems, nearly three out of four (72 percent) staffing directorsrate them as effective or very effective. At the same time,only 19 percent of organizations have a talent acquisitionstrategy designed to hire the very best talent. How canboth statistics be accurate? We believe the answer is thatorganizations tend to be overly optimistic when rating theirselection systems because they don’t have the right criteriato define effectiveness. Currently, most use process effi-ciency metrics (e.g., time to fill), combined with turnoverrate and hiring manager satisfaction to evaluate success(Figure1). Unfortunately, these standards do not addressseveral key questions, including whether new hires areof better quality and/or more likely to grow within theorganization.FIGURE 1: HOW STAFFING DIRECTORS EVALUATE THEIRSELECTION SYSTEMSHIRING BETTER BY HIRING FROM WITHINWhen we looked at organizations that were more suc-cessful at matching candidates to jobs, we noticed that themore senior the position, the less likely it was to be filledfrom the outside (Figure 2). For leadership positions,companies making better hires tend to promote internallyand rely less on external candidates. If a major role ofmanagement is to support strategy and meet organization-al goals, then internal candidates are attractive becauseof their familiarity with the organization’s inner workings.These companies also tend to look outside when hiringfor lower-level positions. This enables them to bring innew talent, while providing necessary time for groomingand training.FIGURE 2: EXTERNAL HIRING RATES FOR ORGANIZATIONSSUCCESSFUL AT HIRINGMAKING THE BEST HIRING DECISIONSDDI research finds that overreliance on the manager’sevaluation is the biggest contributor to hiring mistakes(Figure 3). Reliance on candidates’ self-promotion is alsoa factor and another indication that organizations are miss-ing critical information for making better talent decisions.FIGURE 3: REASONS FOR HIRING MISTAKES0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80%Percent of Staffing Directors Who Use This to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Their Selection System28%Promotability of hires36%Business impact (e.g., revenues, customer satisfaction, brand)43%Cost of system47%Improved performance/productivity of hires47%Employee engagement59%Candidate reactions/acceptability68%Hiring manager satisfaction76%Employee retention79%Process efficiency (time to fill, number of applicants)44% 45%42%0%20%40%60%80%100%IndividualcontributorsProfessionals FrontlineleadersMid-levelleadersSeniorleaders67% 66%Organizations moresuccessful in identifyingthe right people for thejob grow their ownleaders, but tendto hire externallyfor lower-levelpositions.DATABYTEPercentofPositionsFilledThroughExternalHiring0%10%20%30%40%50%31%Overrelianceon hiringmanager’sevaluation21%Candidates’overpromisedcapabilities16%Hiringmanagersdid notfollowselectionprocess14%Insufficientinformationon candidatesIgnoredinformationprovidedNot only do newhires lack criticalinformation, but it appearsthat organizations aresuffering from thesame malaise.DATABYTE7%© Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.
  28. 28. As this research confirms, staffing directors are woefullyill-equipped to make effective hiring decisions.Companies must identify what they’re looking for, in asystematic way, and then use a variety of diagnostic toolsto assess candidates on those factors. Hiring the bestinvolves knowing what it takes to be successful in a par-ticular position, and making sure the candidate has whatit takes to succeed.WHAT DO NEW HIRES THINK?Only half of new employees are confident that they madethe right decision when they accepted their job. This isevidence of a clear disconnect between the hiring processand the employee’s expectations, and the reality of theday-to-day.Our study found that those organizations that do a betterjob of providing a realistic picture of the job beforeemployment had more hires who were confident in theirdecision, were highly engaged, and were not looking toleave the organization (Figure 4). Specifically, when newhires said they did not receive an accurate picture of thejob during the hiring process, only 14 percent reportedbeing highly engaged and just 12 percent were not lookingfor another job.MISSED OPPORTUNITIESClearly, when employers don’t provide a realistic job pre-view, they miss a valuable opportunity to help ensure thata new hire is the right fit with the job. Another missedopportunity is failing to capitalize on data gathered duringthe selection process. This data is a source of rich infor-mation about the new hire’s relative strengths and devel-opment areas. Unfortunately, only 24 percent of hiringmanagers say that this data is leveraged to inform oraccelerate the new hires’ development. When used duringon-boarding, the data reinforces the value of the selectionprocess and reminds employees that their new bosses areinvested in their success. It also inspires new-hire confi-dence (Figure 5).FIGURE 4: QUALITY OF INTERVIEWS RELATED TOON-THE-JOB SENTIMENTSIn addition, the analysis of selection data can help theorganization refine and improve its selection strategy inorder to employ talent that performs better, is moreengaged, and less likely to turn over.FIGURE 5: USING HIRING INFORMATION TO INFORMDEVELOPMENT INSPIRES NEW-HIRE CONFIDENCEThis article is adapted from the Know More. Guess Less. report. Inaddition to providing a complete overview of the Global SelectionForecast 2012 findings, the report offers guidance on the use of ana-lytics and a “Get Ahead” strategy for improving organizational per-formance through better hiring.To download the full report, visit www.ddiworld.com/GO.280%20%40%60%80%1%Not at all8%Somewhat25%Mostly66%VeryPercentofOrganizationsLeveragingHiringDatatoInformNew-HireDevelopmentNew-Hire Confidence in Decision to Accept the Job0%20%40%60%80%100%10%Not at all40%Somewhat62%Mostly87%VeryPercentofNewHiresWhoHadaRealisticPictureoftheJobfromtheHiringProcessConfidence in Decision to Accept the JobJazmine Boatman, Ph.D., is manager of DDI’sCenter for Applied Behavioral Research.Scott Erker, Ph.D., is senior vice president,selection solutions, for DDI.✪download© Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.
  29. 29. 29Inno(way can i make it happen)vationThe Talent Management Expert
  30. 30. Driving Business Performancethrough Frontline LeadershipDevelopment- March 14 – Melbourne, Australia- March 21 – Sydney, AustraliaRealizing Leadership Developmentthrough Learning Journeys- March 7 – Vancouver, BC, CanadaAttracting, Retaining, and EngagingTalent in Natural Resources- March 12 – Calgary, AB, CanadaBuilding Better Leaders: Introducingthe NEW Interaction Management®:Exceptional Leaders Series- March 28 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia- April 16 – London, UKTransform Leaders to Transform YourBusiness: The Power of LearningJourneys- March 12 – Whippany, NJ- April 10 – Washington, DC- May 2 – Dallas, TX- May 14 – Chicago, ILSustainable Selection Strategies:Acquiring Tomorrow’s Talent Today- March 7 – Chicago, IL- April 4 – Minneapolis, MN- April 9 – Dallas, TX- May 15 – New York, NYLeadership @ the Cutting Edge- March 13 – Pittsburgh, PA- April 3 – New York, NY- April 30 – Houston, TX- May 1 – Atlanta, GACheckoutaLiveDDIEventNearyou!32...for any of these events, scan the QR code to visit our Eventspage (www.ddiworld.com/events). On the page you can alsosee complete listings of DDI events and the full line-up of leadingindustry conferences that DDI sponsors and attends.TO REGISTER.................................................© Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.
  31. 31. Are Leaders Driving Innovation?Our latest infographic examines the criticalrelationship between innovation and leaders.What Makes a Good Boss?We asked kids what makes a good boss. It’s no sur-prise they weren’t sure about quality management.But sometimes, grown-ups don’t know either. So,are you really that much smarter than a fifth graderwhen it comes to developing leadership skills?Information You Can Use!Check out the latest DDI thought leadership, research, and videos.To access these pieces, visit www.ddiworld.com/GO.Lessons for Leaders from the People Who MatterHow are leaders doing? We asked the people whose opinionsmatter most: their employees. This video visualizes leadershipdeficits, and shows that if leaders improve their basic skills,they’ll improve performance, too.33Global Selection Forecast 2012Read our latest trend research to KnowMore and Guess Less about the people youhire. For this study, more than 250 staffingdirectors and over 2,500 new hires from 28countries provided perspectives on theirorganization’s selection processes.Driving Workplace Productivitythrough High Quality InteractionsWe believe that interaction skills are inextricablylinked to productivity and our latest researchpaper, Driving Workplace Productivity throughHigh Quality Interactions captures this ground-breaking research for the first time.© Development Dimensions International, Inc. MMXIII. All rights reserved.
  32. 32. ONLINEEntirely new e-version featuring:• Accompanying videos• Bonus content and resources• Instant access to additional information• An easier way to share your favorite articlesCheck it out at www.ddiworld.com/goON-THE-GONow you can access and read GO on your mobile device.Same great articles and thought leadership . . . wherever you are!Go mobile at www.ddiworld.com/mobile/goDEVELOPMENT DIMENSIONS INTERNATIONAL1225 Washington Pike | Bridgeville, PA | 15017-2838 | USAInternational Headquarters: 1-800-933-4463*MNQ7*MNQ7MKTCPDM204-071210MAGOYOUR OWN WAY