News & Updates

Performance Feedback Culture: The Key to Performance Management Effectiveness

Executive Networks’ Thought Leader Series
Performance Feedback Culture: The Key to Performance Management Effectiveness with Gerry Ledford
Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017. 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM Eastern.
Register Now

The performance feedback culture of the organization is what really determines whether managers feel compelled to provide high quality feedback to subordinates. The vast majority of management attention, and the vast majority of academic research, has focused in the wrong places.

Performance feedback has been all about technique: the rating scale, the frequency of feedback, the number of raters, the rating form, etc. This is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Better feedback techniques have positive, but limited, effects on performance. We believe that culture is much more important than technique.

Companies with a strong performance feedback culture can succeed even if their performance management techniques are primitive. Conversely, the most sophisticated process will fail if it does not create a solid performance dialogue between managers and employees; managers will take the easy way out and avoid hard conversations.

The presentation discusses steps companies can take to create a strong, effective performance feedback culture. The presentation concludes with an outline of a major CEO research project on performance feedback culture that addresses these issues.

Dr. Ledford is a nationally recognized authority on aligning human capital practices to business strategy. His areas of focus include compensation and total rewards, employee engagement and involvement, talent management, the design of work, and large-scale organizational change. He recently has focused on the implications of new HR information technology for organizational effectiveness and the HR role.

To access the full article, become a member today and get 24/7 access to ENsight.

Achieving Results from Talent Analytics

Achieving Results from Talent Analytics
Thursday, April 13th, 2017. 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Eastern.
Register Now

Large companies are expanding their Human Capital Analytics capabilities to meet the business requirements for more data-driven decisions. What is the right way to build your company’s analytics capability? Drawing on over a decade’s experience leading Talent Analytics teams, Alexis Fink, PhD, will walk us through ways to build an analytics capability that drives business results.

Alexis A. Fink, PhD., is currently General Manager, Talent Intelligence Analytics at Intel. Her organization is working at the leading edge of data driven talent practices, and provides original organizational effectiveness research, HR analytics, talent marketplace analytics, HR systems and tools, and strategic workforce planning. Prior to Intel, Alexis spent 7 years at Microsoft, where her roles included Director of Talent Management Infrastructure. Her career has been characterized by an integrative approach to HR, including developing and implementing competency systems and integrated talent management systems. Her background also includes work in large scale organizational transformation and managing acquisitions. Alexis earned her PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and is a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP). In addition to practicing and leading in organizations, she continues to teach, is a frequent SIOP contributor, and an occasional author and journal editor.

To access the full article, become a member today and get 24/7 access to ENsight.

Leadership Development Is Great, but Does Your C-Suite Buy into It?

Leadership Development Is Great, but Does Your C-Suite Buy into It?
Tuesday, March 7th, 2017. 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Eastern.

Most companies are quick to say they believe in and support leadership development in their organization. Yet, just as often, most of us in the L&D field have had the personal experience of seeing the cutting of budgets for leadership development in lean times and/or difficulty in getting senior leadership participation in ongoing leadership development initiatives and programs. Join us for a webinar with Ed Garrison, Director of Leadership Development at International Paper, a leading global producer of packaging, paper and pulp products, to learn about some recent successes Ed has been a part of in getting the ultimate in C-Suite involvement.

Ed Garrison is Director, Leadership Development at International Paper. Ed provides strategic guidance and direction of the leadership development process for the corporation. As a function necessary for effective business operation, the quality of leadership is viewed as a key lever for change in the company. Ed helps to define key leadership behaviors, traits, and characteristics and incorporates them into all offerings from the company’s internal Leadership Institute. Additionally, Ed works with business groups on specific leadership initiatives tailored to their strategic needs. Ed has been with International Paper since 1994.

To access the full article, become a member today and get 24/7 access to ENsight.

NetConnect Interview: Intelligent Restraint with Alison Eyring

NetConnect Interview Series:
Intelligent Restraint with Alison Eyring
Thursday, February 23rd, 2017. 12:00 – 1:00 PM Eastern.

Whether you’re running a race or running a company, pacing is everything. Go too fast and you’ll burn yourself out—too slow and you’re left in the dust. In our upcoming NetConnect interview, author Alison Eyring shares her concept of Intelligent Restraint, based on in-depth business case studies and psychological research. The result is a revolutionary new mindset for business growth and enduring success.

Alison Eyring, PhD, is the founder and CEO of Organisation Solutions. She has worked closely with senior executives in companies such as American Express, De Beers, Four Seasons, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Prudential, and Shell over the past twenty-five years. Her new book “Pacing for Growth: Why Intelligent Restraint Drives Long-term Success” has gotten attention from some of the world’s top business leaders.

“As CEO, I am constantly faced with the tension of leading a successful company to execute our core business and, at the same time, prepare ourselves for the future. Pacing for Growth gives leaders a new approach to solving this inherent paradox.”
—Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group

To access more events like this, become a member today and get 24/7 access to ENsight.


Advance Your People Analytics Framework

Advance Your People Analytics Framework – with Microsoft’s Dawn Klinghoffer
Thursday, February 9th, 2017. 12:00 – 1:00 PM Eastern.

Advanced people analytics and research increasingly support data-driven decision-making in the world’s best companies. But understanding how to collect meaningful information, drill down into critical data, and summarize findings to support next talent decisions can be a challenge. How are organizations actually tackling the field and how are they approaching the overall topic? How are companies like Microsoft integrating talent strategy, management and analytics into a more holistic framework? Join us as we discuss these questions with Dawn Klinkhoffer, General Manager of HR Business Insights at Microsoft.

Dawn Klinghoffer is the General Manager of HR Business Insights at Microsoft in Redmond, Washington. Her responsibilities include advanced people analytics & research for Microsoft’s business units globally, analytics support for HR programs such as Global Talent Acquisition, Global Diversity & Inclusion, Global HR Operations, reporting tools and technology for HR, and HR data privacy. Dawn started her career with Microsoft over 18 years ago in Corporate Accounting, but has spent the last 13 years in the People Analytics space, as the team has grown in scope and scale. Before Microsoft, Dawn worked as an Actuary with leading insurers. Dawn graduated with a BA in Mathematics from Bucknell University.


To access more events like this, become a member today and get 24/7 access to ENsight.

The Compelling Case for More Targeted Developmental Assignments

Morgan McCall of USC recently spoke at our Thought Leader Series on “Using Experience to Develop Leadership Talent”. The session was based on research about assignments that contribute to developing leaders.  While at CCL, he published High Flyers, where he identified specific assignments and learnings leaders would get from them. This sounds like common sense, but was viewed as a step forward in leadership development.   Research results fit “The 70/20/10 Learning Model” (Mike Lombardo- CCL).  It shows 70% of individual learning from direct experience, 20% from others (managers, peers, etc.) and 10% from education and training.  This strategy supports the 70% of learning from direct experience.  Assignments have high impact when they address a leaders’ development gaps; more so when supervised by a manager with a leader development reputation.   Leaders with cross functional/cross boundary experience view things more strategically than those lacking that experience.  This skill enables General Managers to better understand the organizational effects of single events. It requires a broad organizational perspective, which targeted assignments provide. With this much value – learning from targeted experiences, why is its use limited?  Some reasons:  Rotational new location assignments are expensive, especially international ones.  Dr. Edward Lawler of USC claims removing a global general manager costs up to 5 million dollars. Relocation costs and impact on school age children also limit their use. And some organizations are unwilling to transfer talented performers.  Many division managers actually “hoard talent” and refuse transfers to other divisions. Further, HR leaders see few senior leaders with the skills to close development gaps among talented performers.  Few HR leaders have that expertise as well. Organizations espouse developing leaders; few provide executives training for that “developmental leader” role. McCall’s research showed HR cannot identify their best bosses for developing leaders, though successful assignments require “mentoring” by a supervising manager. Few organizations set learning goals for developmental assignments and fewer evaluate whether those goals are achieved. Too often, the person in the developmental assignment experiences a “sink or swim” outcome. Contrast that with university executive programs, 1 -4 weeks long , well-funded by senior leadership.  They often require 6 figure financial investments, with many custom designed. The Harvard  “B” school  requires organizations to contribute  to  school research as a “pre-condition for program design”. These programs rely on reading, lecture, case discussion and action learning projects. Yet a cross boundary assignment for a general manager/functional manager will produce more relevant individual learning. Still, rotational learning experiences are limited in large organizations.  Few organizations “train’” executives to “enhance leader development”, so they do not fully benefit from targeted experiences where leaders learn the most.   Mc Call’s suggestions:  expand targeted assignments, set learning and evaluate goals for assignments, fit the assignment to the development need, identify bosses with a reputation for developing leaders and provide leaders with the skills to become “developmental managers”. Developmental assignments may seem common sense, yet their full potential still remains to be realized.

To access the full article, become a member today and get 24/7 access to ENsight.

Emotional Intelligence: The Promise and the Reality

For this blog post, I invited Barry Leskin, Director of our Thought Leader Series at Executive Networks, to be my guest contributor.

Dr. Jean Greaves of Talent Smart recently presented in our “Thought Leader” series and discussed her latest publication, “What Leaders are Doing in Emotional Intelligence Based on Recent Research.” I want to share some of the ideas she presented in this blog post.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is now widely accepted as a key characteristic of successful leaders.  In many cases its advocates claim it has greater impact on leader performance than does IQ. There is now little doubt about the value of EQ awareness for those in leadership positions. Key questions though are left unanswered:

  1. Where is it most effective?
  2. What is the relationship between EQ and IQ?
  3. How easy is it to change?
  4. How can concerns of EQ’s critics be addressed?

EQ encompasses 4 areas:  Self-Awareness, Self- Management, Social Awareness, Relationship

Management. It is one of the 4 factors that contribute to a leaders’ performance, the factors being IQ, EQ, Education, and skills/experience.

EQ is the most recent addition to these performance criteria.  It wasn’t always that way.  Behaviorists like BF Skinner were builders of a “rational” theory of performance improvement, e.g. treat behavior as a function of its consequences.  He advocated a cognitive approach to building leadership, with IQ a major part.  Emotions were not considered as contributors to performance.

That changed with the publication by Dan Goleman (1995) of his book, Emotional Intelligence, which successfully described EQ’s influence on performance, although he drew heavily on others’ research. His evidence, confirmed by numerous studies, shows successful leaders have statistically higher EQ scores than less successful leaders.  Work by Morgan McCall at the Center for Creative Leadership, documented in his book High Flyers, identified weak interpersonal skills as a primary reason high potential leaders derail career-wise…

To access the full article, become a member today and get 24/7 access to ENsight.


450 Lexington Avenue, Fourth Floor
New York, NY 10017
P | 415-399-9797


Ia Bow Lane
P | +44 777 2948080
© Copyright 2016 Executive Networks. All Rights Reserved.