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Leadership Development for Global Organizations in the High-tech Industry.

Our researchers investigated how engineering teams in a global high-tech company address challenges and exercise leadership after leadership development. Does saturating a high-tech company with leadership training lead to a shift in organizational culture?

The context for our research: The rate of change in the technology sector is accelerating.

Companies vying to grow in this market demand a highly skilled work force with extensive technical training in fields such as computer science and engineering.

Yet, the rapid pace of innovation also requires agile employees that can quickly adapt to change.

Enhancing the capacity of employees to see opportunities and lead change is a significant training challenge for high-tech companies.

Investment in leadership development across the organization should drive business results.

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OUR CURIOSITY

If many employees working for an organization in the high-tech industry sector engage in leadership development training, will they start to seize more opportunities and solve problems faster?

USEFUL FINDINGS

Leadership = An Activity That Can be Exercised by Anyone in the Company

After learning about leadership concepts and initiatives, employees shift their perception of ‘leadership’ towards it being understood as an activity that can be performed by anyone.

Confidence to Exercise Leadership Increases

After completing leadership training, employees were more confident and prepared to engage in leadership interventions. These included:

  • Approaching and solving problems in an adaptive way, instead of using a technical or procedural approach.
  • Asking the right and sometimes difficult questions to their peers and superiors.
  • Being proactive to initiative change rather than waiting to be told what to do by superiors.
  • Running experiments to work differently and develop initiatives.

Employees are Thinking About and Doing Their Work Differently

After two years of leadership trainings in a business unit, managers reported that employees were more confident and prepared to engage in leadership interventions. These changes included:

  • Employees use a shared language to overcome conflict and engage more collaboratively to break down silos across units in the company.
  • Employees are more prepared to try new things.
  • Employees are paying attention to the adaptive challenges in their work.

The Organization’s Culture is Changing

Saturating an organization with leadership development is shifting organizational culture to:

 

  • listen more and utilize open communication.
  • collaborate to solve problems in a more effective way.
  • operate with an adaptive mindset and attitude, engaging more in diagnosis to make progress on complex problems.

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