Leadership

Full Immersion: Learning That Works

Our previous blog introduced Blueline Simulations’ full immersion approach to learning – where we take people out of the office and into the field to make real-life connections to big ideas that work.

We’ve taken a global biotech sales firm to Disney, Starbucks and an Apple store to explore engaging customer experiences. The client described the insights gleaned as “revolutionary.”office-walls

And we built an Innovation Tour of San Francisco for a global manufacturing firm, where executives were immersed in the world of Silicon Valley at places such as Google, Frog Design, Oracle and even the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The organization’s CEO called it “one of the most meaningful, valuable learning experiences of my career.”

Jarring? Yes. Insightful? Even more so. And there are four keys to making such experiences work:

  • Define the target. Don’t start with, “Let’s go to the Magic Kingdom!” Instead, define the pressing business challenge, and then identify organizations that have something valuable to bring to that conversation.
  • Get lateral. Theorist Edward de Bono describes lateral leaps as a key capability for breakthrough thinking. Lateral thoughts happen when we connect one idea to another seemingly unrelated one. In building immersive experiences, we identify organizations that are very similar to our clients and others that are dissimilar to create a productively disorienting lateral leap. That’s how a group of manufacturers found themselves exploring abstract paintings at the San Francisco Museum of Art and how pharmaceutical executives found themselves in line at an Apple Genius Bar to engage customer service around issues with their iPods.
  • Play it cool. Because the mind is most engaged when at play, we’re purposeful about building a “cool” factor into our immersive learning experiences. Wouldn’t you love to visit Google or hang out at Disney’s Epcot for a day in the name of learning? Of course you would, and so would your employees.
  • Connect it back. Critical conversations must happen for the immersive experience to produce organizational change. So what, exactly, did that afternoon at Starbucks say to you? What did you notice, see, hear, smell, experience… and what principles behind those experiences can deliver value at our (very different) organization? These facilitated conversations are the genesis of true organizational transformation.

Ready to step out of the office and change the way you and your employees view your world? Contact the learning experts at Blueline Simulations. We’ll build a transformative, immersive learning experience that delivers on your unique learning objectives – making real-life connections to big ideas that work.

I also invite you to contact us to learn more about any of our custom classroom simulations, Blueline Blueprint™ learning visuals or other innovative delivery methods that have been generating notable business results in leading organizations worldwide for more than 13 years.

Managing to Develop Talent… the Challenge Is on!

Today’s managers face a long and varied list of demands and challenges – not the least of which is coaching and developing their employees. After all, if their employees don’t succeed, they don’t succeed.Management Challenge

It’s no secret what needs to be done – to mentor, develop and grow employees to their highest level of competence. For most managers, however, the trick lies in how to do it… how to capture the hearts and minds of employees in a way that makes them open to development and want to contribute their best.

Enter Abilitie’s Management Challenge™, a dynamic team-based simulation designed to help new and experienced managers build their talent-management skills – identifying, motivating, coaching and developing employees – in response to everyday challenges.

Managers quickly learn to elevate their teams to deliver high performance and grow their capabilities as they practice crucial skills such as:

  • Onboarding new employees
  • Coaching high performers
  • Navigating the aftermath of a termination
  • Coaching behavioral disruptions
  • Motivating disengaged employees
  • Addressing distracting rumors

Management Challenge™ kicks safe experiences with predictable outcomes to the curb as it isolates key competencies and provides an environment where managers are free to explore, practice and gain experience in real-world management situations – without real-world consequences.

I’m sold on Management Challenge™, and I think you will be too. Feel free to watch our recorded webinar to learn more and see first-hand how this revolutionary program will change the way you develop talent managers!

I also invite you to contact us today to learn more about Management Challenge™ or any of our custom classroom simulations, Blueline Blueprint™ learning visuals or other innovative delivery methods that have been generating notable business results in leading organizations worldwide for more than 13 years.

Harnessing the Power of Emotional Intelligence

It’s been nearly 20 years since Daniel Goleman introduced the concept of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) to the business world, when his article on the subject first appeared in Harvard Business Review.

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What was groundbreaking (and often dismissed as “touchy-feely”) then is fully embraced today – as organizations worldwide are seeing notable results from leaders who score high on their ability to manage their emotions as well as their relationships with others.

Knowledge is EQ power

The field of neuroscience has enhanced our knowledge of how and why the brain does what it does. We now have rich knowledge of the important role EQ skills play in producing business results and predicting individual success. We also have scientifically validated behavior assessments that help us understand our strengths and gaps in managing our emotions and our relationships.

It’s clear that EQ has found its legitimacy as a key business and leadership capability, with the power to deliver stunning business results. Consider these examples:

  • The Coca-Cola Company saw division leaders who developed their EQ skills outperform their targets by 15%.
  • The U.S. Air Force reduced recruiter turnover from 35% to 5% annually by selecting candidates high in emotional intelligence.
  • Fortune Brands had 100% of their leaders who went through EQ development exceed performance targets, compared with just 28% of leaders who failed to develop their EQ skills.
  • Salespeople at an insurance firm who scored high on an emotional intelligence test sold 37% more in their first two years than those who scored lower.

Yes, the results are convincing, and the power of EQ is clear. If your organization hasn’t yet tapped into that power, then now is a great time to do so. Blueline Simulations offers EQ-related learning opportunities that you can put to work right away.

In next week’s blog, we’ll share a project in which Blueline Simulations worked with a Fortune 120 pharmaceutical firm to assess the EQ skills of 80 of its leaders, including coaching around the assessment results and customized training to further develop EQ skills.

Bringing Out the Leadership Potential in High-Potential Candidates

Your organization’s high potentials are tagged as such for a reason: They’ve been identified as demonstrating the potential to lead your organization successfully in the future.

Having the potential to be a great leader is one thing. Applying that potential in a way that creates outcomes consistent with your organization’s highest priorities is another.

It all comes down to experience

The saying that leaders are born, not made is only half true. The way we at Blueline Simulations see it, potential is the “born” part. Yet all of the potential in the world doesn’t mean a thing if it’s not used correctly. Only one thing can truly develop the skills and expertise necessary to be a great leader: experience.

A survey by global management consulting firm Booz & Co. shows that the majority of corporate leaders are not able to keep their priorities straight. They’re pursuing strategies they don’t believe in, and many of their own strategies fail to build on the things their companies are especially good at.
A survey by global management consulting firm Booz & Co. shows that the majority of corporate leaders are not able to keep their priorities straight. They’re pursuing strategies they don’t believe in, and many of their own strategies fail to build on the things their companies are especially good at.

So how do you ensure your next generation of leaders develops the insights and skills that can only come from experience? And how do you help them gain the experience necessary to prioritize and make decisions consistent with your highest priorities?

Enter Executive Challenge™, the latest in a series of leadership simulations designed to give your high-potential leaders insight and simulated real-world experience in dealing with nearly every strategic challenge imaginable – from talent management to compliance, from ethics to defining and executing a global vision.

We invite you to watch our recorded 55-minute webinar led by Blueline’s Director of Leadership Innovations, Steve Mosley. During the session, you’ll see first-hand how Executive Challenge™ will change the way you groom your next generation of executives for success.

Contact us today to learn more or schedule a private demonstration for your company.

Facing a business transformation? Blueline is in your future!

blueline-dialChange creates uncertainty – causing fear and confusion and hurting productivity.  A clearly defined message and communication strategy can dispel doubts and facilitate alignment.  Learn how Blueline supported innovation initiatives at a Fortune 50 Healthcare Company using proven planning and communication strategies.

The outcomes are best summarized by the head of the organization who opined: “the successful outcomes of this initiative are an important lesson in embracing the types of innovation we want to support throughout the organization – through these efforts we got 80% of the way to our destination in 20% of the time it usually takes us.”