Executive Challenge

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.

Simulation Develops Results Focused Leaders at Fortune 300 Company (Part 1)

In my previous life as the head of Alltel University, and owner of its leadership development programs, I went in search of a capstone training event for the program we designed for 300 Directors and Vice Presidents across the organization. Having provided 360 assessments, external coaching, and internal workshops to this group on its Core Leadership Values, I wanted an immersive experience that would build strategic thinking skills and adaptable decision-making in a competitive and dynamic environment that would test participants behaviors against the Values, as much as their Executive acumen.

Extensive research went in to understanding the current market offerings in the simulation field, as I felt this would give us our best chance to provide a memorable, yet practical experience for our attendees. Participants in the program represented various organizational functions including customer service, sales, legal, marketing, engineering, products and finance.

My challenge was that there were dozens of providers to sort through! All touted their simulation solution as the “most advanced, “ “easiest to deploy,”  “best immersion,” and so on. I simply did not have the time or experience to be able to sort out the best from among these providers.

Then, through a combination of circumstance, timing and a little luck in the evaluation process, I came across Blueline Simulations. What was intriguing about them is they had already done all of this research to identify the simulations and providers with the highest customer satisfaction. On top of this work, Blueline offered program and project management resources, so by working with Blueline, we could do everything from negotiating terms to planning our implementation to conducting the simulation itself.

While there were several companies that made the final cut of proposals, it was clear that for our needs, Blueline Simulations was the best choice for this initial opportunity, and had the capability and capacity to grow with us. Together with Dan Gregory at Blueline Simulations, we selected Executive Challenge™, a competitive, multiplayer simulation that puts participants on the leadership team of a virtual company.

In my next posting I will share the nature of the program, how we customized it for Alltel’s needs, and what the outcomes were in delivering the simulation. Stay tuned!

Webinar: New Way to Groom High Potential Leaders

A new survey conducted by global management consulting firm Booz & Co. shows that a striking majority of corporate leaders are not able to keep their priorities straight. They are also pursuing strategies they don’t believe in, and many of their strategies fail to build on the things their companies are especially good at, compared with competitors. It’s like everything that can go wrong already has gone wrong for them.

Closing the business strategy gap in your organization requires developing new insights and skills that can only come from experience. How will you ensure that your next generation of leaders will get the experience they need to prioritize and make decisions that are consistent with your business’ highest priorities?

Introducing Executive Challenge – the latest in a series of leadership simulations designed to give your high potential leaders insight into dealing with nearly every strategic challenge imaginable – from talent management to compliance and from ethics to defining and executing a global vision.


Please join us on April 9th for a live walk-through of Executive Challenge™ led by Blueline’s Director of Leadership Innovations: Steve Mosley.


During the info session and demonstration, you’ll get an exclusive sneak peek of Executive Challenge™ and get to see first-hand how this revolutionary new program will change the way you groom your next generation of Executives!

If you are unable to participate in one of our upcoming public webinars, contact us today to schedule a private demonstration for your company.

Give your Next Generation of Executives the Experience they Need to Lead

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A new survey conducted by global management consulting firm Booz & Co. shows that a striking majority of corporate leaders are not able to keep their priorities straight. They are also pursuing strategies they don’t believe in, and many of their strategies fail to build on the things their companies are especially good at, compared with competitors. It’s like everything that can go wrong already has gone wrong for them.

Closing the gap

The ability to prioritize and align strategies with corporate strengths is just one example of the many leadership fundamentals executives must possess today. Closing the business fundamentals gap in your organization requires new insights and skills – that can only come from experience. How will you ensure that your next generation of leaders will get the experience they need to respond effectively to the myriad of strategic challenges that your executives face every day?

Experience

Executive Challenge™ is the latest in a series of fully immersive leadership simulations designed to give your high potential leaders the insight and skills needed to deal with nearly every strategic challenge imaginable – from talent management to ethics to defining and executing a global vision.

Please join us for a live walk-through of Executive Challenge™ led by Blueline’s Director of Leadership Innovations: Steve Mosley. Two dates to choose from: March 27 or April 9th!

Simulation Develops Results Focused Leaders at Fortune 300 Company (Part 2)

In my last post, I described the need for a simulation that could serve as a capstone event for our Leadership Development program at Alltel, and how I came to decide to use Blueline Simulations’ Executive Challenge™. Together, we conducted roughly 15 sessions over a two-year period. Each delivery built on the one before as we refined the simulation in ways that made it feel as if it had been designed just for Alltel. The work we did on debriefs and adverse events to help “customize” the experience made it that much more relevant to my audience.

Attendees were placed in teams of eight and were tasked with growing a virtual business by investing in and producing product lines, responding to market demands, and balancing time, capital, and human resources. Throughout the simulation, teams evaluated the sustainability of a business and the long-term implications of short-term decisions, acknowledged personal management styles and leadership blind spots, balanced personal and organizational objectives, solved complex business problems collaboratively, defined a clear strategic vision as a team, and implemented this vision in the face of adverse events.

The simulation began after normal work hours on day 1, as teams were presented with the simulation scenario, had a practice session on the technology, and discussed their company strategies for the next day over dinner. Day 2 lasted a full day and consisted of participants managing their companies over 6-8 virtual quarters. During debriefs, teams examined how closely their decisions reflected the Core Values of Alltel, as well as the soundness of their business strategies.

Teams prepared presentations at the end of the simulation experience and delivered them to a Board of Directors composed of Alltel executives. The board chose a winner based on strategy, financial performance, team effectiveness, ability to handle adverse events, adherence to the program competencies, sustainability, and overall quality of the presentation.

Participants found their simulation experience invaluable.  They experienced the challenges of being a results focused leader, while using behavior and relationship skills in their interactions with their fellow team members. Participants rated the experience highly, remarking on “how the pressure, the competitiveness, the unexpected turn of events really tested their ability to work collaboratively to make good decisions and to execute against them.”

As for me, I had chosen the perfect partner and solution to bring all the work of leadership assessments, coaching and training together in an innovative, engaging and practical way that was useful and memorable to my Directors and Vice Presidents. To this day I continue to get comments from former Alltel Associates about the leadership program, and inevitably they always mention the chance to run their own companies, amidst market pressures and unanticipated events, that was Alltel’s Executive Challenge!

I am excited to now have the opportunity to represent this solution, plus the other equally powerful solutions Blueline offers as part of our Leadership Innovation Series. As Director of Leadership Innovations, I look forward to working with our clients to provide the same kind of business results and organizational impact that I witnessed first-hand in my use of these solutions at Alltel.