Tag Archives: M.M. Lombardo

Developing Executive Self Awareness to Enhance Leadership Impact

Vicki Swisher

Lack of self-awareness among organizational leaders is pervasive and costly, according to Korn Ferry’s Vicky Swisher and Evelyn Orr.
They studied executives using the FYI: For Your Insight assessment tool, based on research from FYI for Insight: 21 Leadership Characteristics for Success and 5 That Will Get You Fired.

Evelyn Orr

Evelyn Orr

Executives’ most significant blind spots were:

• Making tough people calls,
• Demonstrating personal flexibility, adapting approaches to new circumstances.

Similarly,  the top leadership problems were:
• Not inspiring employees, not building talent,
• “Too narrow”, relying on deep expertise without broadening perspective.

Leaders vastly underestimated their effectiveness in “managing up”, suggesting that they focused more on their next promotion, rather than on developing their employees.

Joe Luft

Joe Luft

Lack of self-awareness can be reduced by using a “Reality Check” including:

o Feedback from others to provide “early warning” of difficulty.
However, this requires that evaluators are willing to provide candid observations, despite widespread discomfort in providing corrective feedback.

o Self-reflection concerning effective and ineffective behaviors, documented in a personal journal for review.

Harry Ingham

Harry Ingham

Executives learned most to enhance leadership skills and self-reflection from on-the-job experiences, distantly followed by learning from other people.
Structured trainings are least effective and most costly approaches to enhance leadership cognitive, emotional, motivational, self-awareness, and learning agility capabilities.

These leadership development processes reduce individual blind spots, portrayed by San Francisco State University’s Joe Luft and Harry Ingham of National Training Labs in The JoHari Windowjohari-window

Korn Ferry’s Michael M. Lombardo and Robert W. Eichinger provided additional executive development recommendations based on research in FYI: For your Improvement, A Development and Coaching Guide(3rd Edition).

-*How do you increase your self-awareness at work and reduce your “blind spots” about yourself and others?

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Organizational “Learning Agility” Interventions

M.M. Lombardo and R.W. Eichinger introduced the concept of “learning agility” in organizations, and proposed its correlates to workplace performance.

They defined four elements of learning agility in employees:

·         People agility – know themselves, learn from experience, treat others with consideration, display calm and resilience under changing conditions

·         Results agility – obtain results under difficult conditions, inspire others to perform “above and beyond”, inspire confidence in other

·         Mental agility – think through problems with a fresh perspective, comfortable with complexity, ambiguity, communicating  reasoning

·         Change agility – curious about ideas, willing to experiment and develop skills.

Lombardo and Eichinger’s framework has been used by subsequent researchers to measure the impact of learning agility (“learning from experience”) on workplace performance.

De Rue, Ashford, and Myers point out that this concept “lacks conceptual clarity” in their recent article in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and  they propose that learning agility is characterized by differences in speed of learning and flexibility in incorporating new information and skills.

In addition, they suggest that learning agility  includes  both cognitive processes and behavioral processes that can be enhanced by:

·         Cognitive simulations – visualizing scenarios to forecast issues and potential solutions

·         Counterfactual thinking – imagining “what might have been” if different choices had been taken to clarify cause-and effect relations

·         Recognizing patterns – categorizing apparently dissimilar experiences into repeating patterns

·         Seeking feedback  – proactively requesting corrective recommendations and varied perspectives from others, and making it “safe” to provide this information

·         Experimenting – trying new behavioral and thought patterns

·         Reflecting – considering and consolidating “lessons learned” to guide futures behavior decisions

Peter Senge

Peter Senge

Much past research on learning agility has not fully considered the degree to which the organizational culture and climate provide a context of psychological safety and acceptance of risk-taking, but Peter Senge has called for this type of supportive context in his work on The Learning Organization.

-*How do you differentiate “learning agility” from elements of “Emotional Intelligence”?

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