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Can This IBM Technique Help Your Organisation Develop Leaders?

As the premier provider of leadership training in Perth, we feel that it is our responsibility to stay on top of all news pertaining to leadership development programs. Recently, we came upon a creative and effective form of leadership development training in the US, from computer giant IBM.

The program is called the “IBM Corporate Service Corps.” According to the IBM President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, Stanley Litow, 80% of those who participate “say it significantly increases the likelihood” of them staying at IBM for their entire careers.

So, how does this program work? 500 young leaders are selected for the program. First, while they are working full-time, they receive two months of leadership training. Then, they spend one month in one of more than thirty developing countries, helping with a social issue. Upon their return, they are the mentors for the next group that is receiving their two months of leadership training and mentoring.

Corporate responsibility is becoming increasingly important to today’s burgeoning leaders and can be a competitive advantage when recruiting talent with leadership potential. This volunteer program tends to improve leadership skills much faster than anything they have tried so far.

Mr Litow is on record as saying that the program has three basic objectives: supporting IBM employees who wish to provide service, providing the intellectual experience and development gained through tackling third-world problems and developing leadership skills.

Why We Like the Program

We like this program because, like our Integral … Continue reading


Why Other Leadership Development Programs Often Fail

When we look at other leadership development programs, both in Perth and across Australia, we see a lot of great intentions. Unfortunately, we see a lot of approaches that are incomplete and fail to develop the integral person, settling instead for a fragmented approach that is destined for failure. Here are four of the most common flaws we see.

Failure to Consider Context

Generic leadership programs are hit and miss because they don’t take context into consideration. Different firms have different goals. Organisations conduct business differently due to many factors: industry, product, customer base and employee base among them. One of the first questions we ask our clients when beginning a leadership development program: “What do we hope to accomplish?”

Failure to Tie Leadership Development to Tangible Projects

It is estimated that adult learners memorise an average of 10% of what they hear in lectures. On the other hand, they retain an average slightly under 70% of what they learn by doing. Leadership development should be tied to what is happening in the real work environment so that the student can learn by doing.

Failure to Address Root Causes

Too many leadership development programs don’t address the mindset of the individual being taught, instead teaching with a “one size fits all” approach. This means the program has to be in perfect alignment with what the student needs to learn. This is ineffective and leaves learning to chance.

Failure to Measure Results

If there are no measurements taken, there is no … Continue reading


Streamlining Your Organisation’s Decision Making Process to Enable Innovation

Any top-tier management consulting firm in Perth will tell you that one of the most important things you can do to be more efficient and progressive is to streamline your organisation to make it operate more efficiently. In today’s business climate, it is important to be able to make decisions quickly and act on them yesterday.

Business is more competitive now than at any era in history. Margins are small and the increments between success and failure are even smaller. Innovation is crucial for any organisation that wants to “stay ahead of the curve.”

One of the biggest detriments to innovation is consensus. The old, conservative style of management dictated that innovative ideas be “kicked up the ladder.” First, one’s immediate supervisor had to approve. Then, it went up to the supervisor’s supervisor. Often, there is a committee that votes on changes.

By the time an idea is approved under the old paradigm, it could already be obsolete.

How to Streamline the Decision Making Process

To truly streamline the process, enable those as low on the corporate ladder as possible to make decisions. This doesn’t mean all the way to entry level, but it does mean that senior executives should trust those beneath them to make the right decisions. This makes an organisation nimble and flexible. It also makes the senior executive’s job a lot easier.

To encourage risk taking and decision making, don’t punish someone for failure. Instead, punish those who “pass the buck” and refuse … Continue reading


Transforming Your Organisation

When we ask executives who come to us for leadership development training to tell us what they want to accomplish, one of the more common answers is to change the culture of their organisation. This often involves transforming an organisation from a culture of habitual low achievement to an environment of habitual high achievement.

So, how do we get there? We use Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory to develop the whole executive, personally and professionally, according to Mr Wilber’s four quadrants. If your thinking is deficient in any of the four quadrants, your approach to leadership will be fragmented and incomplete. In the current era, especially in Perth, you simply cannot afford to have insufficient diversity in your approach to doing business.

Here are some immediate steps you can take to transform your business.


Establish a sense of urgency by identifying crises, potential crises and potential opportunities.


Establish a team across departments in your organisation to work as a team and lead the effort for change.


You must create a vision that includes specific reachable goals. Then, you must also develop strategies for reaching those goals.


It is important to effectively communicate your vision to the entire organisation. New behaviours should be taught by example.


If any system or structure is an obstacle to realising your vision and reaching goals, they must be changed. All obstacles to transformation must be removed. Encourage action and risk-taking as long as it helps your organisation reach … Continue reading


Evidence-Based Decision Making: Does it Work as a Business Model?

Those who have taken our management courses or leadership development programs on our Perth leadership centre know that we develop leaders using the four quadrants of Integral Theory .

Integral Theory, created by Ken Wilber, is a multidisciplinary approach that elicits from the best of thousands of years of human logic. It encompasses such fields as psychology, spirituality and many different sciences to provide a comprehensive world view which produces insight.

Recently, we heard of a US firm called American Insurance Group (AIG) which uses a concept called “evidence-based decision making.” It is quite similar to Integral Theory in that it is a multi-disciplinary approach that combines data science and analytics with behavioural sciences to produce a framework for making decisions. In other words, it has a lot in common with Integral Theory .

AIG began using this concept in 2012 when they created a “science team.” By the beginning of 2014, the team had grown to 130 members from diverse fields, all dedicated to fostering the growth of evidence-based decision making in AIG.

We like the diverse makeup of the team, which includes mathematicians, data scientists, statisticians, behavioural economists, engineers, psychologists and change management experts. When they are all combined, AIG reports that they are able to systematically enhance the judgment process of individuals within the context of their business.

Why it Works

The science team has been very successful for AIG. They credit some specific factors as essential to their success. One is focusing on … Continue reading

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