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Marcus Evans Summits Interview with Andrew Blum on Corporate Talent and Development

Andrew Blum offers advice to corporate learning and talent development officers on the challenge of dealing with continuous change in his interview with Marcus Evans Summits.

Click here for the full interview -> Marcus Evans Interview with Andrew Blum


Helping Leaders Execute Multi-Dimensional Strategies
Interview with: Andrew Blum, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner, The Trium Group

Change is a continuous state. There isn’t going to be an endpoint at which everything is stable. Therefore, leaders must learn how to continually evolve their strategies, their organizations and their own thinking, according to Andrew Blum, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner at The Trium Group.

A solution provider company and keynote speaker at the upcoming marcus evans Corporate Learning & Talent Development Summit 2013, in Atlanta, Georgia, April 28-30, Blum discusses how the corporate learning function can help leaders unlock their potential and solve their toughest business challenges.

MES: What is the biggest challenge for Corporate Learning and Talent Development Officers today?

AB: Their biggest challenge is in helping their internal clients deal with continuous change. It is not just periods of transition anymore, but a series of them. That is very difficult for some people to keep up with, so leaders have to be flexible and stay in relationship with their teams, because in the absence of connection and shared purpose, changes are disruptive.

MES: The Trium Group helps leaders “align, equip and mobilize their organization” to deal with business challenges and execute multi-dimensional strategies. Can you tell us more on each step and how they need to be implemented?

AB: The first thing leaders have to do is make sure people are aligned around their strategy. Not only must the strategy be the right one, but employees must understand it and connect to it emotionally. Additionally, leaders must distinguish between alignment and agreement. Agreement means that everyone gets their way, but we know that is not possible in today’s world. At Trium, we align organizations by creating shared understanding and commitment, even though that means people won’t get all that they want. All strategies have trade-offs, and alignment is about acknowledging those trade-offs.

The next step is to equip people with a set of structured tools and processes to bring that strategy to life. This means helping them develop metrics for their change initiatives and defining the qualitative and quantitative objectives that the strategy will fulfill through its execution. It is about moving it the strategy from plan to action.

Finally, mobilization is about getting the rest of the organization behind the plans. A classic weakness in most strategies is failing to engage leaders at all organizational levels.

The most successful strategy is one where all leaders truly understand the strategy, declare their commitment and take an active part in executing it.

MES: What do executives overlook in this space?

AB: The question of how to develop leaders is always preceded by the question of where the company is going and what capabilities will be needed. It is easy to jump into building leadership competencies but these should always have a clear connection to the strategy of the business.

Leaders also tend to overlook the development of people’s personal leadership vision. A lot of emphasis goes to the strategic vision for the company, but what about an employee’s vision of themselves as a leader? In the future, learning and development executives are going to be tasked with helping leaders create that vision and align it to the company’s strategic vision.

In the leadership game, you have to start with yourself and your own impact and effectiveness as a leader.

Corporate learning and development has enormous potential to be the engine helping leaders evolve as the organization’s strategy evolves.

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