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Chapter Thirteen: Executive Development at Allstate Insurance

Brinkerhoff, Robert Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

220

Telling Training’s Story

One of the important development programs for leaders is the

Allstate Business Simulation (ABS). The Allstate Business Simulation is a two-month executive development program that gives high potential leaders the opportunity to:

• Use strategic planning and fact-based decision-making skills;

• Run a 100 million dollar company through the use of a computer-based simulation;

• Make marketing, finance, human resources, and operations decisions;

• Create an action plan for an Allstate project that links to a strategic goal; and

• Network with key business leaders.

The course is designed to give the managers exposure to business issues and challenges beyond their immediate functional area. It addresses many of the topics covered in most MBA curricula. The course is for high-potential managers and directors with at least five years of experience with Allstate, and requires nomination by an officer to participate.

Evaluation Purposes

This comprehensive course was a significant investment of time and money for the organization. It made good business sense to get answers to the following questions:

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Medium 9781523082575

1 Appreciative Resilience

McArthur-Blair, Joan; Cockell, Jeanie Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

I can be strong
and still bend
I can be flexible
and made of steel
I can fall
and rise again
I can lead you
and follow you
Be with me . . .
     JMCB 2017

Leadership resilience is a state toward which one is always journeying. Leaders, whether formal or informal, don’t get to arrive and reside in resilience forever. Leadership is complex with its multiple demands, constant change, and ups and downs. Leaders cannot predict what challenges, issues, and random events they will be called on to face, and they need tools and practices to advance resilience. There is always something more to learn and to practice on the journey toward resilience. This book is a commentary on that journey and that practice. It is about how leaders can build what we call appreciative resilience by using appreciative inquiry as they journey through the constantly evolving landscape of hope, despair, and forgiveness.

This dynamic interweaving of appreciative inquiry processes and philosophy with a deep exploration of hope, despair, and forgiveness opens new ways of reflecting on and practicing being a resilient leader. Appreciative resilience aims to sustain leaders as hope blooms, as despair visits, and as forgiveness opens their hearts. In our work, we have come to believe that practicing appreciative resilience in each of these states—hope, despair, and forgiveness—generates leadership resilience over time. This book is a commentary on that belief and an invitation for you to journey with us. In journeying through this commentary, you will find reflective and practical processes to build your own appreciative resilience.

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Medium 9781576755570

Chapter 15 OPPORTUNITES Mine Them

Kaye, Beverly Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

I left for a better opportunity.

—A.J.

A.J.’s statement summarizes countless exit interview responses. Sometimes it’s just the politically savvy thing to say (rather than saying, “My boss was a jerk”), and sometimes it’s the truth. Talented people have many choices about where they work. To keep them, learn how to “opportunity mine” with them.

Opportunity mining means looking for, finding, and then retrieving opportunities with your people. This doesnot mean that you are in charge of their career paths. But if you really want to retain them, you must help them find opportunities on your own turf to compete with the ones they’ll find elsewhere.

Alas

Lynne was a rising star, destined to do great things for the team—and her excellent work always made her supervisor look terrific. When she gave notice and her manager asked why, she answered, “I’ve been very happy here. You’re a fantastic boss and the people are wonderful. It’s just that I’m ready for something new, and this opportunity popped up in another company. I wasn’t really looking for it; it just happened. I’ve decided to go for it.”

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9 Shifting Corporate Culture

Zohar, Danah Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

For the vast majority of people, the wider culture in which they operate is like the sea in which a fish might swim. The seawater is taken into the fish through its gills and permeates all its cells. It is impossible to draw any firm boundary between where sea ends and fish begins. As Arthur Miller once observed, “The fish is in the sea, and the sea is in the fish.” For us, then, that “sea” is the shared field of meaning in which our consciousness is immersed, and that shared field is our culture. Culture contains our shared motives, our common behavior, our joint attitudes. It contains patterns of meaning and common values. Unless we stand back and reflect on it, the impact that culture has on us as individuals is largely subconscious.

We humans and our relationship to culture are much more complex than fish and seawater. For us, there are many cultures that impinge on us (permeate us), and many different levels of our behavior are influenced. Each of us is immersed in a strong family culture with its own dominant and recurring behavior patterns. Many of us never outgrow this family culture, and we carry it with us throughout life in our intimate and social relationships. We are also immersed in the wider cultures of the various groups to which we belong, including our national or ethnic culture and the culture of our workplace. If these various cultures are stuck in low motivations and self-destructive behavior, they tend to drag us down. By contrast, a culture driven by more positive motivations and their accompanying ideals and values can inspire us as individuals and raise the levels of our own behavior and attitudes. Shifting culture, where that culture is negative, is critical to our human well-being. Here, we are most concerned with how to shift business culture, but the work we do on this will have broad implications for behavioral shift in other dimensions of our lives. Education, politics, and broadcasting are obvious examples.126

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1 Being Authentic with a System That Resonates

Templeton, Tim Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

It was another perfect morning at the California Coffee Café and Bistro, the favorite spot of the locals in the tiny, upscale California coastal town of Rancho Benicia. The fog was floating in from the harbor across the street as the regulars zipped in and out or stayed to chat, enjoying the ambience of the little café.

Bennie Banks, the owner, was standing behind the antique oak bar that had been there when the town was a harbor for the nineteenth-century sailing ships and the place was a watering hole for the waterfront’s sailors. Now, though, Bennie and his three baristas proudly labored between it and the wonderfully gilded Italian espresso machine for this watering hole of a different era and all the friends it had made him and his team.

He took a moment, glanced around, and smiled. Five of his favorite regulars were there right now.

In the center of the café with her large double mocha was Sheila Marie Deveroux, one of the most prominent Realtors in town. Flamboyant to say the least, the eclectic woman with her raven black hair, her bright outfits, and her happy way of talking with her hands was hard to miss at her favorite table in the middle of the morning chaos. Bennie couldn’t remember the last time he had seen her there alone. She always had someone with her, which of course Bennie liked since that meant yet another coffee drinker. But he couldn’t help but notice that whoever the current person was, Sheila Marie would treat him or her like family. Just as she had always done with him.

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