The Lead: Sales Model in Digital Age, AMEX Reinventing themselves, Online Course Enrollment

The Lead, AchieveForum’s weekly brief of leadership news and insights, provides quick clarity into relevant headlines and straight-forward analysis for applying effective leadership tools and techniques.

Reimaging the Peer-to-Peer Sales Model for the Digital Age

A new set of beauty brands are using the peer-to-peer selling model and are seeing more success than the earlier adopters of the peer-to-peer approach. The earlier adopters haven’t been able to keep up with modern shoppers, while these newer brands are leveraging social media to reach more customers and are using more ingredients-focused imagery that appeal to today’s customers.

Our View: One-directional, expert-driven advice for leaders is being challenged by the experiences of young leaders who grew up in a world of peer-to-peer communication. Applied to leadership development, a peer-to-peer approach allows peers have equal authority, power, and responsibility for connecting with others, and is increasingly becoming a great way to achieve shared results, especially in data-driven environments that have real-time information readily available to everyone. Talent professionals are experimenting with ways to mobilize peer networks to connect leaders and augment the expert advice they provide to their leaders. Further Reading

How American Express Reinvented Themselves

American Express has a solid track record of innovation and reinvention through its payment, travel, and expense management solutions for individuals and businesses of all sizes. Aspiring to be a company that disrupts itself, they created a department called Enterprise Growth to lead that initiative. They evolved from a top-down management approach to Agile Development in order to test and learn rapidly. They have been able to prototype new payment applications, features, and products that respond quickly to evolving customer needs.

Like American Express, Expedia also has developed a culture of rapid test and learn methods in order to drive innovation. Expedia has been quick to adapt to the far reaching digital transformations that are disrupting the travel industry. Expedia’s strategy implements a “learn as we go” approach rather than making one big release.

Our View: These are two great examples of organizations embracing discovery as a powerful method for learning and evolving. There are lessons here for leaders and talent professionals alike. Further Reading

Online Course Enrollment Growth Soars

Babson Survey Research Group’s latest annual report on distance learning showed that more than 30% of college students took at least one online education course during the 2015-2016 academic year and that online student enrollment has grown for the 14th year in a row. Close to a million additional students took some form of online education course in 2016 compared to 2012.

Our View: As these college students enter the workforce, Learning and Development professionals can take advantage of these shifts in higher education methods to accelerate learning, improve performance outcomes, and change the behavior of managers and teams. When L&D professionals take a holistic approach to impacting an enterprise, they are able to help build a culture of rapid learning. A holistic approach includes blended solutions delivered virtually, reinforced by action-based individual and group learning, and supported by activities like coaching.Further Reading

Further Reading for Alliance Members: Guiding Collaborative Discussion

Dancing for Conflict Resolution

Founder and choreographer of the US-based Battery Dance Company Jonathan Hollander has choreographed over 75 works performed by the company in theaters and festivals across continents. His company’s work in dance is a means of ‘social cohesion’, most significantly in conflict zones around the world, including Thailand, Iraq, Israel-Palestine and North and South Korea, and they are known for their workshops that reach out to schools and young talent to expose them to the role dance can play in conflict resolution.

Our View: Every employee experiences conflict and needs help to manage it. While the causes of conflict can differ, the overarching solutions share common themes and almost always fall into one or more of these five conflict management strategies: accommodating, avoiding, collaborating, comprising, and competing. Each strategy has its unique place in conflict resolution. In general, the ‘competing’ strategy is best reserved for crisis situations, and if time permits, the ‘collaborating’ strategy is best used to develop synergies. Helping employees how to manage conflict supports positive organizational culture and develops leaders at all levels. Further Reading

Evolving Leadership Megatrends

The Global Leadership Forecast 2018 (produced from a collaboration between EY, Development Dimensions International (DDI), and The Conference Board) showed that C-level executives are more concerned with their people strategies than recession, global competition, or labor relations. The report also identified leadership mega-trends such as the fact that digital is reshaping the workforce, the importance of a diverse, purpose driven culture, and that cultivating new leadership potential is crucial for organizations’ success.

Our View: Leveraging diverse mindsets throughout the generations in the workforce plays a major role in leading a successful organization. Millennial, Generation X, and Baby Boomer leaders must develop a culture of trust by communicating clearly and often and understanding the historical context for perceived differences between their generations. Don’t let your own perspective limit your thinking, and visit the further reading to view a generational differences chart to gain more insight into the factors that influence generational differences. Further Reading

Leave a Comment