CDR Assessment Group published an article titled “Why Cookie Cutter Executive Competency Models Don’t Work” in 2001 in our Assessment Adviser newsletter mailed to HR/LD professionals. The article details why a broad spectrum of leadership skills are needed and one size does not fit all. That is the key reason why CDR offers "Authentic Leadership" training programs. In 2008, CDR released an Executive Team Performance Forecast that explains:“Did you know that:
- homogeneous executive teams fail more often than those with divergent capabilities,
- talent balance should be aligned with business strategy and values,
- talent cloning (often in one’s own image or comfort zone) is detrimental to business performance results,
- talent gaps cause blind spots, competitive disadvantages, and performance weaknesses,
- when executive teams lack broad-based inherent competencies, staffs frequently suffer from similar gaps,…”Just released is a Human Capital Trends Report by Deloitte (2013) has a “fascinating” report according to Dr. Cris Wildermuth, SPHR about “Cookie Cutter”. He quotes in part “ “Many companies have spent decades trying to identify and clone the mythical “perfect leader.” But it turns out there is no such thing. …Each of these unique challenges requires a unique kind of leader. One size does not fit all.” (Deloitte, 2013, p. 20).I agree that this is a compelling report by Deloitte. It is unfortunate there has not been more progress on this topic since we published our findings more than a decade ago.
For a copy of CDR's Cookie Cutter Article or Executive Team Performance Forecast information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
While getting ready to run a workshop on adaptive leadership, I came across a fascinating Human Capital Trends Report by Deloitte ( http://bit.ly/LHRDeloitte100 ). One “trend” that particularly intrigued me: Debunking the Superman Myth. Here’s how the report authors introduce this trend:
“Many companies have spent decades trying to identify and clone the mythical “perfect leader.” But it turns out there is no such thing. Businesses today face a virtually unprecedented variety of challenges, from harvesting profits in mature economies with flat or declining growth, to establishing toeholds in emerging countries, to creating the next wave of disruptive innovation, to working through the complexity of changing regulations – and everything in between. Each of these unique challenges requires a unique kind of leader. One size does not fit all.” (Deloitte, 2013, p. 20).
As I read this, I wonder how many large organizations are still falling prey to two traps:
THE SUPER LEADER TRAP: The secret lies in selecting the best and brightest hi-pos. Everything will come into place as these paragons mature into perfect leader status.
THE COOKIE CUTTER TRAP: Developing leadership development processes takes time. Understandably, we may fall in love with our babies – beautifully packaged courses based on easy to understand models and promoted by best-selling leadership gurus.
I thought it would be interesting to tap into the Linked:HR collective experience to discuss two questions:
** How can we avoid the super leader trap? Specifically, what is your organization doing to (or what SHOULD it be doing) to embrace a more inclusive view of leadership?
** How can we avoid the cookie cutter trap? What best practices do you recommend to increase the flexibility of leadership development processes?
Please offer your recommendations, experiences, and ideas for improvement. For a complete copy of the excellent Deloitte report, please go to http://bit.ly/LHRDeloitte100 .
Dr. Cris Wildermuth, SPHR
Community Chair, Linked:HR
Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/linkedhr Posted By Cris Wildermuth, Ed.D., SPHR