While “new managers” programs are becoming more and more popular these days, I still see a big opportunity in developing programs that are tailored to new executives — people who are going to be on the executive team for the first time, and actually, if we’re being honest, will most likely benefit many existing executives. And being a business school grad, I’m definitely not talking about what’s typically offered in their “executive programs”.
I’m making a conscious decision to stay within the existing hierarchical paradigm in my framing here, but in many ways, this is an advanced “How can we work better together?” curriculum. Cross-functional work is becoming more and more the norm in organizations but remains the exception rather than the rule for many people in many roles. That changes when members join the executive time, and for many, this is the first time where their primary, long-last peer team is truly cross-functional.
If I were to ever design a curriculum that’s meant to prepare people for doing this type of collaborative cross-functional work, these are the primary sources that I’d draw content and inspiration from:
- Wageman & Nunes: Senior Leadership Teams, what it takes to make them great
- Lencioni: 5 Dysfunctions of a team; The Advantage
- Johnson: Polarity Management: identifying and managing unsolvable problems
- Kegan & Lahey: Immunity to Change
- Rosenberg: Non-Violent Communication
- Stone & Heen: Difficult conversations; Thanks for the feedback
- BICEPS / SCARF