By |Published On: October 30th, 2019|Categories: Institute for Social Innovation, University Communications|

A monthly series of blog posts featuring the Fellows of Fielding’s Institute for Social Innovation

Established in 2002, the Institute for Social Innovation (ISI) supports research, professional development, and organizational consulting projects that aim to produce more effective, sustainable, or just solutions than current approaches. Learn more about the ISI below.

Ellen Keithline Byrne

Ellen Keithline Byrne, PhD

Ellen is the co-founder of Her New Standard: The Playbook for Women Leaders, a business that accelerates women in leadership. Her clients include a wide range of industries, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley and Major League Baseball. She holds an ICF executive coaching certification, a Masters-in-Counseling from Fairfield University, and graduated from Fielding with a PhD in Human & Organizational Systems in 2018. Ellen’s doctoral research, Mindful Creativity: An Exploration of a Mindfulness Intervention on Workgroup Creativity  has appeared in Harvard Business Review, Journal of Organizational Change Management and

Lori Nemeth

Lori Nemeth, PhD

Lori leads the Organization Development and Learning function at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario, Canada. With her team, she provides employee, faculty and leadership development programming and leads organizational development initiatives. Lori consults and leads workshops on change leadership. She graduated from Fielding with a PhD in Human & Organizational Systems in 2017. Her doctoral research, Power, Capital and Commitment: An Exploration of Change in Work Group Dynamics, explored the success of OD Interventions to intentionally change work group dynamics.

Research Approach: 

We collected data from Presidents and CEOs of small to mid-sized companies asking the following questions:

  • What are the top 3 abilities required to be promoted to a senior position in your company?
  • What gaps are evident in emerging leaders?
  • What is the best way to develop these abilities?
  • What difference in development needs, if any, are there between your male and female emerging leaders?

Goal: The goal of this study was to identify the leadership competencies that differentiate emerging leaders in small to mid-sized companies and how to best develop those competencies.

Findings: The competencies most often identified as required for promotion to senior leadership include inspiring others to do their best work, delivering results, innovating for the future, and fostering collaboration. Some competencies we expected to be identified for emerging leaders were not priorities for our respondents.

The best investments of limited time and money to develop emerging leaders were identified as mentoring with a senior leader, executive coaching by an external coach, on-the-job experience, and participation in a leadership peer group. Development approaches common in large organizations were not appealing to many of our respondents.

Benefit: This study differentiates needs in small to mid-sized companies as they develop their leadership bench to keep pace with anticipated growth.

Future Plans: As practitioners, this research helps us to respond to the unique challenges and opportunities in developing emerging leaders in small to mid-size companies.

About the Institute for Social Innovation

With a mission to turn knowledge into action, Fielding’s Institute for Social Innovation (ISI) taps Fielding faculty, students, and alumni across the globe to create opportunities for professionals to create sustainable change in their workplaces and communities. ISI also serves as an incubator for Fielding programs; the university’s successful Evidence Based Coaching program was born out of the ISI in 2005.

The ISI Fellows program for Fielding alumni provides IRB and grant seeking support, jointly sponsored continuing education offerings through alumni consulting businesses, expanded library access, and membership in the Alumni Association. In these and other ways, Fielding engages with alumni to further their professional accomplishments. Applications are solicited annually in March.

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About the Author: Fielding News

Stories about people, issues, research, and innovation across the Fielding global community as reported by the Fielding News Team.

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