Warren Buffett made some news recently with an essay in Fortune magazine about women in leadership, writing that America is using only half its talent, and that women are key to our realizing country's future achievement. It caught my eye because of the work Interaction Associates is doing around women leaders – more on that in a minute.
First, from Buffett's essay, this excerpt is particularly telling:
How is your learning and development strategy supporting your organization's growth strategy? Could you use some fresh insights from a talent development leader who is currently tackling that very issue?
Wednesday, February 29th, Ashley Welch was in conversation with Carolyn Fischer, Vice President of Global Talent Development at TJX & Companies (parent company of T.J. Maxx), getting her perspective on How to Facilitate Organizational Growth through Talent Development.
Have you seen the 1970’s film, “The Lion in Winter?” At its heart, the classic movie (available on Netflix, and highly recommended) is a story of lost trust. After years of marriage and nine children, Henry II (Peter O’Toole) has lost his trust in Eleanor of Aquitaine (Katherine Hepburn).
In October's LeaderLens online conversation, Ashley spoke with Karlin Sloan: author, speaker, and CEO.
September's LeaderLens online conversation featured Brooke Deterline, Director of Corporate Programs for the Heroic Imagination Project. Brooke has spent most of her career working with executives to create “best practices” to positively affect corporate culture and reputation. She has lately moved into the arena of corporate social responsibility, a field that combines her strategic focus with her passion for sustainability, leadership, empowerment and social and environmental justice.
I spoke with Carol Sanford, author of the recent book, The Responsible Business, about her experience working with Fortune 500 companies all over the world. Carol's own passion has led her to help businesses integrate responsibility into all aspects of a business as an engine for innovation, profitability and purpose. Carol explored a framework for a holistic approach to business, and reflected on what guides her and other leaders in an integrated approach to leadership.
Interaction Associates works with leaders globally to develop inclusive, facilitative, and collaborative leadership practices. Facilitative Leaders have the ability to build agreements among deeply entrenched factions with differing interests. This is as badly-needed in the global business organization as it is on the world stage.
Clearly, we're on the threshold of a huge shift in the numbers of women stepping up as senior executives with so many poised to move up from the No. 2 or No. 3 spot.
What's more, statistics indicate that we're seeing the tip of a very big iceberg. Though women still face 4-to-1 odds against being chosen for senior executive posts, several early indicators herald significant changes ahead:
- More than half of the Fortune 500 companies have more than one female corporate officer.
Recently, I was pondering the hullabaloo over this photo of Nancy Pelosi wielding the Speaker's gavel while surrounded by children.
A colleague had mentioned that she'd heard this mélange of reactions to the photo:
"It made me tear up. It really touched me. It didn't feel 'engineered' or cynical, it seemed spontaneous and I believe it was."