Building Capabilities for Current & Emerging Leaders

Our Focus:
Collaborative excellence

Years of experience, design, field testing, and continuous improvement have enabled our team to generate a breakthrough paradigm shifting strategy and methodology to Leadership Development.

We have worked in scores of different industries and situations to learn that the most effective means of getting things done in a sustainable manner is thorough collaborative excellence at every level in the organization.



Stripping away all the self-congratulatory hype, we took a hard look at the results produced by Leadership Development over the last fifty years. Our analysis focused on the pivotal question:

“Do People Trust Leaders and their Organization?”

The assessment was more than disconcerting.

  • Trust in Organizations (and thus their Leaders) has plummeted across the board.

Distrust is not benign – it is corrosive, kills collaboration, destroys the human spirit, contributes heavily to employee turnover, dramatically undermines innovation, and diminishes productivity.

  • Senior Executives and Human Resource managers expect leadership training programs to deliver “Transformational Leadership,” which seldom, if ever, is attained.

The billions of dollars spent annually on Leadership Development has been termed the “Great Training Robbery” – 75% of senior leaders are dissatisfied with the results being produced. Yet we were unable to find much effort to change the way Exec. Education was being delivered.

Digging into the issue, we found significant underlying problems in developing effective leaders:

  • Structural Impediments in Academia that fragment learning.
  • Bloated Cost Structures that erodes the value of Executive Education.
  • Mediocre Curriculum in dire need of updating.
  • Outdated emphasis on Traits, Characteristics, and Styles of leadership.
  • Outmoded Learning Delivery Methodologies have failed to deliver measurable impacts in the sponsoring organizations who pay the bills.
  • Dramatically Diminished Effectiveness because of legacy thinking resulting in a misguided focus on training individuals instead of operational teams.

These flaws were significant and troubling, spurring us to embark on restructuring the entire strategy and process of learning and leadership development.

We realized that the entire conception of Leadership Development had become stultified, built upon layers of generations-old thinking, entrenched bureaucracies, and outdated assumptions which impeded progress. A thorough top-to-bottom redesign was needed, including:

  • Better Architecture: One of the major impediments to developing effective leaders is the lack of a clear concept or framework about what actually constitutes “collaboration.” (i.e. it’s often confused it with “congeniality” or “being nice to people.”) Thus leaders have had no clear “mind-map” for distinguishing true collaboration from other forms of human interaction, preventing quick focus, rapid remedial action, and effective diagnostics.

Two of the most difficult leadership challenges are strategic alliances and complex project implementation. From these, using our extensive field experience and best practice analysis, we formulated a powerful new leadership paradigm yielding high rewards and reduced risks.

  • Better Alignment: The heritage of explaining leadership by traits, aphorisms, characteristics, and styles has impeded the integration of leadership development with organization development.

We filtered out the muddled thinking, creating a deeper and more integrated alignment between the mission & interests of sponsoring organizations, their leadership development efforts, operational effectiveness, and the core methodologies of executive education.

  • Better Learning Methodology: Historically, a Training Model has provided the theory and practice of leadership behavior. While this sounds reasonable, often it has produced mediocre results. Our experience in Exec. Ed. compelled us to further refine our Action Learning framework where everything learned is immediately applied in workshop format, producing results fast.

Action-Learning incorporates a breakthrough “learning loop” process that completes the learning cycle integrating the five dimensions of how a person frames what they believe, perceive, conceive, achieve, and what they receive for results.

  • Better Cultural Impact: One of the perpetual complaints about Exec. Ed. is that after an intense training session, upon being re-immersed back into an unsupportive culture, the new trainee feels their new knowledge and inspiration being depleted, quickly becoming disillusioned.

We address this by ensuring, up-front, there is significant senior executive sponsorship, HR support, a long-term engagement with a coach, and the coalescence of operational teams as they learn together and rapidly apply their learning to their every-day work.

  • Better Content: Current Leadership Development curriculum has a series weaknesses, including:

  1. Deeply disjointed, fragmented topic areas presented by different subject matter experts with no attempt to link or integrate one element into the next, forcing the student to attempt integration themselves. This stems from each “authority” having their unique “model” for a topic, while Exec. Ed. admin makes no effort to integrate the dissimilar models.

  2. Superficial treatment of symptoms and problems, with an over-emphasis on skill-oriented competencies, without addressing root-causes and over-looking the importance of holistically changing the inherent mind-sets upon which actions and metrics are based.

  3. Failure to link the curriculum directly to tangible diagnostics and every-day realities faced by participants responsible for execution and implementation.

We remedied each of these weaknesses in our Transformative Action-Learning Engagement strategy. The result is a powerful immersive learning program with a core curriculum that compels the prospective leader to address: the vital questions of “Why?” “What?” & “How?” of each element of the Leadership Development process, each building on the prior learning. Participants are given ample time to design an implementation platform and begin to see the results before being forced to move on to the next learning element. The curriculum is delivered virtually via pre-recorded video, but activated and customized locally (see next bullet)

  • Better Activation: Senior executives expect Exec. Ed. to deliver transformative results, not just inspired rhetoric. Moreover, because each organization is unique, the Collaborative Excellence program must be receive a modicum of customized tailoring (bespoke) at the field operations level.

To accomplish this local tailoring, our program uses an established network of qualified Advisors/Coaches to facilitate the learning and the production of results within the client organizations. We encourage these advisors/coaches to oversee the implementation of the Action-Learning model, making adaptations where ever necessary to produce the desired results. Thus the role of the coaches is not as “consultants,” but rather as “resultants.” Depending upon the circumstances, the “resultants” can engage either remotely or physically on-site. Regularly the coaches will exchange localized best practice adaptations with each other, thus upgrading the implementation processes.

  • Better Expertise: Feedback from tens of thousands of senior leaders and managers attending our programs confirmed that the impact of any educational experience was significantly increased when the presenter transcended academic theory and spoke directly as practitioner. While professors are acknowledged for their ability to teach at the undergraduate and graduate school levels, their ability often diminishes at the Exec. Ed. level because of their lack of practical experience “in the trenches.”

Responding to this concern, our team is composed of “Pracademics” – individuals who have spent a large portion of their lives in both the academic and business worlds. Most have researched and written extensively, and are considered “thought leaders.” We believe Pracademics are the best people to develop content for Action-Learning. Many of our Pracademics can also do double duty as “resultant” field coaches or coach other coaches.

  • Better Value: We’ve reconfigured the delivery system, presenting each learning module “virtually” in pre-recorded sessions, which are adapted for each customer by a local coach/resultant, thus producing twice the value at half the cost.

Characteristically, there has been a lack of alignment between Organization Development and Leadership Development, impeding the progress of both.

  • Senior management seeks transformational leaders, yet this also requires a conjoined approach with organizational transformation. The resulting disparity prevents any synergistic effect.

What must be recognized is that Transformational Leadership requires both a paradigm shift and a multi-dimensional organizational systems shift. To believe these shifts can be accomplished simplistically with a scattershot plan is naïve and imprudent. It requires a more holistic perspective of organization as a network of interactive functions that must adroitly aligned (much like an alliance).

  • The root cause is the lack of a common Design Architecture that frames both Leadership and Organization Development with a common framework, language, methodology, and objectives. This caused by the silo mentality of the institutions and competing models whose proponents never tried to unite the disparate elements together, leaving a result that looks like the vehicle depicted above.

Our “Architecture of Collaborative Excellence” was created to unify, align, and integrate the “system” of strategic, cultural, operational, and innovational elements of both Leadership and Organizational Development in a manner that actually generates the elusive synergy that so many leaders have long sought.

This “systems architecture” is embedded into the Transformative Action Learning Engagement methodology to gain maximum impact and meet the expectations of the “customers” of Executive Education: the sponsoring corporations along with the leaders and their teams engaged in the development program.

What has been virtually overlooked is the essential importance of viewing Transformational Leadership through the lens of Paradigm Shifting, Innovation, and Designing Breakthroughs.

  • Leaders must not try to shift into Collaborative Leadership Excellence on a piece-meal, incremental, half-hearted basis, else there be a classic reversion to the old legacy approach.

Transformations, Innovations, and Breakthroughs can only emerge when there is a strong collaborative culture to support the shift in beliefs, perceptions, conceptions, and actions.

Our approach addresses the key methods for collaborative innovation, designing breakthroughs, shifting paradigms, and overcoming resistance to change.

In the larger picture, the current malaise in leadership can also be attributed to the diminishment of teaching moral character and wisdom in college in favor of more job-oriented practical training – a shift that has been going on for over 50 years.

While this issue is far beyond the purview of our role as educators in Collaborative Excellence, we must never neglect the core values and philosophies that underpin our mission and strategies.

  • Education, for the last century, has grappled between traditional Values-based Liberal Arts education and Practical Competency Training that improves job skills. This tug and pull at the secondary and post-secondary levels has largely tilted to the Practical Training side of the balance scale (the emphasis on STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math is a good example).

This imbalance has triggered the Law of Unintended Consequences, with many adverse effects in a college graduate’s ability to think, trust, and work together, thus diminishing leadership capabilities.

  • We advocate a “Colliberative” (Collaborative & Liberating) Education that adeptly integrates the best of both approaches, while sacrificing neither. While this is a long-term view of changes needed in education, the ideas are well worth considering — the future of education is at stake.

About Capability Building

1) Leadership Training Has Failed

2) Creating Twice the Value for Half the Cost

3) Coaches is not as “consultants,” but rather as “Resultants.”

4) Our team is composed of “Pracademics”

5) Multi-dimensional organizational systems shift.

6) Silo mentality of the institutions never unite the disparate elements together

7) Diminishment of moral character and wisdom more job-oriented training

A “Workshop” is typically a 2 day experience that connects concepts, strategies, and best practices directly to tools and applications aimed at producing real results quickly. Open workshops are usually attended by individuals from a diverse set of organizations or small groups from several organizations.
A “Program” is a larger scale set of integrated actions which typically links strategy and implementation; it usually consists of multiple elements, including briefings, planning, diagnostics, leadership & resource commitments, engagement, implement roll-out, metrics, action workshops, feedback and learning.
We can add coaching/mentoring support to a custom program to aid in long-term impact.
If your organization needs implementation assistance beyond a Custom Program with Coaching & Mentoring, we are developing alliances with specialty consulting firms that may be of assistance.

About Capability Building
There are a number of false beliefs about leadership you should be aware of. Here are a few of them:
1. Leaders are born, not made Myth

While some people have a natural leadership talent, most good managers can improve their performance, influence, and effectiveness significantly with good leadership capability building. This is our aim.

2. Knowledge changes behavior Myth

While knowledge is valuable, the correlation between knowledge and performance is tenuous. Behavior is much more the result of culture, beliefs, practice, feedback, and personal initiative. This is our method.

3. Leadership is good habits & traits Myth

While traits and habits are characteristics of good leaders, this is simply not enough. Great leaders have the capability to engage strategically, build trust, produce results, and adapt to change. This is our breakthrough.

4. Leadership is about use of power Myth

While power is one of the dynamics of leadership, power can be exercised positively and negatively. Greatest positive power is achieved from alignment of human energy. This is our foundational framework.

5. Trust is too soft to teach Myth

While in the past trust has been the fuzzy backwater of human behavior, trust is too important to overlook. We know from conducting hundreds of workshops with senior executives from around the world, and having done breakthrough research on the neuro-chemistry of the brain, trust can be taught, perceptions altered, and skills mastered.

6. Leaders are just good managers Myth

While most leaders rise from the ranks of management, it is a mistake to believe leadership is “advanced management.” Great leaders have better strategic, relationship, and innovation skills than a standard manager. This is essential.

Existing leaders face many crises today. With the retirement of so many baby boomers from the work force, being able to develop new (and better) leaders is essential.

To understand the magnitude of the Leadership depletion in real numbers: over 10,000 baby boomers file for retirement Social Security every day!

The American Management Association’s survey of corporate executives on the adequacy of “critical skills” among their workforces shows some very disturbing results that must be addressed by the private, not-for-profit, and public sector:

Critical Skills (prioritized) – Proficiency Rankings

Communications – 51.4% rank as only average
Collaboration – 42% rank average
Critical Thinking – 46.9% rank average
Innovation – 46.9% rank average

Organizations that don’t take action now are at risk of unstable executive leadership, suffering from downward business and profitability consequences.

Many see the infusion of Millennials into the workforce as a burden. It is actually a great opportunity for organization transformation – and Collaborative Leadership is the best strategy to use. Just take a look at what Millennials need to be energized…
Top Priorities of Millennials

(other than Pay & Benefits)

  • Good work/life balance
  • Opportunities to progress/to be leaders
  • Flexibility i.e., remote working, flexible hours
  • Sense of meaning from my work
  • Professional development training programs
  • The impact it has on society
  • The quality of its products/services
  • Strong sense of purpose
  • Opportunities for international travel
  • Fast growing/dynamic
  • A leading company that people admire
  • Invests in and uses the latest technology
  • The reputation of its leaders

Source: Deloitte Millenials Survey 2016 7,700 surveyed globally with college degrees

“Get out in front of this problem while it is still manageable. It’s an opportunity today -- it will be a crisis tomorrow....”

Think of us when you need a highly experienced team

We provide insight and wisdom, along with a fresh new approach to solving complex human & organizational problems.

If you are forming an alliance or partnership, or need to revitalize or reposition an alliance, our team has had extensive experience creating success quickly and efficiently. We will use best-practice methods to make the alliance healthy.
The four essential alignments of our approach have proven highly effective when diverse people come together for strategic planning sessions, major strategic initiatives, launching new projects, or insuring complex functional integration.
The Four Alignments has become the foundational architecture of Collaborative Leadership. Leadership effectiveness training workshops empower people to perform at an outstanding level.
When difficulties are encountered in disputes, rather than litigation, our skilled team of mediators can help resolve difficulties and set the parties on a positive course for the future using the Four Alignments.
The conditions where TransAlignment’s value is paramount: where the parties need to interact in multiple ways over the long haul; where trust is essential; and where there may be uncertainty in the future.
Most Reorganizations fail to achieve their objectives because efficient delivery of products & services comes foremost from creation & flow of value, not scale or structure. Alignment at cross- functional interfaces accelerates creation & flow.
High Performance Teams thrive and are empowered when the four TransAlignment dimensions are embraced in their structure. Any team, no matter its size or scale, benefits.
Most Innovation and Lean Management initiatives fail to achieve their objectives. We have mastered the core secrets, strategies, and unique frameworks that enable Innovation and Value Creation to prevail and be sustainable across the board regardless of the industry.

Be sure to contact us to help build the capacity and capability of your organization, alliance, partnership, strategic relationship, project, or team.

We can set a new standard of excellence, bringing you to a new level of performance — with new mindsets, an inspired future, higher trust, better teamwork, and an ability to adapt to uncertainty/change.

We will present these programs in Naples, Florida during the winters (it’s wonderful here) or bring them on-site to organizations that want programs delivered to in-house teams for better integration.

All our programs are highly interactive and focused on team-alignment and action-planning for high impact results.

Capability Building is a multi-fold approach that includes new knowledge, skills building, metrics, and new frameworks for thinking that catalyzes the greatness within.