Post by Marianne Ganley, CCL
Last week, a capacity crowd turned out in Boston for the 2013 Fall meeting of the Executive Development Roundtable (EDRT). EDRT is a dynamic, peer-based learning consortium bringing together thought leaders from Boston University’s School of Management, the Center for Creative Leadership, and the profit and nonprofit organizations that comprise the membership. The session’s topic, The Power of Relationships and Developmental Networks, was a particularly fitting one as EDRT celebrated its 25th anniversary during this meeting – serving as a testament to the relevance and impact of strong networks over time.
Another highlight of the meeting was the presentation of the Marion Gislason Award to the Shipley Professor in Management at the Boston University School of Management, Kathy Kram, for her contributions to the field of leadership development. A long-time friend of CCL, Kathy was a Visiting Scholar in 2000-2001 and served as a member of the Center’s Board of Governors from 2002-2009. (Shown here with Tim Hall, Founding Director of EDRT.)
Kathy, along with Monica Higgins, Professor of Education at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, were keynotes for this meeting. Both world-class scholars, authors and consultants, their session was a deep dive into creating and cultivating developmental networks – networks of high-quality relationships characterized by mutual learning and mutual trust to provide the knowledge, guidance, and opportunities for a leader to grow.
Preceding the keynote presentation, Michael Campbell, Faculty for Delivery and Research, set the stage on the why and the how – why developmental networks are relevant and how to apply simple, practical tools for developing self and others.
Application panels on Day Two built on the previous day’s themes:
- Mary Abraham, CCL Director Digital Learning Products, along with business partners Corey Milnes of Allen Interactions and Fred Dierksmeier of Essilor of America showed how they used their networks to achieve significant business outcomes for their respective organizations. Together, they developed eLearning courses using CCL’s Guidebooks as source material in support of Essilor’s Leadership EDGE program, with Allen Interactions serving as a development partner.
- Four leaders from Boston Scientific gave the audience a glimpse of mentoring networks in action. Four years ago, women from that organization formed an all-volunteer cross-functional and cross-locational mentoring circle program begun by and facilitated by volunteers. The initiative has grown into a wildly successful program that develops and supports 250 leaders at all levels throughout their organization.