From Left: Ms. Jean Lee, Dr. Peter Cheng and Dr. Lily Cheng from PACE with Prof. Barry Posner and Jim Kouzes with his wife, Tae
The Leadership Challenge Forum 2015 was held on June 18th & 19th at, San Francisco. For the first time in many years, Asian participants took part in showcasing their work at the forum.
This year’s forum was as exciting and engaging as previous years with presentations from world leading authorities in leadership in the likes of Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, along with the Q&A session with Edgar Schein - the world renowned leading figure on corporate culture. Presenting in this year’s forum along with other experts were PACE’s very own experts, Dr. Peter Cheng, Dr. Lily Cheng and Ms. Jean Lee three of whom are Certified Masters of The Leadership Challenge® Program
Certified Masters from PACE OD Consulting comprised 75% of the Asian presenters at the forum. PACEMATTERS spoke to Dr. Peter Cheng, Dr. Lily Cheng and Ms. Jean Lee to get their first hand insights from the forum.
Choice of presentation topic and motivation behind it
Dr. Peter Cheng waiting for his turn to present
I presented the subject on “Fostering Positive Attitudes Towards Behavioral Change Following LPI Feedback”, to equip the community of 360-degree feedback practitioners with skills to create an environment for the subjects of 360-degree feedback, to foster a positive attitude towards behavioral change after receiving 360-degree feedback. After all, what good is 360° feedback if the subjects do not adopt changes in their leadership behaviors?
Dr. Peter Cheng shared his findings from his Phd thesis on the factors shaping the perceived credibility (PC) of the subjects of 360 degree feedback and how this, in turn affects the subjects’ attitudes toward behavioral change. He also conducted an interactive activity with the attendees for their hands-on applications of the knowledge to help their own clients embrace positive attitudes towards behavioral change following LPI® feedback.
Read his presentation here.
Lily and Jean
Our topic was “Facilitating Leaders in Articulating & Building the Desired Organizational Culture”. We shared our success stories about how we helped our clients; the MNCs in Asia-Pacific and beyond, utilized The Leadership Challenge® to sustain leadership excellence. The topic was chosen to complement this year’s theme on culture. We wanted to share how we can successfully leverage on The Leadership Challenge® framework as an OD intervention to create a sustaining culture of leadership excellence for our client organizations.
Inspiration about the future in leadership and organization development
Among other things that inspired me in this year’s forum is that PACE is on the right track to transform organizational leaders through the use of 360-degree feedback. I am happy to note that my thesis findings are well embraced by our western counterparts during the forum.
I was also inspired by how much a simple and authentic conversation could liberate others from self-limiting thoughts. During breakfast at the opening of the forum, I met one of the Certified Masters-In-Training. During our short exchange in getting to know each other, I observed that he was self-deprecating by saying, “I am just a trainer”. From a coaching perspective, these words, “just a trainer” reflected his self-limiting thoughts about himself. I took the opportunity to help him see a different perspective that his works as a facilitator impact and transform individual lives and so on.
At one juncture, he responded with “Wow man, I’ve never really thought of that!” and his elated eyes encouraged me in return. It reinforces that the words we say to others either speak “life or death”. I am glad that I was able to make a difference to help him embrace optimism and affirmed his good works.
Jim and Barry shared in the forum on “No One is Zero”, a book that is to be released in February 2016. The key message is that everybody has something to give and offer and leaders, are privileged to help others unleash their potentials. Now, this is another inspiration for doing what we do…. facilitating workshops to develop leaders who in turn develop others.
“Lily and Jean’s presentation, comprising of the success stories of our clients, also thrilled the largely American attendees who were really inspired by the stories of how we worked.
— Dr. Peter Cheng, Director of PACE OD Consulting
From left: Ms Jean Lee and Dr. Lily Cheng at the start of their presentation
First, I was really surprised that this year’s forum was full of educators. In fact, 80% are educators. Therefore, I feel that in US, educators are becoming more interested in developing leadership competencies, which is quite strong in Singapore. So I feel that we are ahead in terms of leadership development.
Probably the most valuable was Edgar Schein’s talk. It reinforces the importance of how we see culture. Culture is an organization’s DNA that always goes back to the founder. He cited IBM as an example. IBM’s most famous CEO and Chairman, Thomas J. Watson, was very good at sales and marketing. IBM was a sales and marketing company and not a technology company. His personal values were etched into IBM that transformed the local business into a global entity. He also quoted Steve Jobs on his belief in creating something new and different, thinking and doing the things that other people would not deem plausible. As such, innovation became the culture and the DNA of Apple.
When Apple deviated from its DNA, it nearly caused its downfall. Therefore, an organization’s culture should be the anchor on which its members latch on and foster a common identity that gives it a competitive advantage in the market.
To me, it was a lot of key reaffirmation and reinforcement of what we believe. On top of Edgar’s talk, some of the key takeaways were some of the research that was presented at the forum. It was about the book called “No One is Zero”. When you have the research data to back it up, no one can complain about you, about the validity of your work and it also reaffirms that you are in the right direction. This book and its research also validate our newest organization development framework: Human Capital Proposition that has been developed with the belief that with the right processes everyone can perform at their best.
Dr. Lily Cheng & Jean Lee together presented a case study, “Facilitating Leaders in Articulating & Building the Desired Organizational Culture”.
In this Case Study, Lily shared how PACE, has successfully used The Leadership Challenge® to facilitate the articulation and establishment of the desired corporate culture of a globally renowned multi-national company. Read their presentation here.
From left: Dr. Peter Cheng, world leading figure on corporate culture - PROF. EDGAR H. SCHEIN (mid), Dr. Lily Cheng and Ms. Jean Lee