It’s happening in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Colorado Springs Utilities company has been awarded the ATD (Association of Talent Development) BEST Award for the second time in recognition of their internal corporate university designed to develop their next generation of leaders
What can we learn from this innovative company?
First, it is critical that the senior executive team be not only committed to developing aspiring leaders but also actively involved in giving their time to mentor these individuals. The corporate university has several leadership tracks including an advanced 10-month track entitled the “Leader 2 Leader” program. The executive team takes ownership in a very positive way of the ultimate outcome of the leadership development process.
Second, the CSU company actively identifies individual employees who have high leadership potential regardless of their longevity with the company. The old belief of “you have to pay your dues” is gone in light of the reality of what will attract and retain top talent in the younger generations. And every employee, no matter where they are in the company, is provided learning developmental opportunities so they can provide increased value to the company.
Third, the vast majority of the leadership development is live except for a few online prerequisite courses. The emphasis is on building bridges between the experienced tenured managers/leadership and those emerging leaders who are so critically needed in this unique, rapidly moving and competitive industry. This is where the invaluable knowledge transfer occurs and the more important trust and relationship building occurs.
This story of the Colorado Springs Utilities company is included along with the other stories of the winners of ATD BEST awards in the November issue of ATD’s monthly magazine, TD. It is truly inspirational to read about these companies and what they are doing today – not tomorrow – to develop this next generation of leaders.