There is a classic anecdote I really enjoy about a conversation between the CEO and Training manager. It goes like this:
It’s a catchy joke, inspired by real talks that occur quite often in the corporate world.
When asked “What is the most important asset of your organization?”, the average CEO says “Well, it’s the people”. That’s a great statement and yet often companies don’t act in a way to support that statement. They don’t walk the talk.
What should a company do, to treat associates as their most important asset?
Free snacks? Foosball tables? The occasional team building? These are all nice and even perceived as the expected norm. However, if people truly are the most important asset of the organization, our actions and commitment to them need to run deeper.
Creating an environment where people can thrive, develop their skills and unleash their potential are great examples of what it takes to put people first. Learning and personal growth are life-long processes with no upper limit. It is not obvious how far an individual can go and how much they can expand their area of expertise, given the right conditions, opportunity and support.
When do people usually produce their best work?
Aren’t all organizational leaders concerned with that? When do individuals come up with the most innovative ideas? When is it more likely that someone will challenge the status quo and make change happen? Here’s one good answer: when people are meaningfully engaged with the work that they do. It’s when you and your team are optimally challenged, and you stretch your ability level.
Coming to the office every day, knowing that there will be plenty of opportunities to learn, freedom to experiment and propose new ideas is empowering. It’s the sort of thing that motivates a person to test how much better their best could get.
So, how do we make this happen?
At Ingram Micro, Talent is one of our core values, or as we like to call them – our tenets of success. Enabling people to grow as professionals and individuals is more than a responsibility - it’s a calling. It is an integral part of our company culture. It sounds exciting and you may be wondering “How does that work in reality?”. Once you walk through our door, you’ll notice plenty of great examples – all taking place daily. One that I will talk about is our GBS Leadership Academy.
The Leadership Academy
When you hear the name Leadership Academy, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that it’s all about grooming people for leadership positions or developing existing leaders. You may be surprised to hear that this is not the case. I firmly believe that there is a lot more to leadership than holding a position or a title. Leadership is about behavior. It’s about how you act in the world and interact with others. To be a proper leader you need to have people willing to follow you. It’s that simple.
Our home-grown talent development program is designed to take participants on an intense journey of learning and growth. The Academy is open to talent from all levels – associates, people leaders, managers and directors. They all participate in learning tracks, different in content and duration, tailored to the needs and focus areas of their role. The academy features a blend of internal and external training programs.
Whether you are a high-performing associate, or a senior leader with decades of experience, there is always room to grow and a next level to reach.
The Leadership Academy is a forum for the company’s key talent to develop the skills and embrace the behaviors that enable success on their leadership journey – from leading one’s self, to leading teams and organizations.
Why do we invest in talent development? Because if we don’t, we fail to see the light of people’s unique potential coming to life and making an impact. That’s impact not only on the business we do, but also on the world itself.
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Learning & Development Specialist
Ingram Micro GBS Sofia