Today, together with Cathrin Leßlhumer, we will take a look behind the scenes of MDI Consulting. What is important in our digitalized world to successfully design management development measures? Are international projects more complex than national or regional ones? And what makes her laugh and gives her pleasure during her work? She answers these and other questions today and lets us immerse ourselves in her work as an MDI Consultant.
About the author
Cathrin Leßlhumer, Senior Consultant at MDI, talks to us today about her experiences and insights in the L&D area. What she loves about her work is new challenges and she is excited about the challenges that new projects bring with them.
About the author
Cathrin Leßlhumer, Senior Consultant at MDI, talks to us today about her experiences and insights in the L&D area. What she loves about her work are new challenges and she is excited about all the challenges that new projects bring with them.
Successful Leadership Development
In your opinion, what is most important for successful leadership training measures?
Firstly, to clarify the why – the why for the company, which takes money in hand to provide added value to employees. In addition, the why for the participants, so that they can also process and apply the corresponding learning well. If measures taken influence an organizational goal, very valuable and fruitful results can be achieved for all those involved.
Secondly: the learning transfer – how does what has been learnt get into practice or how can the participants themselves also work on implementation? Finding out what the strengths of the individual participants are in order to promote them is, in my opinion, also an important aspect. Often it is not only the individual manager who matters, but also the environment and direct superiors.
Which obstacles do you notice again and again in projects/companies?
The clarification of the order at the beginning of a project or measure seems to be a very logical thing, but it is not always the easiest! Finding out what it is all about, learning to understand connections and wanting to find out new things in conversations with customers often requires time that some important decision-makers cannot/do not want to take.
Here is my approach – especially when it comes to more complex projects – step 1 to 3 of Design Thinking: Understanding, observing and defining perspectives.
Does it become more complex the more international the project is?
Not necessarily 😉 In the beginning there might be several unknown factors and not everything is smooth, but this makes it exciting to dissolve a project in an iterative way. “Try – recognize – react” on the basis of the Cynefin Matrix (Link: https://www.mdi-training.com/blog/de/2018/06/07/cynefin-framework/) enables an approach here which also allows to create clarity again and again during an ongoing project.
What is your favourite part of international roll-outs?
Actually, it’s the touchdown of the roll-out! This is where one of my principles comes into play: 6Ps (Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance). A lot of organization is required in advance, stakeholders must be picked up and their different needs satisfied. You cannot (and should not) determine everything in advance and plan rigidly. Nevertheless, the output often depends on a good input. The black box during a roll-out always brings new challenges anyway ;-)!
How do you think the L&D sector will change with digitalization?
It will become more collaborative – the watering can principle will become less and less, because the needs of the learners are simply too different. Digital/online offers, whether within an organization or what is generally available to the general public on the Internet, will not in itself be enough to place people in a learning environment that they need to make learning happen.
In face-to-face trainings the focus is mainly on trying out and experimenting in connection with other people, which an app alone will not (yet) be able to offer.
In addition to the much demanded self-organization in the Learning & Development area, a certain amount of leadership will be necessary to ensure that the learners do not end up being overwhelmed!
How is your work changing right now?
Depending on the customer, the requirements vary and accordingly, it is necessary to (re)act or show a service orientation that makes sense. People often ask for quick solutions just to do something. Here I am not afraid to ask again what the goal behind the requested measure should be, what it should pay for or what the best possible solution could be.
What we are also experiencing at the moment is that the cooperation between us and the customers is moving more in the direction of a network organization and collaboration is increasingly coming to the fore, I think that’s great!
Quick question and answer session: What makes you laugh in your daily work?
Very simple: my funny and creative colleagues and you also have to be able to laugh about yourself 😉
And what makes you desperate?
Goalless and unproductive meetings in too big groups.
How do you motivate yourself?
I take care to have a good balance between work and my other activities in life à la “Either you live (life) or you are consistent (in work)“.
Motivating for me are also a good and stimulating exchange with customers and employees as well as sayings and quotations. My favourite quotation is from Kurt Cobain: “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are”.
Which inspiring readings, videos, etc. can you recommend to your readers?
I find this video particularly inspiring. In today’s working world there are simply far too few WTF moments, which are extremely important for me as feel-good factors.
As a reading I can recommend several books that bring incredibly exciting and inspiring messages:
- Leadership and Self-Deception – getting out of the box by The Arbinger Institute
Self-deception/sabotage is more normal than you think! Communication and connection can only take place if you have the ability to put yourself in other people’s shoes. “The problem is that you don’t know it. – Proof yourself wrong every day! ”
- “Coherence” – The secret science of brilliant leadership by Dr. Alan Watkins
Performance myths – effectiveness and results are related to more than just our behavior – especially our physiological state.
- Do Lead – Share your vision. Inspire others. Achieve the impossible. By Les McKeown
“Leadership is not a position but action! Effective Leadership is goal-orientated not people orientated” … to think about where you want to go and to pursue this also means not to forget others. Rather, it is about people with the necessary skills wanting to empower themselves and advance something.
- “Leading with brains” – inspire employees and increase company success by Sebastian Purps-Pardigol
Many lively and, especially for the European area, good examples of effective leadership!
However, in order to further my education in the area of Leadership & Development, I also like to make use of quick reading opportunities such as magazines or blogs. I particularly recommend it:
Thanks Cathrin for your insights and absolutely amazing sources of inspiration!