Developing Strong Leaders in Challenging Times

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Interaction Associates presents strategic, practical, and proven solutions company uses important national venues to detail leadership development strategies.

A leader in performance improvement and leadership development, Interaction Associates (IA), today announced that it will detail its unique and powerful approach to leadership development in two important national venues — outlining practical solutions for developing leaders to meet today’s business challenges.

“As a firm, we wrote the book on helping clients develop leaders who are personally aware strategic thinkers adept at engaging others in collaborative action,” said Linda Dunkel, President and CEO of Interaction Associates. “Our experience has been honed over more than 35 years of helping businesses build leadership capacity. We are pleased to have two significant platforms from which to detail our views and experience,” said Dunkel.

The two national venues include The Conference Board’s upcoming 2006 Leadership Development Conference, a widely popular venue, and the Spring 2006 issue of the national publication Employment Relations Today — an important trade publication for human resources and employment relations executives published by John Wiley & Sons.

The Conference Board’s leadership conference will be held in two separate sessions, the first on May 4-5 in New York and again on May 24-25 in San Diego. This annual event is a popular draw for executives charged with developing leaders inside their organizations. Interaction Associates is a conference sponsor and will speak for the fifth consecutive year. [Details on IA’s conference presentations follow press release.]

The Spring 2006 issue of Employment Relations Today (ERT) features a major article on meeting today’s unique and unrelenting leadership development challenges by Alan Price, who is a practice leader and senior consultant in the Leadership Development practice at Interaction Associates. The Price article, titled The Leading Edge: Developing Leaders in Volatile Times, analyzes the critical issues impacting the supply and experience of leaders today and proposes a strategic and practical approach for building a solid pipeline of leaders for present and future challenges. [Details of the ERT article by Alan Price follow below.]

The Conference Board Leadership Development Conference

May 4-5 in New York

May 24-25 in San Diego

For the 5th consecutive year, Interaction Associates will speak at this must-attend conference for executives charged with developing leaders within their organizations. IA will co-present two sessions at the conference:

Creating a Collaborative Culture with High Employee Engagement

This presentation focuses on Interaction Associates’ work with Steak ‘n Shake to develop a more collaborative and empowered culture and a new model for developing leaders at Steak N Shake.

Brief synopsis: Peter Dunn is President and CEO of Steak ‘n Shake and former President of Borden Foods. When he assumed leadership of Steak N Shake in 2003, the 400+ store company faced daunting manager and employee turnover rates, stagnant growth, and a declining client base. Peter Dunn created a remarkable turnaround by asking - and answering - the question: “Why would anybody want to work here?”

The company’s turnaround began with building employee trust and engagement through a Strategic Dialogue Process. The process is designed to create an open channel of communication to bring “the unvarnished truth” from employees to management for action. A collaborative leadership development program for District and General Managers transferred the skills and practices needed to support this ongoing process. Learn how this process takes the CEO out of the “crucible” of pressure created by the demands of shareholders, clients, leaders, and workforce - and creates instead a “virtuous cycle”, where all these stakeholder needs are being served.

Using Action Learning To Develop Business Acumen and Innovation in Leaders

This presentation focuses on Interaction Associates’ work to help Pepsico develop a strong pipeline of high-potential leaders within its sales divisions to create breakthrough solutions for customers.

Brief synopsis: PepsiCo's competitive and global business environment requires that its top sales leaders develop mastery in business acumen and innovation. PepsiCo's Customer Management University created the Strategic Customer Leadership Forum to develop these competencies --- and to create an opportunity for its sales leaders to lead collaborative efforts and utilize strategic thinking skills to move ideas to application.

The Strategic Customer Leadership Forum uses real projects chosen by key executives as its core. On action learning teams, participants immediately see the impact of their leadership, business acumen and strategic thinking skills on PepsiCo’s business. The initiative has not only put a spotlight on the future leaders, but serves as a platform for sponsoring and implementing new business ideas in support of PepsiCo’s most strategic customer base.

The Leading Edge: Developing Leaders in Volatile Times

[Interaction Associates article in Employment Relations Today, Spring 06]

Leadership challenges in nearly every industry and sector are intensifying. The definition of leadership is changing and businesses are challenged with finding, grooming, and retaining leaders in new and increasingly complex environments. This article explores evolving trends in leadership developing and proposes a prescriptive approach for assessing your organization’s leadership needs and solutions. Alan Price is a practice leader and senior consultant in the Leadership Development practice at Interaction Associates.

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