To succeed, leaders need to stay a step ahead of their competitors. That means looking for ideas in unexpected places, and absorbing them in original ways. EPM has a number of experiential class sessions to help participants create more organizational and professional value. Many of these sessions take advantage of our unique location, using New York City as a laboratory to study innovation, improvisation, and robust organizations. From Columbia University, we bring the finest relevant, cutting-edge research, so participants can engage promising ideas on improving performance before they become widely diffused. Below is just a sampling of what we do.
Lessons for leadership can come from a variety of sources including the creative and performing arts. In this showcase session, we work with a live Jazz ensemble to introduce participants to the world of Jazz musicians. Using the Jazz experience as an organizing metaphor, participants consider the origins of Jazz – an art form born of conflict and crisis – and how lessons for leadership from a Jazz ensemble can help teams and organizations work better together.
The Biology of Leadership
In this session, participants will explore the impact of human biology on leadership skills. We will introduce research showing how one’s levels of testosterone (a dominance hormone) and cortisol (a stress hormone) are related to leadership behaviors.
Participants will have the opportunity to get tested for these biomarkers and how we will discuss how testosterone and cortisol levels can be modified.
Alignment: Getting Everyone to Pull Together
Even the best strategy will fail if an organization isn’t capable of executing it. We bring the latest ideas, from both expected and unexpected sources, on building an effective organization. For example, we bring research evidence from Columbia’s Global Leadership Matrix project (www.gleam.org) on how networks can be used to create flexible and responsive organizations. Participants then use that information to analyze their own relational capabilities, and those of their organizations.
Organizing to Innovate
While it’s important for an organization to execute a strategy, there also must be space to be inventive. In the EPM classroom, we meet with thought leaders, such as Rita McGrath and Bill Duggan, to discuss strategic innovation. We also examine innovation up close, allowing participants to practice the leadership and interaction patterns that encourage new ideas.
Leadership: From One into Many
At Columbia, we see leadership as helping others to do better. To do that, though, one also has to lead oneself. So to help participants impact their organizations, we also help them impact themselves. We discuss social styles and the lifeline journey, which help participants reflect and prioritize what they’ve learned and allow them to better manage their time, priorities, and focus back at work.