Women in Business

For Women and Men Who Think Like Them

How to Balance Work and LifeInnolect knows how to  collaborate with, coach and develop executive women. Founded by senior women leaders,  Innolect  has extensive experience in the design, development, and facilitation of women’s conferences/initiatives as well  as in delivering keynote presentations and workshops on women’s issues.  Our consultants are widely published with expertise in women’s studies and gender issues.   See our post on “Athena-style Leadership” about John Gerzema’s recent book “The Athena Doctrine”.

In partnership with corporate clients, we collaborate to provide the most current research and thinking as trusted advisors for women leadership initiatives.  With a deep and abiding understanding of women’s issues and challenges, our team engages with clients to accelerate development and minimize talent attrition for high-potential women.

  • Designing and implementing a variety of executive leadership coaching initiatives (Leadership that Steps Forward; Transition Coaching; Executive Coaching, etc.),
  • Addressing the unique needs for women of color (ethnic, cultural, global) to enhance their effectiveness,
  • Challenging and retaining high potential women leaders, and
  • Steering top level women entrepreneurs.

Picture 053Women Leadership Initiative Case Study

Recent research reports show that the best run companies by far have a diverse mix of talented employees, many of whom are women. Unfortunately, women leaders throughout corporate America are leaving the workplace often because their expectations or behaviors are out of sync with workplace realities. Women who do stay in corporate workplaces and who report they are highly satisfied learn how to identify and address their unique challenges. These women are also more frequently perceived as highly effective leaders. As Sony BMG’s business continues to change we need to retain and pay special attention to the leadership development needs of emerging women leaders.

Our Approach

Designed a program using targeted assessments, special drills, experiential activities, case studies and simulations,that helped participants learn how to

  • Develop and express a business point of view using logic and rational thinking skills.
  • Appreciate male leadership strengths and leverage female leadership strengths to create high integrity business outcomes.
  • Eliminate behaviors that do damage to oneself, to one’s peers or subordinates and/or to the business as a whole.
  • Communicate with others about double-bind stereotypes and standards and learn when and how to confront, as appropriate.
  • Overcome self-limiting mindsets, communication practices and leadership behaviors.

Picture 078Results:

The initiative helped women leaders apply new skills, knowledge and mindsets that addressed pressing business problems. After the program, the women leaders gained confidence, were recognized for their accomplishments through new assignments and promotions. A key impact was that these women leaders took greater personal responsibility for both the quality and trajectory of their own career paths. These leaders then transferred their own learning to both women and men and served as mentors/coaches within the organization.

 

Woman on LadderDeveloping Exit Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs

  • Help founders understand and deal with the emotional dilemma.
  • Clarify the founder’s personal, business and social responsibility goals.
  • Create and quantify alternative futures to consider and facilitate selection of an optimal strategy.
  • Translate the selected strategy into action for realization of the desired outcome.
  • Recognize the critical talent of the founder(s) and build a new team of leaders.
  • Design and facilitate the change management challenges that the founder and the staff will face.
  • Grow the organization to be sustainable after the exit is completed.

Three things will determine the success of an exit strategy for an entrepreneur: 

  1. Clarity about personal, business and social goals
  2. Time to consider, design and build the business for transferable value and sustainability
  3. People who are engaged, understand and motivated to build a sustainable organization

Ways to Get Started:

023Exploratory Dialog

  • Conduct private conversations with Founders
  • Clarify goals and time frame
  • Discuss engagement approach

Strategy Facilitation

  • Engage stakeholders
  • Introduce creative ideation and comparison to select a strategy
  • Assess complexity, uncertainty and risk
  • Build organizational transition plan

Growing Leaders

  • Assess high potential leaders
  • Implement executive transition coaching
  • Design transformational listening and messaging channels

 

yellow brick roadEmerging Women Leaders: 

Navigation Beyond the Yellow Brick Road

Women make up more than half of all management positions, yet less than two percent make it to the Fortune 500 C-suite. When women are stereotyped as lacking critical thinking and analytical skills, organizations fail to benefit from their unique strengths. Retaining highly skilled, industry savvy women creates a competitive advantage for top cap corporations.  Women leaders traveling Beyond the Yellow Brick Road discover their own wisdom and unique strengths to achieve their goals. Innolect helps women examine their personal leadership journeys, understand they have what they need to succeed, and refine key competencies to help make the most of their leadership choices.

Innolect’s Emerging Women Leaders: Navigation Beyond the Yellow Brick Road (BYBR) program offers a fast-paced development experience grounded in the most current gender research.   Each customized program is developed to meet targeted client objectives and participants leave with a toolkit to overcome business challenges and accelerate career-pathing.  Programs range in length from one to three days, based on the design and training components selected.

Unique Benefits:

  • Examine potential “derailers” that sabotage career success
  • Overcome gender-limiting stereotypes and communication patterns
  • Gain understanding of personal strengths and capabilities
  • Learn new tools to develop advocacy skills, a point of view and results-oriented collaboration
  • Receive individual coaching, personal feedback, follow-up and reinforcement

Innolect’s BYBR initiative will significantly increase the representation of women at senior levels by fostering an environment where women want to work, where advancement and mobility abound, and where women’s preference for flexibility does not limit success.

 

Diversity - two womenCoach to Retain and Develop Executive and Emerging Women Leaders

.

Talent management, particularly retaining top talent, is cited as the leading strategic HR imperative (ORC Worldwide). Women, especially, are choosing to leave corporations in record numbers and most women who leave start their own businesses.

Why the mass exodus?  Women at senior levels are wondering, “Is this all there is?” “Am I making a difference?” Women, who find it difficult to navigate their careers, get a seat at the table, and/or find success empty, begin a journey of career exploration.

To minimize the risk of losing the “best and brightest” female employees, corporations are taking steps to retain and develop women leaders. Some tactics include providing women with executive or leadership coaches, establishing mentoring programs, launching affinity groups, enhancing networking opportunities, and offering high visibility jobs and assignments.

Who Benefits from Coaching Women Leaders?

Executive and leadership coaching is one of the most powerful tools in an overall plan to retain women leaders and achieve organizational excellence.  Now more than ever, it is crucial to equip women leaders with tools to steer their careers and sustain their effectiveness.  Rather than blaming a glass ceiling, women are learning to manage their own “sticky floor” behaviors and to take greater responsibility for their career aspirations.  Successful women leaders today learn to:

  • Express market-ready, compelling points of view (tell stories),
  • Promote themselves and others,
  • Leverage the benefits of cultural bi-lingualism,
  • Overcome socialized communication practices and
  • Confront double-bind stereotypes.

To achieve a competitive advantage, companies are focusing on retaining highly skilled and industry savvy senior women leaders.  These companies enable the natural strengths of these women, stretch them to develop a new mindset and skills, and help them to learn how to influence decision-makers in valuing their distinctive capacities.  In particular, it is important to:

  • Retain the best women talent and ensure their success.
  • Reduce derailment and/or costly turnover expenses.
  • Individually develop the most talented women (2-3 deep).
  • Ensure high potential women perform at maximum potential.
  • Transfer coaching skills to key talent.
  • Improve and sustain business performance.

How do we maximize coaching success?

Coaching successful executive women can be challenging.  Many women don’t attend to their own learning without encouragement.  For the coaching to succeed, it must add immediate value. The best coaching for executive and high potential women leaders must:

  • Show immediate results – Fast Track vs. Full Rigor Learning.
  • Include an opportunity to learn from “best practices.”
  • Demonstrate “chain of impact” that connects coaching directly to organizational outcomes.
  • Ensure the coaching content is kept confidential.
  • Advertise the “sophistication” of the coaching support provided.
  • Develop a “use it or lose it” policy – the perk is revoked.
  • Provide regular, objective and fair feedback from colleagues whose opinions count.
  • Develop practical tactics and techniques.

Innolect coaches have over twenty years of experience, exceed the qualifications of institutionalized executive coaching certification requirements, and have successful track records in working with women leaders in executive roles.

Kathleen DameronMeetings with Remarkable Women

Smart organizational leaders recognize the need to invest in women’s development, provide women mentors and coaching, enhance networking opportunities and offer high visibility jobs or assignments to the women they wish to retain and develop.  Using the most up-to-date research, case studies and personal interviews with women who have navigated the organizational morass, Innolect provides a complete framework for addressing this challenge.

Key Objectives:

  • Explore how other remarkable women (and men, where appropriate) have faced similar personal leadership questions and challenges.
  • Learn how others have navigated the leadership labyrinth successfully.
  • Experiment with new leadership behaviors and practices.
  • Through self-assessment, identify options for improving personal effectiveness.

The meetings with remarkable women concept was inspired by a book called Meetings With Remarkable Men (1950) written by G.I. Gurdjieff, a Russian philosopher/mystic known for future oriented thinking. Gurdjieff defined a remarkable person as having a resourceful mind and a tolerance for different ideas. We will seek out entrepreneurs, pioneers, organizational executives, and thought leaders – some prominent and others still to be discovered – in fields where the future is being created. These “Remarkable Women” will stretch our thinking by pointing out issues that may be off everyone’s radar screen, by reframing facts in surprising ways, and by finding connections between divergent developments.

  • Contribute their remarkable insights, original ideas, and deep experience.
  • Guide other women to understand the relationships among the external forces shaping their future.
  • Stimulate future thinking among women leaders as they head into a decade of complexity and uncertainty.