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Harv Bus Rev. 2012 Jun;90(6):86-92, 94, 144.

Leadership development in the age of the algorithm.

Abstract

By now we expect personalized content--it's routinely served up by online retailers and news services, for example. But the typical leadership development program still takes a formulaic, one-size-fits-all approach. And it rarely happens that an excellent technique can be effectively transferred from one leader to all others. Someone trying to adopt a practice from a leader with a different style usually seems stilted and off--a Franken-leader. Breakthrough work at Hilton Hotels and other organizations shows how companies can use an algorithmic model to deliver training tips uniquely suited to each individual's style. It's a five-step process: First, a company must choose a tool with which to identify each person's leadership type. Second, it should assess its best leaders, and third, it should interview them about their techniques. Fourth, it should use its algorithmic model to feed tips drawn from those techniques to developing leaders of the same type. And fifth, it should make the system dynamically intelligent, with user reactions sharpening the content and targeting of tips. The power of this kind of system--highly customized, based on peer-to-peer sharing, and continually evolving--will soon overturn the generic model of leadership development. And such systems will inevitably break through any one organization, until somewhere in the cloud the best leadership tips from all over are gathered, sorted, and distributed according to which ones suit which people best.

PMID:
22741421
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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