How a Human Resources Director used Rapid Action - an innovative small team improvement process with a unique action learning toolkit - to solve company problems and develop new leaders.
Bill Curran, Senior Vice President of Talent and Leadership Development, brought Leap Technologies into the fold at Boston Private in 2017. These are his first impressions on working with Leap and the Rapid Action process.
In 2017, Boston Private, a national wealth management, trust, and private banking firm, headquartered in Boston, designed a new leadership development initiative targeted for mid-career managers. These leaders were specifically selected based on their high placement in our talent assessment process. A major piece of the design centered on the Leap Technologies' Rapid Action process, which gives leaders tools to form and facilitate continuous improvement problem solving teams.
Prior to committing to partnering with Leap Technologies, we wanted to know if the Rapid Action concept would be a fit at Boston Private, so we formed a cross functional team and asked co-founder Mike Pecoraro to come in and run a mini simulation of the tools. To a person, everyone loved the creative brainstorming process. However, there was concern that the process was very different from our culture.
Rapid Action taps into ideas from employees closest to the action, i.e. suggestions for process improvements bubble up (think Jack Welch’s Workout concept at General Electric). At Boston Private, we traditionally found ideas came from more of a top-down approach. Like most companies today, we strive to improve our employee engagement scores and felt more employee involvement made sense…so we signed on.
Our pilot leadership class has been working on their team projects for two months and will soon present their findings to the executive team. We are excited to see the fruits of their labor. Ideally, many of these process improvement ideas will be green-lighted for implementation.
Working with Leap Technologies has been a pleasure. The steps are highly structured and, at first blush, a bit overwhelming, but once people get their “feet wet” they come to see the power behind Rapid Action. Mike’s teaching and follow-up facilitation has been outstanding. He keeps the teams focused and committed to agreed-upon deliverables throughout the process.
Update: The six teams presented to the top 25 executives in the firm on Monday, December 11 and they hit it out of the park! Senior leaders, as well as participants, loved the findings and recommendations (in some cases…implementation) and we are bringing Rapid Action back for our next Leadership Academy in the spring.