Leveraging on their 30 years of experience and knowledge in the industry, David has published the book ‘Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business,’ which is in the top 5 agile books ever published. He is also a founder of the Kanban Method and co-creator of the Kanban Maturity Model. The success of the Kanban Method and Maturity Model encouraged him and his team of experienced thinkers and innovators in management and leadership to venture into new offerings.
Historically, the company has been known for change management and enterprise services planning, but as a part of their new offerings, the company has stepped into a decisive role by offering leadership development and management training services. David J Anderson School of Management aims to revolutionize the way managers perform their functions and equip them with the skills they need to lead with confidence and manage with competence.
However, training managers and transforming an organization’s culture is easier said than done. Looking at the current scenario in the industry, David says, “A majority of the companies across all sectors are struggling to achieve success because of a lack of leadership. They are not only failing to develop the leaders actively, but some are even blind to the need for leadership development.”
The primary issue is a lack of awareness about the importance of leadership in the organization’s growth. Today, leadership teams work toward modernizing their infrastructure by deploying digital technologies to transform their business and be innovative. “They follow the standard process of hiring a consulting partner, asking for a prescription, and implementing the recommended solution. Later, they wait for the magic to happen. In reality, it just doesn’t work that way. The issues are cultural, and the culture comes from the leadership. Most of the enterprises are not aware of this problem at all,” states David.
David J Anderson School of Management has recognized these issues and developed new training material, intellectual property, and innovative training solutions tailored to fit classroom training and executive workshop training. The company’s wide range of training services includes different levels of training to improve companies’ agility; tailored workshops to solve companies’ specific problems; mentoring and private consultations – to help trainers, consultants, coaches with their unique cases; and leadership training. The company’s new leadership development training offer is powered by the competitive advantage of the experience accumulated with the years of working with change initiatives.
The company’s forte lies in tight cooperation with Kanban University`s network of global consultants trained to offer advisory services and coaching to clients. This network now includes over 400 licensed coaches, trainers, consultants, and over 40,000 certified Practitioners globally. They also provide accurate, actionable leadership material, verified in practice and proved by various case studies.
“Our main objective is to help our customers develop managers and leaders while equipping them with the necessary skills for survival, resilience, and reinvention,” emphasizes Anderson. The unique aspect of their training module is that it is based on pragmatic, actionable, evidence-based guidance, which is hard to acquire and replicate, making the company’s product defensible in the market.
The company’s management training is focused solely on professional services and intangible goods business – any business where the work is often invisible from view (until a final product is available, e.g., advertising campaign, and engineering designs for construction, among others) and where the people are primarily paid to think and make decisions, rather than perform any specific physical task.
Nurturing the Leaders of Tomorrow
Shedding light on the best practices to groom the leaders of tomorrow, Anderson says, “First of all, it is essential to recognize that management and leadership are necessary skills; solely focusing on leadership and ignoring management isn’t a good strategy. In fact, the first best practice is to inculcate a culture that allows leaders to be managers and managers to be leaders.” The next thing that enterprises must focus on is managing the quantity of work rather than the people or the schedule. Historically, managers in the business world have viewed themselves as dating agents that they think their job is to match up an exciting project with a suitably qualified worker and send them on a date together for a few days, weeks, or months. In some other cases, they act as traffic cops. As they have a flow of work coming into their organization, they believe their job as managers is to delegate the work to the appropriate people, departments, and teams.
Our main objective is to help our customers develop managers and leaders while equipping them with the necessary skills for survival, resilience, and reinvention
Businesses have to come out of those old habits and focus on managing the quantity of the work and let it flow through their organization. Then, on the leadership development side, “I feel the best practice is developing the individual’s character and maturity. We have codified that in a leadership maturity model that we can teach an entire ladder of character traits that need to be developed in individuals,” elucidates Anderson.
In case if there are individuals who lack confidence, organizations can use the company’s training modules to train and bring in confidence in their employees. The training involves giving multiple real-life circumstances and asking individuals to solve those issues. “Our training modules educate managers using guidance based on proven evidence that the methods and practices actually work in the real world. We help them apply the knowledge and skills to their own situation,” states Anderson. One of the unique aspects of David J Anderson School of Management is that its core values of management training enable greater organizational agility through managed evolutionary change, rather than defined or designed processes.
A Case in Point
With such unmatched capabilities, the David J Anderson School of Management has ignited several success stories since its inception. A few years ago, the company worked with one of the largest Chilean banks. The bank was looking for a training partner to help its employees build maturity, agility, resilience, and leadership. Their in-depth market search for a partner ended with the David J Anderson School of Management. With the help of pragmatic, actionable, evidence-based guidance, the bank created a net incremental benefit. The company improved their delivery time from 75 to 21 days; it helped the client gain 1.3 million $ net of benefit, 4x improvement in customer experience. The client also achieved a 30 per cent increase in their employees’ productivity. This is because they paid attention to the training, went back to the desks, and implemented what they had learned. “Our training is experiential, evidence-based group-based learning. We teach how to lead by example. It is an international, multicultural, high-quality experience delivered by trainers with real experience. We have events business, publishing business, a software business, as well as global network trainers and consultants,” explains Anderson.
A Promising Future
As the pandemic disrupted the business world, organizations are looking to bounce back from the downturn. Anderson feels they are lucky in this situation because their training materials and solutions were built before the pandemic, and it supported work from home back then. While they envision expanding the training materials in the coming years, they are also very focused on new ways of developing culture. Using their codification for organizational culture, they teach how to develop a credo for the business. “So, our focus is now on offering leadership development, as well as evolutionary change and organizational culture training around those topics and then training around enterprise services planning,” states the CEO.
Reiterating the ethos of his company, in conclusion, Anderson says, “I highly doubt that there is any other training company that has invested so much time, efforts, money and energy to explore and develop the means to organizational agility as we did. Our training focuses on outcomes and we measure its fitness based on observed change in people and their behaviour. All-in-all, we help people to see the world around them differently when they have changed.”