May 19, 2020

Key Aspects of Developing Sustainable Management Talent

tips and advice
management learning strategies
management program
management strategies
Bizclik Editor
3 min
Key Aspects of Developing Sustainable Management Talent


Many organizations fall into the trap of hoping to significantly transform the capabilities of their management teams solely through the use of short-term training programs. Short-term management programs are ideal for topping-up specific areas of management competence or helping orientate managers with the journey for becoming an effective manager.

It is reasonable that only so much can be achieved collectively in growing your managers’ abilities over a short period of time. Many short term programs provide an array of practical tools that can be directly applied back in the workplace. But how do these improved techniques align with the bigger picture of development within your business? It is imperative when planning management learning strategies within your organization that Senior Management look at the development needs from both a short term and a long term perspective. The short term is the need to build the awareness for immediate improvements but the long term is putting “bigger picture” change and transformation into place. Gone are the days of delivering management training for the sake of training; most organizations have dramatically cut their adhoc internal learning offer and now concentrate on learning solutions linked to workplace outputs. Learning & development practitioners are more pressured now than ever to enhance how they deliver successful management development that sustains noticeable impact within the business.

It is this need that highlights the reality that structured management development is one of the credible routes for building sustainable management capability over time. Structured development entails a longer term approach for developing managers. This strategy is profiled and positioned at senior level within an organization ensuring that managers of the target development audience are involved with the longer term objectives of the program. We find that the catalyst for change is often the formal learning part but the place where real change occurs is on the job over time. This is largely influenced by the individual’s direct line manager and environment. Connecting senior management with this development process helps define management and measurement outcomes on the job. This ensures that the program is directly connected with the business strategy and customized to the needs of the business. Through a typical process of 7 to 12 month of continuous development, managers have the opportunity to constantly refresh and apply learnings on the job. Through the various longer term management programs that I have designed both locally and internationally it becomes clear and noticeable how change has a higher success rate in a longer term format. Delegates participating in the process don’t just experience snippets of renewed focus but instead move along a journey that drives continuous, meaningful, sustainable development. So why do many organizations still continue to fall into the trap of only using short term development strategies?

This type of approach requires a strong strategic focus and an internal culture of growth and support. Building quality managers from within an organization can only be achieved through a reasonable investment in time and money. For an organization to pursue this approach they need to be able to see the return achieved through the end goal. This is to raise the level of management thinking to a point where management start taking responsibility for the growth of themselves and the business. It is this that creates the stepping stone for building the future leaders of your organization.

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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