Developing Leaders to Navigate Today's Version of VUCA

The Next Practices Weekly call series has become a well-attended and wide-ranging discussion for HR leaders each Thursday at 11am ET / 8am PT. On this week's call, i4cp's Director of Member Engagement, Nina Holtsberry, and Senior Research Analyst Tom Stone, facilitated a conversation with special guest Pamela Mattsson, Senior Vice President, People and Organizational Development at Outreach. Here are some highlights from the call:

  • An overarching principle that Mattsson shared is one of "adopting an adaptive mindset of abundance," which stresses both positivity and agility. This is important because in their growth Outreach is in the midst of the start-up, scale-up, and now grow-up journey.
  • Mattsson said that Outreach's culture destination is "A winning culture where diverse, empowered, high-performing humans create value for themselves, their teams, and their customers." Their vision is to "To unleash the world’s selling potential" and their mission statement is "We empower every sales professional to operate at their maximum potential unlocking success for themselves and their organization."
  • The word "power" in empower is stressed in these statements as Outreach uses this as an acronym for key behaviors:
    • Play full out
    • Operate from a mindset of abundance
    • Win impeccably
    • Elevate the customer
    • Rally the culture
  • Mattsson noted several key elements/characteristics of the start-up vs. grow-up phases of new organizations:
    • Start-up has: Bias for action; Creativity & innovation; Heroic individuals; Allegiance to core team; Customer obsession; Investment mode; and Impressive growth.
    • Grow-up has: Thoughtful precision; Strategic Focus; Dynamic, productive teams; Operationalized collaboration; Mutual benefit; Budget discipline; and Targeted strategic growth.
  • Aligned with all of the above, Outreach's new Veritas Leadership Development program has four pillars / focus areas: Forward the destination culture; Lead with trust, accountability, and empathy; Lead with abundance mindset and high performance; and Drive individual change and organizational alignment.
    • The program has a 3-month duration, with 6 bi-weekly 75-120 minute sessions covering: Leading in Your Values and Vision, Courageous Compassion, Trust Drives Impeccable Winning, Powerful Influencing, Play Full Out Through Change and Uncertainty, and Empower Forward.
    • All leaders at the director level and below will complete the program by the end of 2023. The outcome statement for the Veritas program is: "Leaders will be able to strengthen (and in some aspects redefine) their current leadership behaviors to elevate self, others and Outreach's cultural dynamics & performance."
  • Outreach also has developed two leadership development programs for specific audiences women in sales and Black employees. In these programs, participants have a safe space to  learn more about themselves, their authentic thought leadership, and how to unlock their influence. The goals of these programs are:
    • RISE: Recognize, Inspire, Support, Engage Women + in Sales and Engineering
    • RISE UP: Recognize, Inspire, Support, Engage the unlimited potential of underrepresented voices
  • The Rise and Rise-Up programs are cohort-based with around 24 participants in each. They include a mix of internal and external speakers, with two live sessions per month with e-learning and/or active learning assignments throughout. Additional elements include:
    • RISE JOB SWITCH: Sales participants will be partnered with Eng participants for a job switch to expand cross-functional knowledge
    • RISE UP Mentoring: Participants will be partnered with an experienced leader at Outreach for a mentorship relationship

Links to resources shared on the call: