DCP header
                                                                                                                                             Summer 2012
In This Issue
DCP Earns National WBE Award
Recommended Reading
Advancing Women At Work
Women, Wit & Wisdom on Facebook
Developing Leaders in Turbulent Times
After the Pink Slip
The New Science of Building Great Teams
Dear Clients & Partners, 

Welcome to the Summer 2012 edition of Executive Edge, where we share current leadership theories and research sourced and abstracted from preeminent academic journals and leading management authors. 


We hope these insights will facilitate your success as a leader and aid in the development of others. Do let me know if you'd like to know more about any of these studies. 


DCP Margarett

Margaret D'Onofrio
Principal / Executive Coach
D'Onofrio Consulting Partners Achieves National WBE Certification 

WBENC Certificate   


We are pleased to share that D'Onofrio Consulting Partners has recently been certified as a "Women Business Enterprise" (WBE) by the two leading national certifying bodies (WBENC and NWBOC). We recognize the commitment to supplier diversity of many of our client organizations and we're excited to be able to add diversity to your supply chain.


Last month, Margaret attended the annual conference of the Women's Business Enterprise Alliance in Houston, TX and participated with fellow WBE businesses in the two-day event. 




Measuring Leadership Development: Quantify Your Program's Impact and ROI on Organizational Performance
by Jack Phillips, Patti Phillips and Rebecca Ray
Just published, the authors offer a blueprint to help practitioners present their leadership development programs in terms of identifiable business benefits, including an accurate bottom-line for return on investment for the program. To learn more, listen to Jack and Patti Phillips (and download slides) from this book review webcast sponsored by the Conference Board. (You will need to register but there is no charge for registration and attendance.)
The Inspiring Leader: Unlocking the Secrets of How Extraordinary Leaders motivate 
by John Zenger, Joseph Folkman and Scott Edinger
In The Inspiring Leader, the authors identify 16 key competencies that separate the top 10 percent of leaders from the rest. The book is the result of extensive research conducted over four years, tapping a database of 200,000 multi-rater/360-degree feedback reports describing 20,000 managers. To learn more, Jim Clemmer's review of this book is worth a read. 
Featured Article


McKinsey has been researching the advancement of women in the workplace since 2007. All the while, "...the top circles of corporate America remain stubbornly male".  In 2011, only 14 percent of women serve on executive committees, and only 3 percent serve as CEOs. In this just published research report, McKinsey takes a closer look at the progress of 60 Fortune 500 (or similar sized companies). 

FeatW3 Logo Women, Wit and Wisdom is now on Facebook. Click the icon above and like our page. We post research and thought-leadership, ideas and advice, women in the news and more. For anyone who is interested in advancing women's development, please visit us and join the conversation. 

Follow the links below to stay connected with news, information and more great resources that we're sharing on these social media sites.
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Developing Leaders in Turbulent Times

Organizational Dynamics (Winter 2012) Vol. 41, No. 1, P. 23 Tourish, Dennis

turbulenttimes quoteTourish argues that in order to meet the challenge of leading in turbulent times, organizations need to transform how their leaders are identified, selected, developed, and evaluated. But
most importantly, they need to link all stages of this chain to solving existing organizational problems and challenges.


Noteworthy is the worrying statistic that 78% of American businesses make no attempt to evaluate the return on investment (ROI) of their leadership development activities.


Several studies are included to illustrate the current state of leadership development. In a survey of Canadian chief executive officers, for example, 70% rated leaders in their companies as "fair to weak" at building strong teams, securing employee commitment, and making employees feel valued. 


Drawing on a range of studies plus data from an in-depth study of 192 organizations; using a survey instrument and follow-up face-to-face interviews with 47 key managers centrally involved in leadership development and reflecting on significant experience consulting and leading programs, Tourish proposes that leadership development must be oriented around the evaluation of results, to ensure that it impacts much more directly on organizational performance than it has in the past.  He offers a five-step framework (see graphic above) to make this happen.
See also: Recommended Reading on the left for a new book (and book review webcast) from Jack Phillips et al on quantifying and your leadership development's programs and measuring their impact on ROI.

After the Pink Slip: Applying Dynamic Motivation Frameworks to the Job Search Experience

Academy of Management Journal (04/12) Vol. 55, No. 2, Wanberg, Connie R.; Zhu, Jing; Kanfer, Ruth; et al.


In one of the most comprehensive research studies on job loss, Wanberg et al studied the dynamics of job search intensity and mental health over the first few months of unemployment. A repeated measures design was used to poll 177 newly unemployed individuals over a 20-week period. The goal was to test the impact of motivational characteristics and self-regulatory states in anticipating job search intensity and mental health of the studied job-seekers.


Key Findings: 
Job search time and mental health changed over time.  
  1. As the job search progressed, there was a decline in time spent across all individuals studied, with an uptick in later months. About 72 percent of the 177 participants found a job within the 20-week study period, and they overall spent less time seeking employment as their period of joblessness continued, with hours per week shrinking from around 17 at the start to about 14 at week 15 before increasing very slightly.   
  2. Mental health improved during the first 10-12 weeks before declining. A gradual improvement in participants' mental health in the first 10 to 12 weeks, followed by a moderate decline in later weeks, was observed as "individuals begin to feel burned out and frustrated as they encounter repeated rejections."   
  3. Individuals who demonstrated "higher approach-oriented traits" displayed higher levels of job search intensity and mental health, versus those with "higher avoidance-orientated traits". Higher levels of search intensity and mental health translated into greater success in obtaining job interviews and finding jobs more quickly. The study further demonstrated that 41 percent of the variance in self-defeating cognition, or self-commentary engendered by a sense that the job search is hopeless and futile, is within rather than between individuals. "In addition to requiring goal setting and attention to the direction of one's efforts ... being unemployed demands self-regulation to sustain job-search effort and manage negative emotions over time," the researchers write.


  1. The study points to the value of training job seekers to employ self-regulation strategies that 'pump up' attentional effort to enhance job search intensity, according to the researchers. 
  2. Helping job seekers with self-regulation (motivation and emotional control) including self-defeating  thinking has value. "Looking for a job is an unfolding task that is highly autonomous, self-organized, loosely structured and ill-defined. Individuals must decide on their own how and how often to search, and they rarely receive feedback about the effectiveness of the job-search activities and the strategies they are using." ".....it may be constructive for job seekers, as well as organizations that work with job-seekers, to monitor job-search levels over time to keep persistence in the search going," the researchers say. 




The researchers generally view the study as presenting new evidence that the results of a job search are to a significant degree in the individual's own hands, perhaps more than is commonly assumed.



The New Science of Building Great Teams 

Harvard Business Review (04/01/12) Vol. 90, No. 4, P. 60 Pentland, Alex. Web Link


When managers sense a special type of energy or camaraderie in a good team, the effect can actually be observed, measured, and learned. 
Management consulting firm Sociometric Solutions uses electronic sensors developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to capture data that reveal consistent patterns of communication. The sociometric badges evaluate patterns of communication, such as the tone of voice, arm and hand movements and nods, and body position relative to others, such as whether people face each other and how they stand in a group. The resulting patterns vary little irrespective of the type of team and its goal. 
By examining such data, it is possible to predict which teams will likely win a business plan contest, for example, or whether team members will report having a "productive" or "creative" day. 
Successful teams have demonstrated several common characteristics, such as:
  • Everyone on the team talks and listens in approximately equal measure and keeps contributions short and to the point. 
  • Members tend to face one another, and their conversations and gestures are energetic. 
  • They connect directly with one another and not just with the team leader. 
  • Members take part in back-channel or side conversations within the team while also exploring outside of the team from time to time and bringing back information. 

Maps can be developed for such things as energy, engagement, and exploration to identify counterproductive patterns that need to be adjusted. 


On a Final Note
I hope you have enjoyed this issue of Executive Edge. 
If you know of someone who would be interested in receiving a copy, don't hesitate to send it along by clicking the icon below. 
Have a wonderful Summer. 

Margaret D'Onofrio

Principal/Executive Coach



Coaching Columbia Alliance

D'Onofrio Consulting Partners is a founding member of Columbia Coaching Alliance, a world-class group of seasoned executive and organizational coaches with diverse industry experience and unparalleled capability. Their access to Columbia's cutting-edge research in psychology, neuroscience, and organizational development establish an unmatched resource in the field and, together with their global professional network of coaching associations and support personnel, enable organizations to leverage their human capital advantage.

D'Onofrio Consulting Partners is a proud member of:

DCP Contact

Margaret D'Onofrio
Principal & Executive Coach
Four Oaks Place, 1330 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 1600
Houston, TX 77056
Tel: (713)-963-3673
Fax: (281)-286-1129

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