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Global Business Leader Development

Do you need to identify and accelerate the development of your current and future global leaders? 

Culture shapes how we think about what is effective leadership, and the definitions of an "effective leader" vary from one culture to another. In fact, effective leadership behavior in one culture could (and will) be completely ineffective in others. In order to develop leaders who can effectively lead global operations, it is important to understand what makes leaders effective across cultures.

Therefore, a one-development-approach will not work when developing global leaders. While true leaders can envision what they want to achieve, know how to meet the challenges of the market and take steps to make that vision a reality, how they interact with people will define their success. Leaders with cultural sensitivity can be more effective than those without. Leadership is complex and leading across cultures is more complex.

ITAP can help your organization:

  • assess the effectiveness of your recruitment, selection and succession policies to insure that your talent pool is diverse and matches the qualities and characteristics that will succeed in various cultures
  • identify development needs - a gap analysis should address both individual needs and the global talent pool so the organization can leverage needs across large employee populations
  • design learning opportunities that match leaders' learning styles, because these too differ across cultures
  • provide cross-cultural coaching for executives and leaders working in a multi-cultural environment
  • assess each leader's cultural profile to help him or her with self-understanding, the first step to appreciation of cultural differences.

Global Business Leader Certification Program

ITAP offers a high-tech, high touch Global Business Leader Certification Program with team and individual assessments, action learning activities, webinars, seminars, classroom activities and coaching.  Our focus is to develop leaders who are truly cross culturally competent.

ITAP’s standard curriculum for its Global Business Leader Certification Program includes:

  1. Finance
  2. Strategy/Strategic Thinking
  3. Global Marketing and Advertising/Consumer Behavior
  4. Operations/Supply Chain
  5. Technology of the Future
  6. People Development
  7. Country/Culture Review

For more details on ITAP's Global Business Leader Certification Program, click here.

For specific information on Global Finance Leadership Development , click here.

Cross-Cultural Research

Cultural attitudes and values impact behaviors.  Global organizations need to understand the cultural driver of workplace and consumer behaviors.  What impact do cultural values have on learning and development approaches?  What impact does culture have on attitudes towards risk and safety? How do consumer attitudes impact product positioning?  How does the cultural background of product users impact their attitudes about help desk/service centers or call centers?  How does the cultural background of help desk/service centers or call center agents impact their ability to serve your customers?

ITAP can measure these cultural attitudes and provide recommendations on and deliver interventions around culturally appropriate approaches. The slide deck below about doing business in China is an example of the kind of intelligence ITAP research can produce.  See additional sample presentations at SlideShare. Another example is a presentation on the Impact of Culture on Attitudes Towards Risk and Safety — please click here to download it.




Global Business Leader Certification Program

More and more businesses are “going global” and need leaders who understand global markets, global customers and their global employee base.  ITAP invites organization to prepare their existing leaders and “talent to watch” to attend this 18 month program to develop a truly global perspective on doing business internationally. While the program content may be modified to focus more on the needs of the actual attendees, the intent of the program is to provide an opportunity to experience a wide variety of functional responsibilities and to experience and negotiate through the impact that cultural differences have on how to lead/manage global businesses effectively.

Who should attend?

(24 attendees maximum)

  •  Minimum standards include
    • at least 5 years experience in a specific functional specialty
    • at least 3 years managing employees (more than one)
  • Preferred experience:
    • managing functions other than their specialty
    • managing teams or functions that are cross-cultural
    • managing teams or functions that are virtual

What will be included?

Please see below for the basic framework of the certification program.  

  1. Face-to-face meetings for this program are planned to take place first in the Americas, second in Asia and lastly in a European location.
  2. Facilitators will include well-known thought leaders.
  3. Focus will be on building knowledge, skill and attitudes consonant with those competencies required to be an effective global leader.
  4. Attendees will be expected to complete team assignments that will provide experience working across cultures and building trust and respect across borders.
  5. Attendees will be expected to build a wiki to house their project assignments and to use as a sharing platform.

Proposed agenda

  1. Pre-work – this will help frame the content of the session to meet the attendees’ needs
    a.    Assessments (at least two of which are focused on cultural literacies and cultural orientations)
    b.    a 360° assessment
    c.    individual feedback sessions/development planning
  2. Month 1: Kick-off meeting (in-person session) – 1.5 days
    a.    Overview of program/learning coaches/outcomes/options/expectations
    b.    Team and cadre building
    c.    Global mindset
    d.    Logistics
    e.    Assignments and team planning
  3. Month 2 to 13:
    a.    Team Assessments
    b.    WEBINARS (8 to 12 webinars) 1 hour using GoToWebinar platform
           i.    Finance – includes team assessment on finance assignment
           ii.    Strategy/Strategic Thinking  – includes strategy mapping assignment
           iii.    Global Marketing and Advertising/Consumer Behavior – includes marketing assignment
           iv.    Operations/Supply Chain – includes sustainability and/or emerging market assignment
           v.    Technology of the Future – includes technology assignment
           vi.    People Development: Culture and its Impact on HR/OD practices – includes HR assignment
           vii.    Country/Culture Review
                  1.    Overview/Introduction to cultural differences/research
                  2.    Culture report results
                  3.    Country/culture presentations and Q&A (countries list will depend on the needs of attendees)
                        a.    India
                        b.    Germany
                        c.    Latin America
                        d.    China
                        e.    Singapore
                        f.    South Korea
                        g.    Other…
  4. Month 12: Meeting (in-person session) – 3 days
    a.    Review of assignments
    b.    Team assessment feedback
    c.    Preparation for presentations to senior leaders
    d.    Action planning for next 6 months
    e.    Development feedback
    f.    Planned community volunteer activity (1.5 days)
  5. Months 12 – 18: individual coaching and learning coach attends virtual team meetings
  6. Month 18:
    a.    Presentation on assigned topics (in-person) to Senior Consultants/management (recruited from firms that send participants)
    b.    Feedback sessions (one-on-one) with participants to create individual development plans

Global Talent Potential Analysis and Development

Does your organization need to adapt or develop strategies to better motivate, engage and retain valuable global talent?

Globally, there are too many important positions and not enough talented people to fill them. How can companies create an internal supply of identified talent who can move into positions of greater responsibility?

TWIST Consulting/ITAP Europe (in Munich, Germany) has developed a rigorous approach used throughout the ITAP network that involves senior executives in a process to analyze the potential of identified internal talent for the purpose of development.  Organizations of all sizes use this process (for higher level talent, with mid-level talent, to assess all those identified as “talent to watch”).  In all cases, this process is a collaboration between supervisors, senior management, human resources professionals, and the individuals who have been identified for development.

The Basis for Talent Development is the Competency Model

ITAP uses the client competency model (if it is really up to date, aligned with their present strategy of the company, and has an eye to future talent needs). If there is no up-to-date model, ITAP supplies one which is adapted to the client’s needs via interviews with the Managing Director.  For example, ITAP asks:

  1. What are the strategic challenges for a company?
  2. How do the leadership competencies need to be adapted to meet the future strategic challenges for the company?
  3. Is intercultural competence part of your competence model?

Once that is established there are 6 steps in the process.

Step 1: (Prior to the session) Custom Design of Activities Aligned to the Competency Model

ITAP partners with the client to gather data in order to develop scenarios and cases specific to the industry and functions within the client company.  A wide variety of activities are custom created so they can evaluate the specific competencies for that organization.

 Step 2: (Prior to the session) Identification/Selection of talent

  • In most companies there is already a process for identifying future talent (e.g. superiors nominate them; or have executive conversations/panel discussions about candidates each year). In some cases, current/sopecial responsibilities might be a way to identify talent (e.g., project managers, line managers or specialists, those who have expressed a desire to do more global work, etc.).
  • In some cases, potential candidates run through a Selection Assessment Center with ITAP.

Step 3: (To start the session) Rater reliability training is required for senior managers who will take the part of “Observers” (evaluators) in the sessions. 

 Facilitators will demonstrate sample activity results.  Senior managers will evaluate them against a set of competencies and a facilitated rater reliability session follows so that objectivity of the evaluators in the real sessions is assured.

Step 4: (Within-the session) Participants are assigned activities (individual, duo and team activities) and evaluators (line managers or executives who are “observers”) discuss the results.

These are discussions to identify the gaps between “as is” vs. “need to be“ in the participant´s capabilities.  These discussions are conducted with the support of a “facilitator” who helps the observers justify their evaluation. (These occur while the participants are preparing for their next activity.)

  • Strength and weakpoints of each particicpant (on the basis of the competencies) are identified in the process. (Throughout the activities, each competency is measured at least 2 times independently in differnet exercises to assure objectivity).
  • At the end – facilitators and observer consolidated recommendations for
    • Potential Placement: What kind of job (family) is optimal for the candidate
    • Development Plan:
      • Which of the competencies are strongly developed and should be seen as resources in future
      • Where is need for development
      • How could the candidate be supported (professional development, on-the-job opportunities, training, coaching, some combination)

 Step 5: (After the Session) Initial Feedback

  • Each participant gets 1 – 1.5 hours a feedback session with a facilitator to give them an overview of the observer’s recommendations
  • All results are formalized by the facilitator into a written report that is given HR
  • Participants each get a copy of the formal feedback report. 
  • All results are discussed between the participant, his/her supervisor, and HR in preparation for inclusion in their development plan (see below)

Step 6: (After the Session) Talent Development Planning and Implementation

  • The company uses the reports as a basis for extended development plan for those who attend
  • In most cases, talent and/or global top talents also get a seminar program of from 4 – 10 sessions throughout the year (some of which are virtual) as well as additional self-assessment and development activities


Graph of self, supervisor and workshop quantitative results
(Qualitative results not shown)


Frequently Asked Questions

A. Why use this talent development process?
The benefits include:

  1. Focused Development:  Talent is given the opportunity in a variety of activities to demonstrate their capabilities and to learn about where they (and the company) might benefit from development.
  2. Cost savings: This is a process that helps companies scrambling for new talent to look inside their organizations and dig deeper to find gems that may be critical to the success of their companies especially in preparation for future needs. 
  3. Retention and motivation of internal talent: In difficult financial times this process is a gesture that expresses that talent is important to the organization.
  4. Involvement with and exposure to senior executives: Senior executives get to meet and evaluate individuals they might never see otherwise and get a better sense of what talent lies deeper in the organization.   This also provides opportunities for employees to get in front of the senior company leaders and show what they bring to the organization.

 B. How long is the process?
From ideation to delivery, the length of the program depends on whether there is a leadership competency model.  If there is, the time frame is shorter.

With competency model

Without competency model

Assessment Process Customization – design of activities (ONE TIME COST)

6 consulting days

Assessment Process Customization – selection and finalization of competencies and design of activities (ONE TIME COST)

9.5 consulting days

Logistics (includes supervisor selection and evaluation of talent aligned with competencies)

1.5 consulting days

Logistics (includes supervisor selection and evaluation of talent aligned with competencies)

1.5 consulting days

Senior Executive (Assessor)  preparation (need 2 consultants)

½ consulting day each (total 1 day)

Senior Executive (Assessor)  preparation (need 2 consultants)

½ consulting day each (total 1 day)

Talent Potential Assessment Meetings (need 2 consultants)

1.5 consulting days each (total 3 days)

Talent Potential Assessment Meetings (need 2 consultants)

1.5 consulting days each (total 3 days)

Initial feedback sessions

1 hour per employee with external consultant      (2 consulting days)

Initial feedback sessions

1 hour per employee with external consultant      (2 consulting days)

Creation of feedback reports

4 consulting days

Creation of feedback reports

4 consulting days


17.5 days


21 days




9 days each


9 days each


E. What are the topics that are assessed?
This depends entirely on the competencies of the client organization.  

  • ITAP builds a manager and self-assessment form directly from existing competency models.  
  • ITAP also creates an interview guide based on those competencies.  
  • Activities can cover financial, strategic, market, customer, employee management, and functional improvement issues.  See sample program list:
  1. Personal Presentation
  2. Case study (topical interview with senior management)
  3. Speech to department (delivering the difficult message)
  4. Role play (with difficult employee)
  5. Intercultural Questionnaire / Exercise with the Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire™
  6. Specific presentation (Board ROI request)
  7. Pro-con-discussion (on an industry specific topic)
  8. Team exercise
  9. Self-evaluation


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