People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 28

Xcelerating Leadership: The Case of Simon
Simon, a game team leader working in a successful EA mobile

In addition to learning that he needed to communicate more

game studio, joined the Xcelerators program with a chip

like a senior business leader, Simon realized he overused studio

on his shoulder. He was outspoken in his skepticism about

resources to optimize his game quality, which took its toll on the

the company's future and its ability to be agile. He was also

health of his team and ultimately created a negative impact on

skeptical about what he could learn from a group of peers in the

the rest of the studio. Despite being early in his new "futures

Xcelerators program.

plan," Simon was presented with an unexpected opportunity to

During the program, however, Simon felt challenged for the

become general manager in his studio. Earlier in the program,

first time in a long time. Seeing others in his group take on

he would never have wanted such an opportunity, but with a

daunting business, team, and personal effectiveness challenges

healthy dose of humility and a newfound positive approach,

energized him. He came to understand his leadership gaps

and by using his development partner as an ongoing coach,

(especially weakness as a clear communicator). Simon

Simon has been doing great in his new role and has gone on to

also suspended his defenses and came to value his peers.

launch a successful new series of games that are enjoying good

Eventually, he decided to scale up his career plans to become a

market success. In addition, Simon is being asked to participate

studio leader who would bring more value to his studio than he

on cross-functional, collaborative projects that span across the

would in his current role leading a single game franchise.

company.

TABLE 3: IMPACT SUMMARY
ME-My Personal Leadership

WE-Leading for Team Performance

BIZ-Leading for Business Results

*
*
*
*

* More effective team leadership
* Developing leaders on their teams

* Game changers-innovation and change
* Leadership challenges-actionable insights
* Network of transformation leaders

Promotion readiness
Increased retention
Dramatically improved leadership capabilities
Career changing experience

Impacts validated: 1) Multiple dimensions 2) Over time 3) For multiple groups

To further gauge the depth of the experience, we asked
several cohorts to rate the extent to which the Xcelerators
program is career changing for them. One hundred percent
rated the program as impactful, and more than two-thirds
rated it as the most impactful leadership development experience in their careers. To confirm this perspective, we asked
managers and HR leaders to make a parallel rating, which
supports our findings that the program is a career-changing
experience.
As a key component of the Xcelerators program, participants focus on a "game changer" they can contribute to
their transformation as leaders. They start by bringing a
real-world activity from their current role (we never have
"make work" assignments in the Xcelerators). As the program unfolds, we work through leadership challenges (which
are multi-day assignments) and facilitate executive interaction so participants see new ways to cross boundaries, work
28

PEOPLE + STRATEGY

with new colleagues, and adjust their objectives and work
processes to amplify results.
These are not "action projects" taken on solely for the
duration of the program. The participants engage in meaty
challenges that become part of their continuing roles in the
company.

Inside the Engine: What Powers Our
Xcelerators Program Impact?

Understanding how leaders learn and change improves all
leadership development efforts. As participant-observers in
dramatic leadership change, we offer the following insights
on drivers of change in three categories:
* Disrupting leadership mindsets. These are the mental
models leaders have about themselves, their teams, and
business models.
* Leading-edge strategic content. We develop the program



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3

From the Executive Editor
From the Guest Editors
Perspectives
It’s Time for a Second Playbook: HR’s Leadership Role in Transformation
Industry 4.0: Preparing for the Future of Work
When Fast Is Too Slow: “Xcelerating” Leaders at Electronic Arts
Patagonia’s Journey into a New Regenerative Performance Approach
Getting Results with Talent Analytics
How Artificial Intelligence Will Change HR
The Internet of People Delivers New Ways of Learning
Executive Roundtable
In First Person
Linking Theory + Practice
Book Reviews
Leadership Insights
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - Cover1
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - Cover2
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 1
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 2
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 3
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - From the Executive Editor
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 5
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - From the Guest Editors
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 7
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - Perspectives
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 9
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 10
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 11
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 12
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 13
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - It’s Time for a Second Playbook: HR’s Leadership Role in Transformation
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 15
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 16
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 17
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 18
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 19
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - Industry 4.0: Preparing for the Future of Work
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 21
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 22
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 23
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - When Fast Is Too Slow: “Xcelerating” Leaders at Electronic Arts
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 25
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 26
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 27
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 28
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 29
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - Patagonia’s Journey into a New Regenerative Performance Approach
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 31
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 32
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 33
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 34
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 35
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - Getting Results with Talent Analytics
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 37
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 38
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 39
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 40
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 41
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - How Artificial Intelligence Will Change HR
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 43
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 44
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 45
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 46
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 47
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - The Internet of People Delivers New Ways of Learning
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 49
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 50
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 51
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - Executive Roundtable
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 53
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 54
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 55
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 56
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 57
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - In First Person
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 59
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - Linking Theory + Practice
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 61
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 62
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 63
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 64
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 65
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - Book Reviews
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 67
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 68
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - Leadership Insights
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 70
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - Cover3
People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - Cover4
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