How do you enhance leadership mindsets? Sharpen problem solving for impact? Or help your organization set and execute a business strategy? One way is through specialized training, and this year, a group of DTCC employees did exactly that, by taking part in the McKinsey Management Accelerator Program, through the McKinsey Black Leadership Academy.
The intensive program offers mid-career managers a chance to build core management and leadership skills. Though fully digital, it requires a minimum 40-hour time commitment over four months and includes coursework, immersive workshops and group activities focused on building business strategy, problem solving and strategic thinking skills.
A group of employees took part and we talked with DTCC’s Caleb Daley, DTCC Associate Director Business Systems Analysis and Dana Clack, DTCC HR Business Partner about their experience.
Q. What were your impressions of the program overall?
Dana: It was very robust. You can tell that a lot of thought and effort was put into it, and it was impressive. It incorporated a lot, and what I saw was very well done. We all had opportunities to take ownership of different projects
Q. Was the content of the program challenging?
Caleb: It was like a mini executive MBA program, with coursework, readings, testing and quizzes and team projects - all things I had not done in some time. You really had to pay attention and make sure you were grasping the materials so you could apply it in the exercises.
Q. What was the most significant part of the program for you?
Dana: It really covered a wide variety of subjects; they talked about strategy and problem solving. Each different module really covered a lot. Some things were not necessarily applicable to DTCC, but was still good knowledge to have, to develop your business acumen. It really helped you think strategically.
Caleb: It gave me an opportunity to interact with people in the organization that I normally wouldn’t have a reason to interact with, because they’re not directly related to what I do. That, and touching base with people from other organizations, having the chance to talk about professional development, talk about issues we’ve been dealing with and getting advice on how to get around the issues we face. It’s rare to have time to put time on your calendar to talk about specific issues with your peers, across different industries, who are also facing the same things and get their perspective. That was the thing that I really enjoyed the most.
Q. Did those interactions provide an opportunity to make lasting connections?
Dana: The way the program is designed you’re going to make connections. There were people from all over the country, from other industries as well as from DTCC. I got to work with people that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to work with, including someone else from HR. It would have been stronger in person, but it’s nice getting to know a different group of people.
Caleb: Myself and others from DTCC who took part recently reconnected on our internal messaging system because it had been a while since we spoke with each other. It was just nice to see how everybody was doing and hear how people were progressing. It’s something I anticipate we will continue to do.
Q. Have you been able to put anything that you learned into practice?
Caleb: One of the modules was about trusting your employees and direct reports and being able to build better relations with them. When I had a presentation that I needed to give, I thought about an exercise that we did and decided to share my work with my direct report and get some feedback. He gave me valuable feedback to tweak it and make it better. He was able to see that I incorporated his input into the presentation, that I trusted his opinion and valued his input. From that moment, I could progressively see my relationship with him getting better and better.
Q. Would you encourage others at DTCC to take part in the program?
Caleb: It was a great experience. I liked the component focusing on the people of color, because we can get lost in the overall corporate landscape. It was kind of nice to have that conversation with other people of color and see how they’ve dealt, with issues and having a road map to go forward, as well as giving mentorship.
Dana: Definitely, I would do it again. It is an opportunity with a capital “O.”
< Return to Life at DTCC