Original Date: 07/25/2005
Revision Date: 09/12/2006
Best Practice : Manufacturing and Engineering Leadership Development Program
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems’ Manufacturing and Engineering Leadership Development Program is a unique approach to filling leadership roles where gaps exist and to ensuring qualified leaders for the future of the company. This program is designed for management positions that cover the hierarchy of the company.
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems’ (NGES’) Manufacturing and Engineering (M&E) Leadership Development Program (LDP) has been designed to develop future key leaders in the technical and professional, managerial, and program disciplines of the company and is consistent with the “One Northrop Grumman” concept of management. This program is designed to bridge the demographic gap of employees with 7 to 15 years of service to accelerates the readiness of individuals to move into key company positions, and to facilitate the development of high-potential individuals to best serve NGES. The M&E LDP focuses on developing leaders across three levels of the organization emerging, foundation, and executive groups.
Several of the approaches to bridge this gap are quite unique when merged into this one program. Specific retirees serve as consultants to ensure the transfer of knowledge to less experienced technical members. Senior engineers are also candidates for senior technical oversight roles, mentoring and overseeing less experienced employees. Program candidates are high-potential designers and engineers who will be mentored or who will receive advanced training to expand their opportunities.
An annual selection process determines individual participation in the M&E LDP and may vary from year to year. The selection criteria are based on breadth of experience for those who demonstrate outstanding performance, those with a high level of initiative, those who focus on results and schedules, and those who anticipate and respond to customer needs. Individuals who demonstrate increased leadership and technical expertise, articulate strengths and areas for improvement, and those who are interested in broadening their business knowledge and expertise are also candidates for selection. Another key factor for selection focuses on employees who are open to relocation in the sector or to other NG locations. These individuals are the prime candidates as successors for vice presidents and directors, department managers, consulting engineers, program engineers, manufacturing managers, and program managers. Participation does not guarantee an immediate promotion or an increase in responsibilities. Participants must continue to demonstrate exemplary performance in their current positions. Continued participation in the program requires nomination through all levels of the company, up to and including management.
Additional benefits to being accepted into the M&E LDP include an individual’s enterprise exposure, career development, on-the-job experience, knowledge transfer and coaching opportunities, and formal leadership training and experiential activities. The activities of moving and expanding to more varied jobs offer the most growth to participants. The program also includes exposure sessions to executive roundtables with vice presidents, shadowing, meeting invitations for off-site strategy sessions, staff meetings and guest lecturers for sector strategic thrusts, and corporate and customer perspectives. An increased understanding of sound business practices will establish a common vocabulary, a unified knowledge base, and an integrated experience base.
Formal career development opportunities are also offered and include Myers-Briggs, Strategic Career Management, Strategic Talent Management, and a 360-degree Feedback Process. These are followed by a Career Development session for refinement of identification for development needs and next assignment discussions. Other growth potential includes Battlefield Staff Rides, Nautical Adventures, Habitat for Humanity Team Builds, and from Shakespeare – Movers and Shakespeare. Involvement in these varied off-site activities offers employees positive opportunities for growth.
Talent Management is a method for executive management to evaluate the talent pool and to decide, with input from participants, where the next potential assignment will be. Choices include the Integrated Product Team (IPT) lead, the functional manager, the engineering program manager, the deputy program manager, or the program manager.
Benefits of being in the M&E LDP for NGES and its employees include identifying and developing key leaders, accelerating the readiness of individuals to move into key positions, addressing leadership gaps that the sector may be facing due to business needs and current demographics, and facilitating the development and movement of high- potential individuals across the sector to best serve the company. NGES is poised to meet future growth and customer needs with its M&E LDP and other training programs.
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