An A+ Conversation about Vanguard's Vanguard’s A+ Leadership Program for IT.


“There's a Lot of Variability and Nuance—Things Are Increasingly Decentralized—So the One-Size-Fits All Approach Will Not Work”

The Resonance Test 73: Michael Gunn of Vanguard

December 16, 2021
by Sandra LoughlinKen Gordon
Mike Gunn Professional Portrait

What does it mean to be at the vanguard of leadership training? To find out, listen to Vanguard’s Michael Gunn. He’s the investment management company’s Global IT Audit Department Head—and the guy responsible for the firm’s unique leadership training program.

In the latest episode of The Resonance Test, Sandra Loughlin, Managing Principal and Head of Client Learning & Talent Enablement at EPAM, grills Gunn all about Vanguard’s A+ Leadership Program for IT. “It's something that I haven't seen before,” she says, noting its “comprehensive, 360, whole-organization approach.”

Gunn tells the pedagogic tale of how he gleaned, from listening closely to colleagues, that they prefer experiential learning and then set up a program that blocked of sections of time to provide such content and focused, small-group follow-up discussions (“Where leaders really like to dive deeper into the conversation and share more insights is in these six, seven, eight person IT leadership cadres,” says Gunn). This enabled leaders to connect with each other, reflect on what they’d learned, and ask: “How are you actually infusing learning into your day-to-day responsibility, both personally as well as with your team?”

The networked approach allows Vanguard’s leader-learners to focus on implementation, which is something that Loughlin and this podcast heartily endorse. It is a living, evolving process; as Gunn says: “It's not just one event. It's not just one conversation. It's this iteration on a topic.” Listen closely and Gunn will teach you that when it comes to learning, it’s smart to think like a product owner and work to understand product-market fit.

So if your organization could stand to improve its learning process, feel free to eavesdrop on the Gunn-Loughlin back-and-forth. You might just pick up an A+ insight or two.

Host: Toby Bottorf
Engineer: Kyp Pilalas
Producer: Ken Gordon

The Resonance Test 73: Michael Gunn
filed in: education, complex systems, employee experience, digital design

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