Future Leaders Academy: Rethinking Leadership Development in Today’s Complex Business Landscape

January 22nd, 2024

The need for effective leadership development has become more urgent than ever before. According to the Harvard Business Review, companies across the globe spend billions of dollars annually on leadership development programs, yet senior leaders are increasingly feeling that these efforts are inadequate.

Modern leadership development programs must account for the uncertain and complex environment we currently work and live in. The traditional leadership skills that were once needed have changed in many ways, and unfortunately, many of the leadership programs have not.

Complex Problems, Strategic Solutions

Recognizing a need for a more modern and robust leadership program at TBG, Allyson Roote, Vice President of Learning and Organizational Development, and her team at Bonadio University (BU), our internal learning and development department, teamed up with the firm’s Management Committee (MC) to develop the Future Leaders Academy (FLA).

As we approach the graduation of our first class of future leaders, we sat down with Allyson as well as a current FLA member, Chelsea Murray, to get a better look at what this program has to offer.

The Bonadio Group

What is FLA?

Founded in 2021, FLA is an internal intensive three-year program that challenges participants to develop the capabilities to lead effectively by exploring various leadership attributes that will aid in preparing them for future leadership roles within the firm.

Each year’s class of future leaders, which is about 30 people, meet for four hours every month to engage in Partner panels, case studies, group work, assigned reading debriefs, and so much more.

“This program breaks down the walls of what it means to be a Partner at TBG. It truly encourages more transparency on what specific skills and attributes are needed to be a Partner in a more informal and open environment,” shared Allyson.

Leadership Buy-In

One key component of a successful program is the support and buy-in of leadership, as change begins at the top. FLA has seen success thus far in part due to our collaboration with our MC, a group of executives who drive the strategy and decision-making at our firm. Our BU team ensures that the MC is involved every step of the way including course development, mentorship, and evaluation.

Each year, a new class of future leaders are selected by the MC and Service Line Leaders to join the program and embark on a journey of continuous education and professional development.

“While this program doesn’t guarantee members a spot as a Partner immediately after they graduate, it equips them with invaluable leadership skills as well as allows the MC to really assess how they operate as a leader,” added Allyson.

Additionally, each member of the program is aligned with an MC sponsor at the start to serve as their mentor and someone to share career goals with, answer questions, provide advice and guidance, etc.

FLA Success Story

Chelsea Murray, who is currently in her second year of the FLA program, has just recently been promoted to Partner within our Advisory Service Line! Chelsea has found that this program has provided her with invaluable insights into how the firm operates behind the scenes and what it means to be a Bonadio Partner and business owner. “This program has significantly helped my career development and allowed me to prepare for what is now expected of me as a Partner,” she shared.

Chelsea’s MC sponsor, Dave Fabian, Service Line Leader, Tax, has been instrumental in mentoring her throughout her first two years in the program. “He has supported me in my growth, been extremely transparent on what to expect on the journey to partnership, and has been an advocate for me every step of the way.”

Aside from the career development and ongoing education the program has provided, Chelsea’s favorite part of FLA has been building new relationships with the other members. “The group is located across all our offices and in different departments within the firm. Without FLA, I may have never had the opportunity to get to know all the future leaders of our firm on a personal level,” she added.

To learn more about the various learning and development programs at TBG, click here. If you’re interested in finding out what a career at The Bonadio Group could look like for you, reach out today or check out the current openings here.