Pulse news magazine

Volume 28, February 2020

Professional growth on the Horizon

One of the 2019 Horizon Program cohorts with their executive sponsor, C4ISRS Vice President and General Manager Dave Logan.

Talent development programs preparing future leaders.

A strong leadership bench is critical to continued business success. At BAE Systems, talent development programs like Horizon help ensure individuals are ready to step up to the plate to lead when the time is right.

The opportunities for talent development range from early career, such as the Leadership Development programs, to mid and advanced career opportunities, like Horizon. While Horizon started with an Operations focus, it is now open to high potential future leaders in each business area and function of Electronic Systems.

"At the end of day, we are all working toward the same goal: providing products and services that make a difference. Regardless of the function, we all bring our expertise to the table. Having that cross collaboration and insight make for better leaders," said Vice President of Operations Kim Cadorette.

In 2019, the program was expanded and launched two cohorts with Cadorette and Dave Logan, C4ISRS VP/GM as the executive sponsors. "The Horizon Program provides unique opportunities to 'live the life of a senior leader,' navigating the decisions that are required and how to make those decisions with the information at hand. This is all done in a safe environment where the participants can critique, but also be the best supporters," said Cadorette.

The Horizon program is yearlong, consisting of three multi-day offsite modules to develop leadership skills: leading business, leading self, and leading organization.

Horizon graduates Colin Fischer, Tom D'Onofrio, and Lori Lucy shared their experiences with the program. "The Horizon Program offers a great opportunity to further develop strategic thinking skills, leadership insights, business awareness and acumen, and the opportunity to grow your network," said Colin Fischer, a project engineering manager.

"[Horizon] definitely guided me outside of my comfort zone without the fear of being criticized, but rather encouraged and supported by leadership and my peers," said Tom D'Onofrio, a quality director in the Power and Propulsion Solutions business area.

One of two 2019 Horizon cohorts with their executive sponsor, Vice President of Operations, Kim Cadorette.

Horizon graduate and supply chain director Lori Lucy says the training is well worth the investment on the part of leadership and the employees. "It forces you to get away from your day job and focus on developing your own skills to support business growth going forward," said Lucy.

The program takes a lot of commitment and hard work. Beyond the three off-site modules, Lucy says her cohort also held meetings every Thursday to work on the yearlong project. "You study the problem, you interview the people who were directly involved in the problem, you basically write your conclusions and you deliver that to the team. And you present the learnings to the team in a way that spurs conversation," said Lucy. 

Beyond leadership lessons, the graduates say networking and understanding the variety of resources across the company were enormous benefits of the program. "Across the enterprise there are a huge number of resources. Many times these resources could be trying to solve some of the same challenges that you are facing. Understanding the larger enterprise and having points of contacts to reach out to when facing different issues could make a huge difference in the strategy employed for solving those challenges," said Fischer. 

To learn more about career development and training opportunities, speak with your Human Resources business partner or visit: www.baesystems.com/en-us/publications/pulse/es-ldp-guide

By Michaela Macdonald, Communications, Hudson, New Hampshire