Leading Change Courageously

Monday, April 28, 2014 2:00pm - 3:00pm EDT  
Host: Association for Talent Development
By: Walter McFarland, Founder, Windmill Human Performance

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A great step in performing organizational change is better leadership—and leading great change demands courage. Drawing from research for the book Choosing Change (a Soundview best business book of 2014 and recipient of an AXIOM Silver Medal), this presentation uses data from interviews with 60 executives in 14 Fortune Global organizations to highlight eight actions that matter in leading successful organizational change. The presentation suggests that a key leadership action involves integrating learning into change—courageously.


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Walter McFarland
Walter McFarland

Founder, Windmill Human Performance

Walter McFarland is an HR and learning executive focused on large-scale performance improvements. His core belief is that people are the primary source of competitive advantage—but only when expertly developed and engaged.

His work has focused on the design and implementation of strategic human resource systems—which often addressed the most complex, current human performance issues. Examples include creating new leadership models for the 21st century, improving team and organizational learning, designing new approaches to employee motivation and engagement, more effectively managing a multi-cultural workforce, and improving performance during organizational change. These improvements were often accomplished in a union environment.

Walter is currently the founder of Windmill Human Performance. As a consultant, his clients include top public and private sector organizations in the US and internationally. He is a former senior vice president (for HR and Learning) at Booz Allen, and a director at Hay Management Consultants. His last position in the federal government was as a special assistant to the Secretary of Defense.

Walter is also very active professionally. Currently, He serves on the board of the Cahn Fellows at Columbia University Teacher’s College. He teaches in the graduate program of the NeuroLeadership Institute and in the Summer Leadership Institute of Columbia University. Walter also speaks and writes on the topics of workplace learning, leadership, neuroscience, and organizational change. He is also a member of the President’s (US) 2012 Rank Award Council and is co-author (with Susan Goldsworthy) of Choosing Change, a McGraw-Hill publication.

Walter holds an MPA in public administration from Southern Illinois University; an MA in government from Georgetown University; an EdS in human resource development from the George Washington University; and an MS in organizational change from HEC Management School, Paris, with Oxford University, England.