There is increasing pressure within organizations to improve equity and inclusion, emphasize empathy, and create a more human work environment. A recent survey shows 35 percent of HR leaders say diversity, equity, and inclusion are among their top five priorities. Yet, organizations continue to struggle with providing executive development opportunities that focus on activating the power of experience, authenticity, and inclusion.
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“The CNEXT Movement focuses on cultivating inclusion and delivering exponential results for next-level leaders. Our Accelerate program aims to scale a pipeline of diverse, highly developed leaders to meet the needs of business.”
To address the continued gap in executive leadership development, CNEXT, a highly diverse global community for leadership exchange and advancement of high-impact leaders, offers two programs to further the growth of capable leaders and help shape a diverse composition of c-suites and boardrooms for the future. The recently launched Accelerate program is for diverse and underrepresented populations at the Director/Senior Director level. The 18-month program is a holistic approach to development and learning that prepares emerging leaders for continued corporate advancement while also developing the leaders who manage them – helping to accelerate diverse leaders through the pipeline to senior leadership.
The inaugural class comprises more than 50 mid-level leaders selected from Accelerate’s founding partners, including Coca-Cola, Nike, Pinterest, Raytheon Technologies, Post Holdings, BCG, and other Fortune 1000 organizations. Now six months into the program, participants attend multiple virtual sessions facilitated by members of CNEXT’s vast network of former Fortune-ranked CEOs, executives from founding partner companies, DEI subject matter experts, and best-in-class practitioners. The program is underscored by assessments and coaching conversations.
“We realize there are other leadership development programs, but CNEXT is and always has been committed to developing an exceptionally diverse and inclusive community of leaders,” says Cheryl Stokes, CEO of CNEXT. “The CNEXT Movement focuses on cultivating inclusion and delivering exponential results for next-level leaders. Our Accelerate program aims to scale a pipeline of diverse, highly developed leaders to meet the needs of business.”
Accelerate’s four development pillars are Leadership, Personal Impact, Enterprise Excellence (including cross-functional knowledge), and an Inclusive Managers series to engage the participants’ direct managers. The CNEXT Insight Network encourages collaborative learning and building connections with peers across all founding companies.
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In addition, CNEXT offers the Executive Leaders Forum, which enables senior executive leaders to directly address their most critical business and leadership challenges by serving as a primary source of learning, development, and peer connection in a candid, protected environment.
“The Executive Leaders Forum is designed to be inclusive, and 60% of participants are women or people of color,” says Stokes. “CNEXT gives leaders a new lens through which to view organizational opportunities and challenges.”
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