They work in marketing, higher education, accounting, technology, and law, to name a few. They meet monthly to discuss and focus on their challenges as business professionals in leadership positions within their organizations. And they are discovering the difference creative problem solving can make.
They are the members of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s newest Leader Exchange group started in September under the guidance of facilitator Pamela Szalay, president and founder of the consulting firm Imagine & in Buffalo. Pamela explains that Leader Exchange is a unique peer to peer leadership development program that allows group members to get away the pressures of work and learn how to create, collaborate and lead change in their organizations.
“The members of the group look forward to coming together every month in a confidential setting where they can share their goals, objectives, and challenges with other like-minded professionals,” Pamela says. “Most often, they find their challenges are not so unique and the group discussions help inspire solutions to those challenges.”
Pamela has a wide range of experience in professional development, specializing in creative problem solving, team building, leadership development and innovative culture. With a Master of Science degree in Creativity and Change Leadership from SUNY Buffalo State, she has worked with international manufacturing companies, universities, schools, not-for profit institutions and small local firms. No matter the type of business or organization, she notes the personal nature of leadership development and says the Leader Exchange program is tailored to the specific needs of the members in the group.
As facilitator, Pamela brings a number of leadership development tools to the group to help members analyze and identify their challenges and then find the most effective solutions. These include sessions in creative problem solving, when appropriate, as national research has shown creativity to be high on the scale of skills required by effective leaders.
“Employers may not realize that creativity is a trainable skill and a proven scientific process that can help employees grow and develop as emerging leaders,” Pamela points out. “When it’s relevant to the group’s discussion, we introduce creative thinking to generate and inspire ideas that don’t always come from behind a desk.”
The Leader Exchange group led by Pamela also helps members find work-life balance in their professional careers with a focus on the importance of maintaining wellness for themselves and the employees who report to them.
“It is a privilege to be working with the emerging leaders in the Partnership’s Leader Exchange program,” Pamela concludes. “The group allows us to spend time on real, specific challenges faced by today’s business leaders, in a casual yet professional and private environment. I highly recommend the program for Partnership members.”
There are a limited number of opportunities still available in the current Leader Exchange group, open to Partnership members only. Click here to learn more and apply today.