Hundreds of billions of dollars are spent globally per year on leadership development initiatives. Are we spending our leadership development dollars in the right places?
Start by asking yourselves these simple questions …
1. Why do we need leadership development? What, precisely, are we trying to achieve?
Ultimately, it’s got to be about strategic alignment… to execute organisational strategies, we need to establish what leadership capability will be required.
We are asking today’s leaders and the leaders of the future to operate in complex, agile, transformational, information heavy, fluid, and collaborative environments (just to name a few!).
Any well designed and executed leadership development initiative is the key to identifying, attracting, filling, and retaining the right stewardship to lead an organisation, big or small, to achieve its strategic priorities. It needs to coach, mentor, and develop leaders in order to steer the ship where it needs to go.
Some other by-products of a well-designed program should also enable an organisation to achieve:
- Strong networking relationships across the organisation (Annie Murphy Paul shares some great insights on recent research in this area)
- Increased visibility of leaders
- Succession planning insights
- Inspirational leadership on living the organisational values
2. What is the risk if we don’t have leadership development in place?
Organisations need to be much more commercial about how they think about their investment in leadership. Some risks to consider include:
- A high proportion of technically skilled people (subject matter experts) who find themselves in leadership roles who have not actually had experience in leading people. A well-designed initiative where people in these positions can access mentoring, coaching and development not only builds their own leadership capabilities, but the organisational capabilities too.
- A ‘lacking in learning’ culture – without access to development initiatives across all levels of an organisation, learning and development in general can be stifled and clunky. An organisation with a strong appreciation and demonstration of development has the power to build a wonderful flow on effect for team cohesiveness and a thriving company culture.
- Minimal opportunity to maximise ‘bench strength’ –these are the capabilities and readiness of potential successors to move into key professional and leadership positions (Bersin by Deloitte). Once again, well-designed and executed leadership development initiatives significantly contribute to building great bench strength across an organisation, maximizing its potential for sustainability.
3. Do we have executive endorsement for leadership development?
Ultimately, we want members of our executive and senior leadership teams to play a keystone role in the execution of our leadership development initiatives.
We want them to:
- allocate budget to design and develop the programs
- build excitement and appetite for new and ongoing initiatives
- attend the launches and presentations ie. be visible
- share their own leadership journeys throughout the program
- share in the individual and company successes of those participating, and
- be ongoing advocates for all things leadership development!
So, are you spending your leadership development dollars in the right places?
Seed People Consulting offers inspiration and years of expertise in all things leadership development. Contact us to benefit from the Seed People Consulting experience!