Leadership Development: Is it Working?
Companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars in leadership development every year. But it won't work unless they get the basics right
The times are changing, and corporate scenarios are in a state of constant flux. What does it mean for the HR leader in terms of planning and executing their leadership development programs? Well, for one, there aren’t nearly as many corporate leaders today than there were two decades ago. Furthermore, it has increasingly become imperative for the corporate leaders of the present day to be agile enough to navigate their teams and organizations through a digitally transformed world facing severe market stagnation risks.
The crux of the problem seems to lie at the concept level. Here’s a look:
Leadership programs should train on the job
An experience lasts many times longer than a lesson. Creating experiences or at least simulating them makes a future leader more adept at handling crisis scenarios, more focused on growth and more receptive to change. Catalyzing self-organized leadership scenarios will certainly ensure that participants are ready when they need to be.
Mentor, don’t train
The idea is in navigating, and it cannot be beaten with traditional classroom based management lessons. Developing a well-honed and successful mentoring program, with constant contact and communication will not only ensure that potential leaders are well oriented to challenges, but will create a relationship with an expert that is sure to prove it is worth in returns, many times over. A long-term facilitation of candidates with proven business leaders as mentors is crucial here.
Change in Life, not just work
Yes, leaders are made, not just born. However, they need to adapt their entire life towards being visionaries and crises leaders. Leadership training, as a result, must permeate into the very being of the potential candidate, not just on their work front. A holistic approach will always ensure that the candidate’s development is complete.
Leadership development today is sadly confused with corporate training at a senior management level, and this has to change. HR leaders must become influencers, adopting innovative approaches to develop leaders in their organizations. Growth is a natural consequence.