Leadership development is broken

09
Oct 14
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Leadership development is broken. A majority of HR directors agree that their leadership development programs are not effective or providing lasting results. It’s a confronting reality, particularly when research suggests we are investing billions of dollars into the effort; and developing leaders is our number one priority, globally. Why are we so bad at it and how can we stop wasting money on development efforts that don’t work? 

As a Speaker, Chair and delegate at the Criterion Talent Management conference for developing future leaders, it was heartening to hear that successful efforts are being made to address the situation, but for the majority of companies the pull of traditional development dynamics is still too strong.

The old way of developing future leaders relies heavily on a classroom experience, at a point in time, focused on generic content. What future leaders really want is an experience. They want to have a go at real work and get real time feedback. They want to work on projects that matter AND develop their leadership skills at the same time. It’s about practical leadership not leadership theory.

Traditional development is not getting traction because it does not allow people to direct their own experiences and to apply what they are learning in the real world, over an extended period of time. This means there is not enough time for new behaviours and ways of thinking to take hold. 

Tractional development on the other hand, takes a new approach. It follows the flow of a natural learning experience to ensure development efforts actually stick. It combines relevant content, aimed at both mindset change and mechanical change, with practical application over an extended period of time. It encourages instant feedback and ensures new habits have time to take root. The two approaches can be summed up in the image below. 

Tractional development

Given the poor reputation of leadership development, this comparison of approaches can either serve as reinforcement for an effective strategy, or as a warning of a disaster in progress.

Reflection questions:

  • How do the leadership development efforts of your organisation rate?
  • What’s that costing the organisation?
  • What one thing can you implement right now, to shift the development dynamics towards a tractional approach?
  • What needs to happen for you to take the next step? Who do you need to be?
  • Who else can support you in this journey toward Tractional Development?

As a professional People Whisperer, Anneli is passionate about creating behaviour change programs that stick. 

If you’d like to explore practical and relevant people and performance solutions that provide real results, feel free to contact Anneli today @ www.motivationmatters.com.au

Twitter @AnneliBlundell

LinkedIn au.linkedin.com/in/anneliblundell/

FURTHER READING: 


  • Mark Horwitch and Meredith Whipple, Leaders who inspire: A 21st Century approach to developing your talent, Bain & Co
  • Deloitte Consulting LLP and Bersin by Deloitte, 2014, Global Human Capital Trends 2014: Engaging the 21st-century workforce
  • Jenny Cermak and Monica McGurk, July 2010, Putting a value on training, McKinsey Quarterly.
  • Deloitte Consulting LLP and Bersin by Deloitte, 2014, Global Human Capital Trends 2014: Engaging the 21st-century workforce

Join our Human Resource Professionals in Australia & New Zealand Human Resource Professionals in Australia & New Zealand LinkedIn Group for further discussion. 

Criterion Conferences: stay updated!

Submitted by Anneli Blundell, Language and Behaviour specialist

Anneli Blundell, Language and Behaviour specialist

As a professional People Whisperer, Anneli has been working with leaders and teams to improve their communication and interpersonal intelligence for almost a decade. She brings to her clients a recognised expertise in the field of below conscious communication and motivation. Her intuitive ability to decode individual, group and organisational dynamics allows her to unlock the motivational code for improving engagement, productivity and performance in the workplace.

Fuelled by her passion to create behaviour change programs that stick, Anneli partners with her clients to co-create practical and relevant people and performance solutions that provide real results.

Anneli has enjoyed management, leadership and consulting roles across several industries and now offers her expertise to clients through behavioural change consulting services, including leadership development, executive coaching, team facilitation, motivational mapping, and profiling. Some of the clients she has worked with include Aurecon, Telstra, Xstrata Coal, Vodafone, Ford, Engineers Australia, Yarra Valley Water, Leaseplan and Linfox, to name just a few.

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