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A case for change: Leadership Development for the future

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Developing our leaders and managers is one of the top 5 factors in achieving competitive advantage. (Center for Creative Leadership, 2002; Charan, Drotter and Noel, 2011;Rothwell 1999; Giber, Carter and Goldsmith, 2009).1   It is critical to meeting organizational strategic goals, in engaging employees and is recognized as both a recruitment and retention strategy.

Most companies have significant skills gaps in their workforce and business leaders realize they cannot hire their way out of the problem.  Therefore, they must commit to developing those skills internally.  After a few tough recessionary years, research shows that most companies are increasing their L & D budgets, hence their commitment to learning. Across the board, from industry to industry, learning organizations are looking for better ways to scale their training effort, and provide more efficient and far-reaching results for every dollar spent. 

Internally, L & D teams are looking at transitioning learning modalities to meet the needs of the future workforce.  Larger organizations are, in some cases, are more than doubling their spend on informal learning, which will be of a similar magnitude as the switch to e-learning that began early in the last decade.  High impact learning organizations have fewer training staff, opting instead to outsource more learning activities to external providers. 

Pressure points
  • Skills gaps in companies continue to grow
  • Large companies more than doubled their spending on informal learning tools and services in 2011
  • Shrinking staff to learner ratios are pressuring L & D groups to find creative ways to extend their reach
  • More virtual delivery, performance consulting and measurement and analytics are involved
  • Most focus is outside of the formal learning event with L & D organizations striving to reinforce learning to ensure it is applied to the job
  • Less focus on horizontal development – a belief that someone else is responsible for your development (HR, your manager, trainers). Stems from  

More focus on vertical development – putting ‘you’ in the driver’s seat of your own development; a collective learning process that is spread throughout networks of people an era of rapid innovation will be needed in which organizations experiment with new approaches that combine diverse ideas in new ways and share these with others. Technology and the web will both provide the infrastructure and drive the change. Organizations that embrace the changes will do better than those who resist it.  The question needs to be “What conditions do we need for leadership to flourish in the network”?

The New Learning Landscape

 “There is no longer just a leadership challenge (what good leadership looks like), it is a development challenge (the process of how to grow “bigger” minds).   Managers have become experts on the “what” of leadership, but novices in the “how” of their own development”.1   There are many reasons people choose to stay or go/stagnate or grow.  The environment, leadership and management, fit, compensation and benefits, culture, relationships.  Our leader/manager development strategies need to be developed using the organization’s business strategy (the what) as the foundation for learning and growing, and the organization’s people plan (the how) as the framework for development.  Organizations expect a demonstrable return on investment; stakeholders assume that development initiatives will provide quantifiable benefits.

Developing our leaders and managers can and should positively impact all areas in the diagram below;

 

 

A comprehensive, innovative, future looking talent strategy for our leaders and managers will show a noted change in leadership behaviour at the front line leadership level, increased team performance at the team level and an increased ability to meet strategic initiatives at the organizational level. 

The Importance of Leadership Development

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We can all agree that in order to see growth in our organizations, we must make an investment. It may be in the form of our time, energy or resources. We probably watch market trends, build portfolios and hire exciting recruits. And all of these strategies can help to realize the success we so strive for. But to a well-rounded growth strategy requires us, in addition to all of the above, to look within. Take the time to invest in yourself as a leader, and those around you. You’ll be glad you did when you start to realize the unlocked potential that lies within.

So who really needs to invest in leadership development? The answer is everybody! As a leader ask yourself the following questions. If you answer yes to any of them, you’ll see just why leadership development is so crucial in fostering our leaders. Are you:

  • Struggling to prioritize when everything is important?
  • Frustrated with difficult employees?
  • Wasting time in boring and unproductive meetings?
  • Miscommunicating and being misunderstood?
  • Burnt-out with no work-life balance?
  • Fighting fires with zero time to think strategically?

You’re not alone…this is incredibly common! So, in order to create workplace cultures that are positive, sustainable, and productive we need leaders that have the skills and acumen necessary to navigate those complex organizational and human capital systems.

But where to start? As leaders, we should be focusing our knowledge and awareness in three key areas: Personal Mastery, Leading Others and Human Capital Systems Acumen.

Personal Mastery

How can you best inspire confidence in yourself as a leader? BE confident in yourself AS a leader! Personal Mastery is embracing that self-knowledge and development are imperative to maintaining an upwards growth trajectory. One must work to understand the direction of themselves as an individual, as well as that of their business or organization. Personal Mastery is practicing and encouraging change, creativity, constructive relationships and connectedness.

“personal mastery goes beyond competence and skills … it means approaching one’s life as creative work, living life from a creative as opposed to a reactive viewpoint.” – Peter Senge

Leading Others

Improve team performance by understanding how and what motivates people in your organization. Just as we as leaders are dynamic in our approaches, so too are the valuable members of our team. Understanding what our team members need in order to reach their full potential can make the difference between a functioning organization and a thriving one.

Human Capital Systems Acumen

Understanding, and being able to navigate, the complex systems we encounter in business (and who are we kidding, in life!) is one of the most important skills we can develop as leaders. These systems are multifaceted and always changing, which means ongoing development in our perceptions and decision making is vital in shaping our abilities as leaders.

LEAD Program

The LEAD Program is designed to create a sustainable leadership culture, and equip leaders with the skills to be successful in their roles on a day-to-day basis. We get it – Leaders must manage effectively up, down and across organizational boundaries. Leadership development supports leaders through self-awareness assessments, skill training and human capital systems development. LEAD content is practical, relevant and easily transferred into the workplace. If you want to increase leadership confidence and unlock potential, learn more about the LEAD program by following this link. Sessions start October 25th.

 

“ The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership  development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders and continually develops them.” – John C. Maxwell

 

LEAD Program – Kick Off Oct 2017!

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In partnership with FuturesRPI, ManagerKnowHow offers leaders an opportunity to deepen their leadership practice in a local program delivered in Red Deer, Alberta. The LEAD program covers a broad range of topics based on the MKH Leadership Competency model. LEAD is delivered over six months to allow busy professionals to balance learning with work and life. With a blend of in-person workshops, individualized coaching, and online classroom sessions, leaders move through a process of learning and discovery in three areas: Personal Mastery, Leading Others and Human Systems Acumen. The program uses self-awareness assessments, skill training and human systems development to ensure leaders manage effectively up. down, and across organizational boundaries. LEAD content is practical, relevant and easily transferred back to the workplace.

The LEAD Program is designed to create a sustainable leadership culture, as well as equip leaders with the skills required to be successful in their roles on a day-to-day basis. If you want to increase leadership confidence and unlock potential this is the program for you.

With the Canada Job Grant, investment in this opportunity is $1000.00/pp. We can assist you with securing grant funding. Job grant funding is secured and paid directly to the organization; full registration fees are due to ManagerKnowHow.

Seats are limited, so act soon to reserve your spot and become a member of this cohort! To learn more about the program, outcomes and what is included click HERE.