Blog February 06, 2020

#Part 1: How to make sure your leadership development programme is successful

“Are leaders made or born?”

This is arguably one of the most debated questions in the management and human resources world and extensive claims have been made on both sides of this perpetual discussion.

Organisations today invest heavily in leadership development programmes, with the industry currently worth $366 billion. Given that these programmes aim not only to reinforce and improve the leadership effectiveness of existing leaders but also identify and cultivate potential leaders while developing leadership competencies, one might be able to safely argue that leaders are made as much as born.

Regardless, the role leadership development plays in organisations appears to be on the rise — 94 per cent of all organisations plan to increase or maintain their investment in leadership training.

MK Publications Visual_successful_leadership_development 

But in order for these investments to pay off, they must make the extra effort to ensure that these programmes are effective by allowing participants to be able to transfer and apply what they’ve learned to the workplace and sustain it in the long run.

So how, then, when creating a leadership development programme, can one ensure its success?

What makes a leadership programme effective

To implement a successful leadership development programme, it’s important that there is an open communication between management and HR. That means that there should be no barriers preventing you from providing honest feedback to your company’s top leaders about the kind of programme required.

Any misinformation can result in organisations developing inadequate programmes that focus on the training of employees for leadership development instead of an internal organisational change as senior management teams don’t realise that they must be the ones to lead this change.

This paves the way for futile efforts in training, as the grounds needed for leadership development programmes to be effective are not laid.

Change starts from top down

Because of the environment created by the system, the way an organisation leads has much more impact than simply training select individuals. So to create a conducive environment for learning and development possibilities, top management must lead — not implement — an organisational change and lead by action.

That begins with first recognising the problem in the company’s organisational system before moving to practising and, more importantly and inherently, believing in the changes needed. This will serve to motivate, encourage, and command change or at the very least, emulation.

“Often, leadership development alone is not enough.
Organisations also need to change structures to become who they aspire.”

Olivier Conq, Senior Consultant

MK Publications visual 3 flaws leadership development 

Paving the way for a successful leadership programme

Before embarking on leadership training, the following groundwork must be laid:

1.Accepting flaws: Acknowledge that change is needed and that it must be actively and visibly led by the top executives.

2. Revamping strategies: Align organisational development strategies with the leadership programme. Start by redesigning roles, responsibilities, and relationships.

3.Introducing positive change: Get rid of any toxic and political environment that presents barriers for employee motivation and engagement and that discourages them from speaking up to authority.

Only when these are in place can leadership development programmes be implemented effectively.Once done, consider the following five important aspects to create and get the most out of a successful leadership development programme for your organisation.

Read our second part here

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