Effective leadership development programs build strategic competitive advantage for organizations and can lead to increased revenue and market share. Not all leadership development training, however, is the same. Use these key takeaways from our June 21st webinar ‘Designing Leadership Development Programs that Deliver‘ to develop a program that supports continued learning across the organization and shapes employees into highly effective leaders that know how to impact sales.
1. Effective leadership development programs should help leaders improve their analytical and collaborative skills. “On a technical level, leaders need to understand how to analyze important information and make decisions based on that information,” said Martha Reeves, PhD, Managing Director of the Markets and Management Studies Program at Duke University. “On a personal level, leaders need to learn how to collaborate effectively across departments to get things done. More and more cross-functional teams have been put in place to solve business problems, and part of what leaders need to know is how to work within those teams to get positive results.”
2. Building in appropriate follow-through with managers — not just participants — is essential after leadership development training. “We need to work in partnership with managers so that as a learning organization, we are facilitating a more robust and effective coaching relationship,” said Carol Wells, Senior Director, Commercial Training and Development, Genentech. She suggests L&D teams set expectations and establish target outcomes with managers before the event.
“Research shows that if you don’t have involvement with managers of the participants in your program, both before, during, and after the program, only 15 percent of the information sticks,” she added. “So it is really critical that the managers of the participants are heavily involved all the way through, especially with the follow-through.”
3. Remember that leadership development is a continuum. “We have been focusing more on making sure our curriculum is aligned with competencies and skill sets of particular roles,” said Jason Zeman, Director of Sales Learning and Development, Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Recently, his company has been investing in talent by building out its management essentials and its new emerging leaders programs. “It’s about thinking through the strategy of the curricula for emerging leaders, front-line managers, and advanced managers and making sure they build on each other and are connected.”
4. Effective leaders are actively engaged with their employees and are able to work across multiple departments and roles. “In today’s increasingly complex market, it is more important than ever for managers to actively engage with their employees to ensure pull through and application of new skills and competencies needed to be successful. Our research has shown that managers who are most successful have the ability to work effectively with cross-functional teams to achieve greater results, said Michelle O’Connor, President & CEO of CMR Institute.
For more key insights and strategies, look for CMR Institute’s upcoming white paper on leadership development, available later this summer. In the meantime, take a peek inside our Leadership and Management eModules:
Click here to learn how CMR provides award-winning leadership development programs for our clients. Or peruse our Leadership and Management eModules in our online Training Catalog.