Here are Great Reasons Why Your Leadership Development Programs Are Failing


One thing you need to know is if a program in leadership development fails, the reasons were predictable right from the start. It is important to account and understand the little things that could ruin your leadership development goals and experience so that you can deliver great results for the long and short term existence of a program.

Research indicates businesses across the U.S. use over $156 billion on leadership training programs in a single year. However, once training is done, almost every skill taught is not applied in the business except about 15% only. Theoretically, it means $133 billion of the amount used is usually wasted; nothing really comes out of it. To make sure your leadership training programs do not fail, there are a number of things to watch out.

Executive sponsorship and lack of it

The executive must support any leadership development strategic effort. In fact, it is important for the executives to be involved in designing the needs at the beginning. As the executive is engaged right from the early process, their roles in the delivery of a program are crucial as they link the company with the leadership content. If the project is a large scale one, there will always be an advisory board very different from the design team and made up of major HR leaders and business stakeholders. This advisory board helps in shaping the program’s direction, drive accountability and keep the program as relevant as possible.

Leadership needs are not correctly diagnosed

It is important to ask yourself what the leadership development is all about or for what purpose is it being carried out. The needs of the company are what should drive programs to develop capabilities. Thus, business needs and development experiences must be linked and participants stretched for success.

When the investment is done at the wrong time and on the wrong individuals

As you might have realized, the leadership development resources are usually not much in a business. It is also not practical or possible to develop every person deeply as the company might want. This is why the focus should be in an area that could provide a lot of value towards realizing the strategy of the organization. The business will also be primed towards making the most of new skills and leadership behaviors.

Fixing leadership problems with leaders training and teaching leaders

Lots of companies are turning towards the methodology where leaders end up teaching leaders, a wonderful way of linking the program to the company while at the same time inspiring future leaders. Nonetheless, this plan usually fails if the design team is unable to prepare leaders properly to deliver the required training program or if the program is not matching the content appropriately. It is also wrong to assume senior leaders are good teachers, skilled facilitators or automatically dynamic and if they are in front of a huge number of people, it could affect the program and destroy the reputation of the leader.

Getting facilitators who do not represent the company well

If you can get a master external facilitator, you will be able to unlock discussions and learning in a manner hard to accomplish internally. Lots of clients do not have practical reasons to deliver; remember any external facilitator will be representing your organization by extension. Vet the consultants carefully and bring them on board thoughtfully.

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