Many organizations are working to address their leadership challenges. For example, Deloitte found the percentage of companies with strong role-based and experiential leadership programs grew from 9% last year to 20% this year, and overall spending on corporate leadership programs increased by 10%.
High-performing companies outspend their competitors by almost four times—and they spend smarter.
Deloitte found best-practice organizations use an integrated system of leadership development that focuses on results-oriented learning with measurable effectiveness, stretch assignments, coaching and continuous opportunities for learning.
Potential leaders need to be identified much earlier in their careers.
A key factor in developing new leaders is recognizing and investing in new leadership cohorts, such as millennials, women or diverse individuals who recognize the need for collaboration and want to develop new leadership skills. As organizational hierarchies flatten, demand has increased for individuals who can lead at all levels.
"Leaders are instead being asked to inspire team loyalty through their expertise, vision, and judgment. The number of employees supervised by each first-line manager is increasing, to more than 10 among US companies and as high as 13 in industries such as health care. This broad span of control demands leaders who are skilled coaches, not strictly supervisors—leaders with the ability to attract, inspire, and retain great people, not just make the numbers. Identifying potential leaders early and accelerating their development is crucial for long-term success."
Deloitte offers some suggestions for implementing a more results-driven leadership development strategy:
- Identify potential leaders earlier in their careers, developing individuals from the front-line on up.
- Think systematically about leadership. "A portfolio approach that simply assembles a selection of offerings from different vendors is unlikely to promote consistency in leadership development or to ensure that future leaders receive the training they need to direct today’s team-focused organizations."
- Make better use of leaders in their later-stage careers to mentor and coach as you develop the next generation of leaders.
- Develop a comprehensive leadership system—"not simply a collection of training packages—that can effectively assess talent across the organization; focus training on high-potential employees; and provide opportunities for younger leaders to gain the skills, experiences, and insights they need to thrive in leadership roles."
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