During my last few blogs, we have discussed the first five
best practices of leadership development. Here, we’ll chat about the last best
practice: applying targeted solutions.
When developing others, executive engagement (the first best
practice) is critical --- in crafting
the leadership strategy and leadership development strategy, in promoting learning
across the organization, in defining the content ensuring its alignment with critical
business goals, in imparting critical messages to the leader participants, in
ensuring that the organization has the resources necessary to support the
development activities, and in embracing an organizational culture that values
individual leader growth and organizational capability by providing targeted development
What Is Targeted
Targeted development refers to customized learning opportunities
for each leader level in order to reap the maximum business impact and benefit.
It’s not about looking only at building individual leaders’ capabilities, but
also at closing whatever gaps a large number of leaders may have and building targeted
solutions and development programs to raise the bar in those areas.
Targeted solutions are about working towards a learning and
leadership development environment where leaders have opportunities to learn in
a variety of ways (the 70% and 20% of the 70-20-10 rule) outside of
the traditional classroom (the 10% of the 70-20-10 rule). This doesn’t mean
that an organization’s leader development strategy should eliminate traditional
face-to-face learning experiences, but it does mean that to develop this most
effective learning environment, in addition to face-to-face development, organizations
should work on an implementation strategy for one or more of the following development
Special assignments; and
Working on these
strategies enables developing leaders to experience learning in the context of
their daily work and by collaborating and partnering with others. In this
fashion, an organization and its leaders have a clearer vision of the competencies
needed to achieve the organization’s business goals and increase the
competitiveness of the organization.
In short, targeted leadership development builds a high
performance workforce. It is the answer to the gap that many companies have
reported to us regarding their shortfall in their talent pipeline (see our High
Impact Leadership Development for the 21st Century report) and
it distinguishes organizations who are able to compete and thrive versus those
who are failing.
Development Best Practices
As you develop your targeted leadership solutions, consider
these 9 best practices:
leadership competencies needed for future business growth: derive these from a review of your business
leaders’ skills gaps: use of a 360 is recommended to determine where
individual leaders, and groups of leaders, may have development opportunity in
one or more of your critical competencies.
each of your leader audiences: in our
model, we define six audiences (emerging leaders, front-line leaders, mid-level
leaders, senior leaders, executives, and high potentials) but you may have a
blended development solution: place leaders
in intense “let me experience it” type assignments (as listed above --- the 70-20
part of the equation) with precisely described development challenges.
signature development programs for each leader level: ensuring that each
program is threaded and linked to the program preceding and following it for continuous
and progressive leader development in each of the critical competencies.
individual leader development plans: link personal objectives to one or more of your
business-driven leadership competencies (rather than to generic competency
Re-evaluate development opportunities regularly: for possible changes needed in design, or even
retirement of the opportunity, to stay aligned with leaders’ goals and business
regular, open dialogues: between participating
leaders and their managers to monitor development progress and leader
Define metrics for success upfront: before designing and implementing any
development opportunity, HR business partners should dialogue with business
unit leaders to determine what leader behavior success looks like to ensure
development opportunities are aligned.
If organizational leaders take the time to implement these targeted
leadership development ideas, they have the opportunity to build the kind of
workforce that their organization needs to promote lasting cultural shifts
needed to accomplish its goals and remain competitive. As Peter Drucker states,
“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes …but no plans.”
What does your targeted leadership development look like? Please write
to me firstname.lastname@example.org to share your best practices and continue our
discussion on how best to evolve targeted development to prepare your leaders
to take on the challenges of the 21st century.
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Monday, July 25, 2011 09:24
Leadership is an important factor that can easily lead an undertaking to success. The ideas you shared are truly worthy and though leadership development seems like a long and tedious process, for sure, in the long run it will allow you to relax comfortably on your very own[url=http://www.ergonomicchair.org/news/40/Most-Hazardous-Office-in-America.html/]ergonomic chair[/url].
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Monday, October 03, 2011 18:17
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Andrea Derler, Ph.D., joined Bersin by Deloitte in March 2015 and leads the Leadership & Succession Management research practice. She brings international work experience as leadership trainer & coach and a solid academic background to this role. Prior to joining Bersin, she collaborated closely with organizations in the USA as well as Europe in order to pursue practice-oriented leadership research. Andrea studied international management, organizational culture and integral leadership and facilitated leadership development efforts in a variety of industries. She holds a doctoral degree in Economics (Leadership & Organization), and a Master’s degree in Philosophy. Her work about leaders’ Ideal Employee recently received wide-spread media attention in Europe and was published in the Leadership & Organization Development Journal.
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