Even with limited resources, you can provide effective leadership training for your team by following these three suggestions. Leadership expert Mike Noble, managing partner at Camden Consulting Group (www.camden consulting.com), offers these three ways to expedite leadership development:
Always make sure that there is alignment between the leadership development goals of the individual and the goals of the business. Scarce development resources need to be applied in such a way that both the individuals being developed and their business partners reap the benefits. Individuals need to see how their personal development will not only help them in their own careers but will also have a positive impact on the rest of the organization. Paying attention to the alignment of goals will ensure that an individual’s leadership development will be felt throughout the organization and that it is more likely to be acknowledged and reinforced by others. This will make your development programs more efficient and give your employees a clearer sense of purpose for developing the leadership skills they will need to be the future leaders in your organization.
Sometimes conduct facilitated peer learning groups. People often learn best by doing their jobs and by interacting with others who are facing similar challenges. Identify some of the major challenges that employees face on a regular basis and establish a format for pulling groups of peers together to explore best practices and creative solutions. Enabling leaders to share their experiences—both good and bad—can prove to be a powerful learning exercise. Select specific management challenges and assign a seasoned executive to serve as a facilitator. Ask the peers to share their insights as to what’s working well and what’s not. Brainstorm alternatives and come up with some best practices that can be applied across the board. Ask the people who are more skilled to coach and support those who are struggling.
Never ignore work done in past LD programs. If you can, build off what has been done in the past. Don’t shift from one approach to another. Employees will write off each new program as “program of the month” initiatives and you will never get the sustainable development you are seeking.