We Need to Rethink Our Leadership Programs

By October 12, 2020Culture, Leadership, Strategy, Strengths, Teams

The pandemic has forced us to rethink almost every aspect of our work. Our workplaces are going to look a lot different, and we know getting together in groups larger than 10 will be very challenging for the foreseeable future. Our people are finding new ways of getting their work done while also experiencing fatigue and anxiety in the face of uncertainty. Leaders are grappling with both of these factors, while also trying to chart paths forward into a landscape that is more unknowable than ever. 

A constant in all of this is the requirement that we all learn our way into the future. It’s why we’ve been helping leaders and organizations rethink how they approach leadership development. 

With good leadership more vital than ever, this is a prime and important opportunity to redesign the fundamental architecture of leadership programs.

We continue to think about leadership development programs as ways of building leaders’ confidence in new and shared approaches to leading teams and organizations. When leaders have common approaches that work, strategy wins and culture thrives.

These days, we’re focusing on new approaches to core competencies related to team productivity, giving and receiving feedback and feedforward, emotional well-being, onboarding, career development, team cohesion, workplace design, and agile planning. Everything we offer is brand new to leaders; nothing is remedial.

We consider our leadership programs more work sessions than workshops. As confidence goes beyond knowledge, the process needs to have leaders working on actual scenarios in their work. People work on live communication, planning, decision making, and people-development scenarios. Learning in work sessions builds alignment.  Homework builds confidence.

As participants identify actual leadership scenarios, they learn new ways to make immediately applicable shifts in their approaches to them. 

It’s a very strength, question, and reality-based process. New skill sets bring together the chemistry of existing skills in new ways with new impacts and outcomes. Leader engagement and applications are consistently high because we are continuously working from their learning questions in the context of their actual leadership realities. 

We also weave in individual and small group coaching to accelerate learning applications and implications. According to brain science, learning must be translated to fit into how each person’s brain is uniquely wired. Coaching makes this more possible. 

Finally, there continues to be an explosion of new virtual tools we draw from to make the experience actually more engaging than in person. 

We’re using virtual breakout rooms and whiteboards to make high engagement possible and continuous. We’re also using short videos and check-ins to take new learning into action in real-time. These make the process more useful than conventional classroom experiences.

We have more reasons than we can count on why this time is a prime time to redesign what it means to develop our seasoned, growing, and emerging leaders. The latest science and research guides the way.

Free Idea Jam Call: Your Leadership Development Programs

Are you looking to take a systematic approach to leadership development? Would you like specific ideas for your leadership development efforts? Let’s Chat! Fill out the form below to schedule a call with us and we’ll exchange ideas around your program. Have a look at this video testimonial from one of our clients to give you a more clear idea of how we can help.


About Jack

In my late twenties I had the good fortune to have mentors who were practice leaders in what was then called the Human Potentials Movement. They inspired me to help organizations and communities realize their potential in ways they never imagined. It became clear this was the core gift that would shape the past 40 years.