For an organization, which feels that there is disconnect between the top management and the rest of the organization, an L&D expert’s intervention is critical
The word leadership development for ‘senior members’ of organizations in this day and era is perhaps a misfit, as I look at it. Leadership through my lens is not a developmental piece, after a certain stage in ones’ professional career it is more of an evolutionary piece. Leadership is not about motivating teams or tribes to drive results and pay the price with lack of peace, happiness and joy. Leadership at all levels is about evolving and doing something remarkable that will invariably lead to ‘Superior opportunities’ for others. I am drawing on the ‘Theory of evolution’ that states ‘Evolution occurs when the ‘Inherited characteristics’ of an organism change.
Discussion is the starting point
For the sake of reader connect, I will use the word development as of now. Leadership development is an activity that requires a fair amount of thought, reflective learning and time investment to identify the right development areas, ingredients needed to inflect the right outcomes and the shape and nature of training delivery. Systematic planning is an outcome of several steps that an organization needs to take before the implementation of a leadership development program.
Selling in and Contextualizing: In our experience of presenting development programs in organizations across several countries and at different levels, it has been fascinating to discover that many a times the audience is not aware of the theme of the workshop and what to expect. We strongly recommend that they should involve a consultant in the ‘Selling in’ and ‘Contextualizing’ process, or as many organizations call it ‘Buy in’. In cases where the consultant is involved in the ‘selling in’ of the intervention, the engagement of participants, ownership and manifestation of learning is astonishing.
Effective style of delivery: We advocate and it has been well validated that coaching style leadership development interventions that include ‘Reflective inquiry’ based on powerful questions that may look simple on the surface, yet reveal pieces for the respondent that mostly result in ‘Transformations’, are more effective than traditional fixed mode delivery.
Some examples could be:
What attracted you initially to your area of work? Or field?
Is that still what appeals to you about it? What else appeals to you now?
How has your family background influenced the way you approach your work?
These discussions put a ‘Spotlight’ on the ‘Felt need’, Intent, Commitment, as well as the expected outcome from the intervention
It has been seen that great L&D leaders and ‘Coaches’ are well travelled and have a good global exposure. Awareness and understanding lessons from the past are critical in making leadership programs effective.
At what stage should an external expert intervene?
As a practice a consultant should discuss with clients ‘thread bare’ the role they will play and capture the same in a summary. It is always encouraged to bring in external partners at the time of setting the ‘Vision’ and ‘Strategic Intent’.
Heart Felt: For an organization, which feels that there is disconnect between the top management and the high potentials of the organization, an L&D expert’s intervention is critical. An external expert works with the top leaders to identify the critical elements that will create a ‘Heart felt’ few, which is enough to transform any organization.
It is almost an imperative that L&D consultants have an in depth understanding of powerful techniques based on neuroscience that enable leaders in decision-making and synthesizing the vision of the company. A good L&D consultant has partnerships leading global business schools and educational institutions that spearhead research and innovations. These external partnerships prove extremely useful in inculcating a progressive and global leadership culture within the organization.