One would imagine that developing Leaders is a complex affair that takes an eternity and requires sophisticated, rocket science like skills to achieve.
However, as many organizations have demonstrated, all you need to do is get the employees that you want to develop, soak them in leadership syrup, the longer you soak them in the leadership syrup, the more the likely hood they soak up more of the leadership syrup and you will have good leaders once they are out of the Leadership syrup Pot. Many have found out that this does not work.
The one key qualification to have an employee on a leadership development program is that they can actually apply what they will learn at the workplace. If they are employees that you believe you will be soon promoting and having these skills is key, save your money. By the time they actually do get to the leadership position in a year or two, none of what they learnt in the leadership development will be remembered. You get people to learn skills that they actually can practice immediately, not in the foreseeable near future.
Before sending a team for a leadership development program, we need to be certain of a few things. The critical on being that these employees will have the opportunity to apply what they learn.
The second thing is to be able to interrogate the course curriculum to see that it has been designed and developed to enable transfer of Leadership and Management competencies. This now presents a challenge since what will be the person evaluating be looking for and where will they be looking?
The first place to look at would be the course learning outcome and learning objectives. You need to evaluate these two to be able to see if the course is an information based, what level of skills they are looking to impart. Generally, to be blunt, to see if the training company knows what they are doing. Being able to explain, identify, list leadership and management theories and principle does not in any way make one a better leader. Leadership is what’s seen and felt by the followers not what the leader knows about principles and theories of leadership and management.
There has been a belief according to literature reviewed by the writer that Leadership and management training do not produce the desired results. This would highly be expected if the program has no instructional framework applied that helps transfer of skill. Telling learners of good leaders, the various ways one can lead, pyramids of leadership styles and of Management styles and principle would be the number one cause of ineffective Leadership and management programs. Such programs lead to wastage of time and resources. There is need to upskill those involved in designing and developing Leadership and management programs. We also need to skill those charged with deciding which Leadership and management programs employees should attend. Cost cannot and should not be the key consideration, I can tell you for free, the lower the cost, the less resources of time and thinking effort and time was put into a program. After all, coming up with a hundred, cognitive overloaded slides require very little effort. The main costs of a learning program are not the delivery, the costs usually are on the design and development.
At this point it is also good for us to realise that the power point presentation should not be the training. If this is how the program you have been looking at purchasing is composed, I would tell you just one word. Run.
Competency based learning requires much more than just telling learners. At the end of the program, your evaluation will not and should not be how much they remember of what you told them. The final outcome you want as an instruction designer for a leadership and management program is that the learners can actually Lead and Manage team better than they could before you engaged them in your Leadership and Management development program.
iPerformance Africa has designed and developed Leadership and management program for newly appointed managers. This program utilizes the leading instruction strategies, is designed for skills transfer and promises the learner competencies in Leadership and management post the program. The course imparts skills the learner can use back at the workplace.
To develop Leaders, you need a program that is designed to actually do that, not inform, not make knowledgeable, but to transfer leadership and management competencies to the learners.