Developing Leaders and Teams

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6 ways to maximise results from your leadership programme

This feels like the Holy Grail for learning and development professionals. However, there are some fairly simple steps to getting significantly better, sustainable results from your investment.  We share the 6 things that can make a big difference to your results:
1.  Pull participants rather than push
2.  Create a context and focus for learning
3.  Engage the participants line manager
4.  Tailor the content to the context
5.  Engage participants in the learning process
6.  Measure results

Pull participants

Everyone wants engaged, enthusiastic learners turning up on Day 1 of a workshop or programme. The reality today is that most people are overloaded and dealing with multiple demands on their time. So, an event that takes them away from work for one or more days is not always met with enthusiasm.

  • Have a compelling offering
  • Show how it fits with their goals and aspirations
  • Show interest from the top – get the leadership team talking about it
  • Maximise internal PR – using past attendees where possible
  • Provide lots of information in an engaging way

Context and focus for learning

  • Ask yourselves – what is this programme for?
  •  Use a tool to establish a baseline e.g. 360 feedback and make sure it measures the right things
  • Engage the leadership team wherever possible to give it focus
  • Hold a briefing for all participants beforehand – get them thinking early and start to build a network

Engage line managers

  • Help them realise the difference they can make to engaging the participant and to embedding changes in behaviour
  • Get some involved in design – supply material for case studies etc.
  • Post course de-brief about what’s expected of them
  • Set up regular updates about feedback on participant progress

Tailor the content

  • Make sure it’s answering the “What’s it for?” question
  • Make it relevant and real to participants e.g. industry specific case studies
  • Ensure the provider understands the organisation and the context
  • Co-create where possible with the provider
  • Engage internal faculty to co-facilitate if possible

Engage participants in the learning process

  • Ask Senior leaders to open and close the programme
  • Use learning styles to appeal to all participants
  • Ensure the programme appeals to all styles
  • Create learning partners – these can work very well and last beyond the programme
  • Less music from the front and more facilitation

Measure results

  • Get feedback after every day – and adapt accordingly
  • Encourage sharing and learning after the programme
  • Bring senior leaders in to lunches or evenings to show level of interest
  • Do a follow up ½ day or short workshop – sharing changes and successes
  • Repeat 360 feedback 12 months later
  • Support afterwards – 1 or 2 coaching sessions really keeps momentum

None of these are rocket science but many are overlooked. Their combined power is where you make the difference and ensure your leadership programme delivers a tangible return for the organisation.

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