Are leadership development training programs worth the investment?
I recently read a blog on Inc., 3 Reasons Leadership Training is a Huge Waste, and while I can’t agree with what the title seems to imply, I do agree with many of the article’s insights. I know for a fact that the right leadership development training needs to be a profitable investment for any organization to succeed in today’s marketplace. The return on investment – or lack thereof – enters into the picture when evaluating the various leadership training options—of which there are many. As the CEO of a leading international leadership development training organization, I get to see the positive impact of structured and effective training that companies experience year after year.
The Inc. article quotes a Boston Consulting Group survey that, among other findings, reports that “improving leadership development” and “managing talent” are top priorities of the companies surveyed. It is not surprising that developing leaders and managing managers were also ranked at the top of corporate weaknesses identified by the consulting firm.
The article identifies three main reasons that leadership development programs do not produce results. I have certainly experienced the pitfalls of leadership development training programs that incorporate the negative elements outlined in the Inc. article. In fact, investing in the wrong training can be a waste of time and resources—but that’s avoidable. Consider three of these elements raised by the article:
1. One-time events and workshops that are often used to serve as leadership development training do not provide the needed platform for developing true skills and capabilities that need time, practice, and reinforcement.
I agree completely! This is why Bullet Proof® Manager training is a 12-month skills-based training program specifically designed to foster a deeper and lasting understanding of concepts, skills, and better practices. The structure of the training and follow-through allows managers enough time to internalize new information and demonstrate how it works in the organization. The training program integrates interactive exercises and discussion with self-directed action plans for practical application during each monthly session. Our training facilitators work with participants to help navigate business and leadership challenges and identify real-life, practical solutions.
2. Generic themes, such as “success” and “leadership” that are often used in leadership development training do not allow participants to develop the very specific skill sets needed to become an effective leader.
What would a training program look like that develops very specific skill sets needed to become an effective leader? Certainly, the concepts of success and leadership will be included, but how? A structured course with 24 training proven modules enables participants to drill deeply and personally into very specific skills. No one will argue that generic themes alone cannot develop the kind of leaders that know how and when to communicate, how and why to develop teams, how to solve problems, and how to manage change, think strategically, negotiate, and raise performance and productivity. Bullet Proof® Manager training does all these things, and then holds participants accountable to incorporating their new skills in the organization to produce real results.
3. Program success is often measured by attendance and participant satisfaction, rather than real, bottom-line business results.
This is undoubtedly true with many training programs. Analytics matter, especially the extent to which training leads to measurable growth. Do you expect your leadership development training investment to positively impact output, quality, costs, and time? If so, then an impactful training course must establish quantified, as well as qualified, improvements. Crestcom’s Bullet Proof® Manager training program includes regular debrief and ROI meetings with the training facilitator, participants, and the participants’ managers and the CEO. During these sessions, expectations and goals are set in the beginning, and then participants identify what they have learned, how they have applied those skills in the business through their action plans, and how that has impacted the company. Through this process, we are able to consistently help clients measurably identify the impact that their leadership development training has had on their organization.
Behavioral change is a differentiator of effective leadership development training. Crestcom® Bullet Proof® Manager Training is an interactive learning experience that CEOs rely on for immediate and lasting improvements. Crestcom partners with organizations to help generate real business results through the people they lead.