What makes effective leadership training?

Written by Genny Dixon on 5 February 2015 in Features
Features

The report, due out in April 2015 will summarise the collective wisdom gained in order to support the application of good practice back into the workplace

Today’s business leaders across private, public and not-for-profit sectors need to be able to deliver results in a rapidly changing work environment, often working with virtual or global teams. But how well are we developing leaders with the skills they need?

A new study by Towards Maturity, in partnership with KPMG UK, is investigating just that and L&D leaders are invited to benchmark their L&D leadership strategy with their peers.

It is clear that good leadership training is no longer just about face to face. In fact, 77 per cent of participants so far are using off-the-shelf leadership e-learning courses to supplement their classroom training. However, does this go far enough?

Recent analysis of the views of more than 2000 leaders and senior managers1 shows that fewer than one in five believe that classroom courses are essential or very useful in building their skills. At the same time, 88 per cent of them are using mobile phones to access resources to help them do their job better.

This begs the question, to what extent do we understand how our leaders currently learn the skills – and concepts – they need to do their job? How do we then use that information in the way we support their development?

When it comes to modern approaches to leadership development, L&D are clearly interested in doing things differently. The study currently shows that nine out of ten L&D professionals are either applying, or planning to apply new models of learning to support leadership learning in the workflow. It is time to look at how we use social media, video and mobile learning and the impact that they are having.

This new study aims to find out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to delivering effective leadership development programmes for today’s busy leaders. L&D and HR leaders responsible for delivering in–house leadership development programmes are invited to take 15 minutes to confidentially benchmark their approach with their peers before 17th February at www.research.net/s/TMLeadership.

The report, due out in April 2015 will summarise the collective wisdom gained in order to support the application of good practice back into the workplace.

In our 2014 Benchmark, Modernising learning: Delivering results, we found that as managers embrace the benefits of technology-enabled learning for themselves, it has a knock-on effect on the learning culture across the whole organisation. However, in our 2011 investigation, Reinventing leadership development, senior leaders were often the most likely to prefer more a more traditional face-to-face approach for their own training. We are keen to explore this fast-changing and challenging area to uncover what really works for this audience.

 

1 All Manager/Leader data sourced from Towards Maturity Learning Landscape with 2,200 line managers and senior leaders. Source: http://www.towardsmaturity.org/learner

 

About the author

Dr Genny Dixon is head of research at Towards Maturity. Find out more at www.towardsmaturity.org/leadership

 

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