Leadership development has never been more important. Companies of all sizes recognize that to thrive in today’s turbulent, unpredictable, complicated, and ambiguous environment, they must develop new leadership skills and organizational competencies in London escorts. There is also a growing realization that leadership development should not be limited to those in or near the C-suite. Employees across the board are increasingly expected to make meaningful decisions that correspond with business strategy and culture, thanks to the spread of collaborative problem-solving platforms and digital “adhocracies” that encourage individual initiative. It is consequently critical that they have the necessary technical, relational, and communication abilities.
The leadership development industry, on the other hand, is in turmoil. The number of players offering courses to teach the hard and soft skills required of corporate executives has increased dramatically. Despite this, firms that invest billions of dollars yearly to train present and future CEOs are becoming dissatisfied with the results. Several large-scale industry surveys, as well as our in-depth conversations with customers, show that more than half of senior executives think current people development initiatives are insufficient for developing important skills and organizational capabilities.
Traditional Executive Education’s Issues:
Traditional programs, according to chief learning officers, no longer effectively train CEOs for the problems they confront now and in the future. Companies are looking for individuals with the verbal, interpretative, emotional, and perceptual abilities required to lead cohesive, proactive teamwork. However, most executive education programs, which are intended to be extensions of or replacements for MBA programs, focus on discipline-based skill sets such as strategy formulation and financial analysis while severely undervaluing crucial social, communication, and emotional abilities.
It’s no surprise that CLOs are having difficulty justifying their yearly training costs.
Executive education programs fall short of their declared goal as well. For decades, “lifelong learning” has been a term in business and educational circles, but it is still a long way from being a reality. Traditional executive education is just too episodic, restrictive, and costly to do this. Not surprisingly, premier business schools such as Rotman and HBS have experienced a large surge in demand for tailored, cohort-based programs that target firms’ unique talent development needs. Corporate universities and the personal learning cloud—a growing collection of online courses, social and interactive platforms, and learning tools from both established and innovative institutions—are filling the void.
The disconnected status of leadership development can be attributed to three major factors. The first is a misalignment of motivations. Organizations engage in executive development for the long term, but individuals participate to improve their abilities and progress their careers, and they may or may not stay with the employers that paid for their training. The second issue is the disparity between the talents developed by executive development programs and those required by businesses, particularly the interpersonal skills required to thrive in today’s flat, networked, increasingly collaborative workplaces. Traditional providers have extensive experience teaching cognitive skills and assessing their improvement, but they have significantly less experience teaching individuals how to successfully interact and collaborate. The third factor is a lack of skill transfer.
The Skills Gap: What Is Learned Is Rarely Applied:
One of the most common concerns we hear about executive education is that the skills and talents gained are not implemented on the job. This calls into question the whole core of executive education, which is not unexpected. The distance between where a skill is learned (the locus of acquisition) and where it is applied (the locus of application) greatly influences the probability that a student will put that skill into practice, according to research by cognitive, educational, and applied psychologists dating back a century, as well as more recent work in the neuroscience of learning.
Indeed, if the location of acquisition is comparable to the locus of application, it is much easier to apply a new ability. This is known as a near transfer. Learning to map the aluminum industry as a value-linked activity chain, for example, transfers more readily to an analysis of the steel business (near transfer) than it does to an analysis of the semiconductor sector (far transfer) or the strategy consulting industry (farther transfer).
To be sure, when we say “distance,” we don’t only mean physical distance. New skills are less likely to be applied not only when the locus of application is remote in time and space (as when learning in an MBA classroom and applying the skills on the job years later), but also when the social (Who else is involved?) and functional (What are we using the skill for?) contexts differ.
Anecdotal research on skills transfer estimates that only around 10% of the $200 billion spent on business training and development in the United States has tangible outcomes. That is an incredible amount of garbage.
More importantly, it emphasizes the importance of redesigning corporate training and executive development learning experiences.
The good news is that the expanding collection of online courses, social and interactive platforms, and learning tools from both established institutions and newcomers—collectively known as the “personal learning cloud” (PLC)—provides a solution. Organizations can pick and choose components from the PLC to suit the demands and behaviors of people and teams. The PLC is adaptable and readily available, allowing employees to learn skills in the environment in which they will be employed. It’s essentially a 21st-century version of on-the-job training.
In this essay, we will discuss the evolution of leadership development, the dynamics underlying the changes, and methods for managing the developing PLC for the benefit of both the organization and the person.