During tough economic times, when hiring freezes are prevalent and staff capacity is low, many organizations staff their new initiatives (programs and or projects) with consultants, contractors, or staff with performance challenges. If you get what you invest in these initiatives, then it’s no wonder many are disappointed at the lack of sustainable success. Dust off that succession plan and put it into action NOW, even while you’re waiting for some of those baby boomer positions to open up.
Invest in Your Current Leaders and High Potentials AND Create Sustainable Change in One Move
That “one move” is not necessarily more training. According to Gary Yukl, researcher and author of Leadership in Organizations, there is very little research to assess the effectiveness of formal leadership training despite the millions of dollars spent on it annually. What has shown to work is targeted activities with well designed feedback mechanisms. Over the next few weeks I will expand on each of the 5 targeted activities and effective feedback mechanisms.
5 Targeted Activities to Facilitate Leadership Development are:
- Developmental Assignments (within and outside of your current job)
- Action Learning
- Executive Coaching
- Personal Growth Programs
1. Developmental Assignments
Examples of developmental assignments while in your current job include:
- managing a new project
- managing a start-up operation
- being the departmental representative on a cross-functional or cross-divisional initiative
- developing and conducting training for your department
- chairing a task force on a serious operational problem
- working with/managing known resistors to change
- sponsoring operational improvements initiated by others
Examples of developmental assignments outside of your current job include:
- acting as a liason with another organization (e.g., a client, supplier, regulatory body)
- serving as an understudy or staff member of an exceptional leader in another part of your organization
- serve as a visiting assignment to another organization (e.g. your insurance broker to learn insurance risk management)
- volunteer for a not-for-profit, in a role which requires leading and coordinating others
Let’s hear from others on their suggestions on how to use change initiatives to develop leadership skills within your current job and outside of it.