Bleret is a business coaching company. We support business people looking for new ways of doing things: new strategies for their businesses, new ways to be more effective as a manager, new ways to work better in teams, or new pathways in their careers.
Wednesday, 31 July 2013
7 Reasons Why You Are Spending Too Much on Leadership Development Programs
Most customised leadership programs are anything but. Getting big name
university professors to change little more than the client logo on their
PowerPoint presentations is just about impossible. Besides, most leadership
theories have been well researched years ago so any quick changes or
adaptations wouldn’t be robust! Keep this in mind next time you dish out tens
of thousands of dollars on custom design.
2. Impact Seriously?
A three / five / ten day event (that may be repeated) that is supposed to change
mindsets and behaviours, make future leaders, configure your organisation for
success, beat your competition, and so on? It may be a great experience (“Hey, the
abseiling blindfolded off the building was life changing!”), but doesn’t really
follow what works in adult education, or address embedding learning in the
organisation where it is needed. Or have any real organisational impact.
3. Thought Leadership
Beware Business Schools or practitioners who tout exclusivity (or IP) to the
knowledge they’re dishing out. If it were well-researched and evidenced-based,
it would be in the public domain. Save your money, and hire an intern to do
some research for your L&D people seeking the latest thinking in
leadership. Or Google it yourself.
4. Return on Investment
See #2. No-one as ever found a positive direct causal link to an organisation’s
performance from any leadership development intervention. So don’t believe
anyone demonstrating the ROI on what they are offering, where revenues,
efficiencies, productivity or market share is thrown up as a metric. There are
just too many variables affecting a company’s performance – and how that
is measured is many and varied! At best, you make managers aware of their
behaviours, which may give them more control over them, and eventually make
them more effective when dealing with people, change, strategy etc.. Basta!
Practitioners Look, let’s face it….. improving leadership means you are
trying to improve your organisation. Business Schools are in the research
business – they are not consultants. And practitioners wouldn’t know how to run
your organisation better. Otherwise they would. Don’t divorce leadership
development from the challenge of changing and adapting your organisation.
That’s got to come from within. From you.
6. 70:20:10 rule
This little cliché basically means that most of what you learn is from doing it,
informally, and reflecting on it within your team, workplace, and organisation.
Duh! There are many cheap resources your L&D people can draw on to set this
up quickly and efficiently (i.e. see Coaching
Ourselves). So, it is a contradiction that someone outside your
organisation can do this for you, especially if participants on leadership
programs are not ready for change.
This is tricky. A coach will always do what’s best for the individual being
coached. (And why do these guys still charge astronomical fees by the hour? Are
they lawyers? C’mon!) Better to get managers to use a few simple coaching
techniques to help get the most out of your people. If that sounds restrictive and you think that
coaching should deal with things larger than your organisation: get them a life
coach! Or make sure that you look after your people’s well-being. It has been
shown that the well-being of your employees is the one most significant
‘people’ factor that really impacts productivity.