Defining Leaders and Leadership
Our view is that leadership is not restricted to 'leaders'. Leaders have responsibility for individuals, teams and their objectives, tasks, and outputs; but few leaders (if any) excel in all aspects of ‘leadership’. So much ‘leadership work’ needs to be done, and so many have important contributions to make in the VUCA world, ‘leadership’ (but not responsibility for the team) must be a shared endeavour.
We have examined four ‘areas of need’ and six key ‘lines of leadership activity’ to produce 24 distinct leadership ‘functions’ which create the conditions for success (the leadership job description that few organizations articulate). Given the extent of this, the need to engage people, and the limitations of time, effective leaders harness the complementary differences of colleagues.
Leadership is a mix of skills and knowledge, applied with adaptable, appropriate yet authentic and emotionally intelligent behaviour, and the ‘right’ level of intellectual horsepower for the level of work complexity faced. We will help you to define the leadership that you require at each level of leadership work, equip people with the requisite skills and knowledge and build confidence in its use, and concurrently develop the emotional intelligence with which those skills are employed.
Rethinking Leadership Development
By rethinking leadership development, our approach has been proven to deliver real and immediate business value time and time again — see our client stories, some of which are written up as published case studies in the book "Leading Through Leaders".
There are three key themes that run throughout our learning and development methodology:
Rigour and relevance: all of our programme designs are the result of rigorous academic research integrated with practical experience; and created with relevance, simplicity and routine application top of mind; no fads; no gimmicks.
Concurrent development of collective (organizational) and individual leadership agility; a systemic approach to leadership development (and strategy execution) rather than just the development of individual leadership behaviour.
Conceptual coherence: we ensure the coherence and integration of concepts, ideas, terminology and language both within and between modules; this ‘clarity’ enables understanding at a systemic level. On request, we can send our short white paper entitled ‘Why develop a leadership doctrine?’
We apply the 70/20/10 principle and integrate it with three forms of learning.
70% of learning comes from experience —research shows that a similar % of behaviour in organizations is due to the ‘organizational environment’ and its behavioural consequences. We help programme participants and their line managers to make the most of that 70%.
20% of learning comes from exposure —developmental relationships and coached and supported ‘application’ of ‘new knowledge and/or skills’. We support that 20% through a variety of means.
10% of learning comes from formal ‘training and education’ — programmes, course work, etc. We maximise the value of that 10% because we have re-thought leadership and its development.
Digital ‘Learn Before, Learn During, Learn After’
We surround any face to face module with digital learning and other activities. Learn before might include work to engage participants and their line leaders, and helping people ‘learn how to learn’. Digital learning 'products', developed with our digital learning technology partner, may be used to deliver ‘core content’ and provide Apps with ‘aides memoire’, tools and templates for key subjects and ‘leadership practices’. This maximises time in any face to face module to develop understanding and confidence in the use of ‘new ways’.
In times of dispersed and remote working, such as during the Covid-19 pandemic, we can deliver digital and remote learning; both as part of 'planned L&D', and to enhance the immediate effectiveness of dispersed teams; for example, team disciplines and clear communication for zoom meetings.
Despite the power of digital learning, face to face modules are still important to develop relationships and networks, and above all to develop the understanding of and confidence in ‘new ways’ that is essential to ensure adoption and application on the return to work. To do this we exploit the ‘Virtuous Circle of Experiential, Conceptual and Applied Learning’. It underpins every initiative that we design to help people to lead and learn more effectively. We maintain a practical focus and build confidence in new ideas and simple tools through the provision of opportunities for practise and supported/coached application to live issues – it is this support for the initial application of learning that is vital in order to realise value and a return on learning investment.
The ‘learn after’ is designed to maintain momentum and make learning an ongoing process and not an event. Remind and revise, continuation ‘master classes’, a cascade of learning to teams, application workshops leading to ROI case studies, collective and individual coaching (for both behavioural development and the application of learning) are some of the ‘learn after’ activities.
“I wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know I appreciate the work you did last week. It was quite an eye-opening experience. At first it was a bit de-motivating to see how far I have to go but in retrospect it was exactly what I needed. I was going through the materials this morning to pull out my lessons learned and to use as a basis for discussion with my mentor and thought I’d let you know I haven’t just filed this away. So far I have seen incredible results by utilizing some very basic models that you all presented. It’s amazing the ideas that spring up when you leverage your entire team. I think the fact that the models are so simple is what makes them so powerful. I’m even using these in my personal life when I deal with my wife and daughter and can see a positive change in our interaction. I’m thoroughly enjoying the change”. Jeff White, Manager, Regional Sales, Cisco USA
Let's discuss the design and delivery of leadership development programmes and supporting initiatives; ask for a copy of our brochure.