Shifting Trends in the Leadership Development IndustryThe American Society for Training and Development recently asked 10 “of the biggest names in the industry” to weigh in on the past, present, and future of the profession. ASTD’s conclusion from this input was “the need for skills development, the importance of learning and development, and the link between employee performance and organizational success have remained strong during the growth of the training and development (T&D) profession.”

In looking at how the profession has evolved over the past 70 years, one of ASTD’s 10 experts, Jack Zenger, pointed out that trainer values, messages, approaches, are now much more aligned with senior leaders today as training is more focused on helping the organization achieve its objectives. Another expert added that training is evolving from the classroom to the boardroom as trainers get better at helping their organizations become more profitable and competitive.

When asked what’s been one of training and development’s greatest legacies, Jack Zenger points to the practical research showing the most critical factors creating high individual and team performance. Leadership development that drives organizational results has been one of the things I recall most vividly about our previous work with Jack stretching back to the eighties and early nineties. This was a driving factor in their work when Jack partnered with Joe Folkman around 2000. One of their greatest legacies will be how they’ve brought evidence-based approaches to leadership development and evolved the fledgling strengths-based movement from a philosophy to a science-based methodology with their Competency Companion Development Guide.

Jack foresees continuing the trend toward evidence-based solutions rather than having training dominated by the latest bestseller. Savvy clients want data about the outcomes of learning and development efforts. At the same time, the focus will continue to shift to permanent behavior change in place of insights and good feelings. Knowing and feeling do not always lead to changed behavior, and organizations will constantly move toward changed behavior as the goal.”

Tomorrow we publish the compilation of last month’s blogs in the June issue of The Leader Letter. This issue pulls together more research and evidence-based approaches to leadership and organization development. Some of it may surprise you — like recent ZF research how on demanding leaders are also more likable. As more organizations are using competency models for leadership development there’s a growing misconception — that I used to share — on their use. We’ll also continue looking at powerful research and approaches to using feedbackboth as the receiver and giver. And recent Extraordinary Coach workshops are highlighting the monkeys-gone-wild problem — Monkey Madness — overloading and overwhelming so many managers.

I hope last month’s blogs have helped you avoid groping around like a blindfolded monkey lacking feedback and using unproven approaches!