Last month I delivered a one hour webinar on How Learning and Development Can Build Stronger Leaders and Cultures (click on title to view it) sponsored by The Institute for Performance and Learning (formerly the Canadian Society for Training and Development). During the webinar we ran a poll on the research and best practices presented. The poor survey results show why L & D is often given lip service by senior operating executives but so easily crowded out by short term priorities and cost cutting. Most L & D professionals fail to connect their efforts with what’s keeping executives awake at night.
Here are the poll results along with links to research and what’s needed to boost effectiveness:
This shows how many L & D professionals are stuck in much less effective traditional approaches. As outlined at “New Survey Showing a Strengths Revolution in our Workplaces” a major shift from weakness or gap-based development to building strengths is now underway. Focusing on Strengths provides an array of blogs, articles, white papers, case studies, videos, and webinars filled with evidence that building strengths is 2 to 3 times more effective than fixing weaknesses.
Executives who see hard evidence that leadership development drives up sales, safety, profitability, customer service, engagement, or retention make it critical investment and a strategic priority. See The ROI of Leadership Development, How Extraordinary Leaders Double Profit, “Shifting Trends in the Leadership Development Industry“, or Leadership Under the Microscope.
Stronger leaders create stronger organizations, and stronger organizations create stronger leaders. This generates an interdependent cycle that creates a flywheel effect. Too many L & D professionals are bolting-on development programs rather than building-in the values and behaviors that get the flywheel moving. This was the essence of this webinar and was taken further in the Leading a Peak Performance Culture (click title to view) webinar I delivered last June. Our upcoming “Special Webinar on Developing Leaders at Wilfrid Laurier University” with Melanie Will (WLU’s OD Director) will also connect skill and culture building. There are lots more resources at Culture Change.
Underlying the “7 Reasons Change and Development Programs Fail” is the lack of a framework to integrate development efforts. This provides an implementation architecture to avoid partial and piecemeal programs, teams not pulling together, communication breakdowns, and failing to follow through. A Leadership Team Retreat has proven key to putting key success factors in place for leadership and culture development to build upon and reinforce each other in a virtuous cycle of continuous improvement.