7stepsgraphic2When it comes to developing effective leadership development programs the process is important for small and large groups alike. The steps below outline this proven process.

1.  What is the perceived need?

Different people perceive the need for leadership development in an organization from different perspectives. Leadership development should be based on what the perceived need is from the perspective of team members, their leadership, job expectations, goals and even customers. It is important that everyone has a voice in determining the goals of the leadership program and how those goals will be achieved.

2.  What is the current state?

The current state of leadership performance must be assessed. In our case, we examine leadership performance through interviews or 360-degree assessments based on the competencies identified for each leadership position. This helps us determine how well the organization is performing and what competencies should be stressed in the leadership development program.

3.  Analyze the Gap

Based on the perceived need and the current state data collection, the gap between high performance and low performance in each competency is analyzed to detect trends or organization-wide disparities.

4.  Design

Each leadership development program should, at a minimum, be tailored to close the gaps identified in the previous analysis. Program design also is based on available time, receptiveness to different learning delivery systems, and criticality of specific competencies in the leadership position. There may be differences designed into a program to reflect different levels of leadership within the organization.

5.  Develop

Typically, we create a tailored program that has a standard program as a foundation, but addresses the unique needs of the individuals in the organization. Case studies, problems, exercises, and assignments should be applicable to the organization’s industry and the needs determined in the gap analysis described above.

6.  Implement

The next step is to implement the program in the organization. Senior leadership plays a role in “setting the stage” for the leadership program. The initial delivery of the program should include time throughout the schedule to receive feedback from participants. Based on this feedback the program can be revised prior to subsequent deliveries.

7.  Measure

Over time, the program should be measured to determine whether it has achieved the desired goals at both the macro level (contributing to the overall goals of the organization) and at the individual level in showing improvement in specific competencies as baselined in the early assessment phases.

What is your organization doing to develop it’s current and emerging leaders?

Ben McDonald

Ben is a leadership and talent development thought leader. He has worked with executive teams in over 20 countries and multiple industries growing and inspiring talent and organizations to achieve their best.

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