Talent development for leading change

In today's faster paced markets, there is increasing need for talent development to inspire innovation and lead change.  Operational excellence is no longer enough to sustain competitive advantage.  Instead, constant change demands far more from leaders than in the days when teams could be managed through KPIs and SMART goals with 6 monthly appraisals.   Worse still, even being strongest, brightest or fastest in your industry will no longer ensure your survival.  Instead, as Charles Darwin famously said,

"it is those who best adapt to change that will survive."

But this poses a problem for companies, which becomes a challenge for HR and specifically talent and leadership development professionals. How do we provide better skills for the middle and senior management to lead their teams through uncertainty and thrive on change?

Developing inspiring leaders is difficult

Ambitious companies need to develop the leadership skills of their fast-track high potential candidates to prepare them for more senior roles. Innovation and change need inspirational leadership, but inspiring leaders are in short supply. They are highly valued for their ability to engage employees and develop better products, which in turn attract more and happier customers.

But the trouble is, these skills do not come naturally to most people. In reality, few really recognise what "good looks like". So they need to learn. However, while traditional teaching methods are great at showing people what they should be doing, they fall down when it comes to how to actually do it. Training delegates assume that because they have learnt about them, they have acquired the necessary skills. But without sufficient practice to really make these skills their own, they will never be authentic. Lack of authenticity erodes trust, which in turn erodes the effectiveness of the leaders.

Even Computer based training, blended learning and social learning cannot sustainably develop soft skills because they do not offer a suitable environment to practice. So for all of the benefits of the latest high tech. people development tools, they miss out on the really crucial element.

How to practice inspirational leadership.

This 1 minute video provides a good overview

Talent Development for Agile Leaders

Learning by doing is far more effective at developing authentic leaders, but can be difficult to achieve in practice. Naturally, people fear making mistakes in front of their peers, but without people to work with, there is no action learning.  So we have created a new program that creates a safe environment for talent development.  Experienced business professionals can develop skills such as:

  • Communicating across cultures
  • Inspiring growth and behaviour change
  • Collaborative problem-solving
  • Influencing through digital channels

in a practical way, working with real people to solve real business challenges, without the anxiety provoked by working directly with peers.  We call this the Agile Leaders Program.