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Management development

The challenge of leadership development

47% of leaders fail according to Adrian Furnham, Department of Psychology, UCL.  Given this statistic, there is reason to be concerned about how leaders are selected and subsequently developed.

In terms of leadership development, the challenge is to develop attributes that are less about skills and more about knowledge, attitude, values, and judgement.  In tribal communities, leaders tend to be the wise elders, appointed because of their maturity and experience. Do we value wisdom and experience as much, in the West?  And if we do how do we develop it?  Leaders today have to deal with challenges and situations that cannot be predicted – rapidly changing technology, developing global markets, political pressures, media attention to name just a few.

Developing resilience, creativity and the ability to inspire during hard times involves exposing leaders to a wide range of experiences and helping them learn from them.  360° feedback enables them to see the impact they have on others whilst giving them practical challenges that allow them to receive feedback from followers will develop their ability to respond as true leaders.  Making critical decisions where ambiguity and complexity are paramount requires courage, judgement and intelligence; all attributes that develop over time and through involvement and exposure to a broad spectrum of experiences, role models, honest feedback, and rich debate and discussion.

Our leadership programmes are based on the premise that great leaders develop over time and cannot be developed through a few modules.  Get in touch if you want to learn more.

Helping managers coach graduates

Corporate graduate development programmes come in many flavours. Size of intake and duration are obvious differences. But there are many more subtle and complex issues that vary from business to business.

Probably one of the most difficult balances an employer has to consider is the extent to which the graduate is there to deliver work for their manager, whilst the manager is there to help the graduate develop. Of course both are true, and they can often be the same thing, but it is a balance that requires skill and attention.

This is further complicated by the need for a line manager to see the graduate develop in a specific role, whilst in many businesses a “rounded graduate” is the ultimate goal of the development programme.

I’ve just come back from delivering a 2-day programme for supporting managers in getting the most from the graduates they manage. By adding this dimension to the graduate development programme, we can support graduates with more sustainable and context specific learning.

Perhaps equally important, we can help managers become much more engaged in the graduate development programme, better equipped to support it, and encouraged by the value the business places in their role.

As well as exploring the specific perspectives of the managers on the programme and getting them to work on these together, we use the GROW model to explore the coaching process.

We also look at behaviour - the application of theory - using 1:1 work with actors on what we call real-play, so managers can experiment with discussing difficult performance issues with real people, gaining valuable personal feedback.

We’ll be meeting the managers again in a few weeks, on the follow up day …

An ILM approved centre

We have recently been approved by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) to run accredited programmes in Management, and Leadership and Management. This means that we are a fully fledged approved centre and will be able to run Level 3 and Level 5 programmes.

Over the past year or so we have noticed an increase in interest from clients wanting to offer development that leads to a qualification. The management and leadership development work that we do fits well with the ILM standards and requirements so we decided to go for approval.

We are looking forward to running accredited programmes both for existing and hopefully new clients. Becoming an approved centre has added another string to our bow and we are very proud to be able this extra service.