Friday, January 25, 2013

Four Steps to Action Learning and Leadership Development

It can feel lonely at the top.

As a leader, it can be difficult to influence others and get results when your team members do not report directly to you.

For example, a recent high-tech client wanted to expose and institutionalize a core group of leaders to key matrix leadership skills to both improve their personal development and to increase their ability to execute key strategic growth initiatives that were stalling.

When clients want to combine development with business outcomes, we follow four key best practice action learning and leadership development steps that anyone can use:
  1. Prepare: Define goals, business and career success metrics, and key performance levers with the executive sponsor. Focus on clarity, simplicity, and relevance.

  2. Co-Design: Co-create the approach, scope, timing, and detailed steps for the action learning process with the target audience to build ownership and accountability. Make sure that everything is linked to key success metrics and include plans to overcome key barriers to change.

  3. Execute: Align specific development projects with real-life work while providing just-in-time training, relevant tools, and 1x1 coaching for each leader. Meet collectively at least once-a-month, to share, brainstorm, and integrate lessons learned across teams.

  4. Learn and Scale: Measure the efficacy of the program as you go in terms of both learning and performance targets while making necessary adjustments to the design and execution based upon your results. Enroll participants as both owners and coaches and build internal case studies of lessons learned for future teams.

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