To ‘future-proof’ something means you are looking to ensure that the decisions you make today will work in the future. Future-proofing your business involves future-proofing your in-house talent. To survive in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous business environment, business enterprises need managers with leadership skills and organizational capabilities that are different from those that helped them get so far.
In this blog, I will focus on how to build upon leadership skills in your new-generation managers.
Steps to Future-proof Your Business with Leadership Training.
An organization can build upon its leadership skills and organizational capabilities by following the three steps discussed below.
1. Provide Autonomy in Learning
We can call the present working generation a self-aware workforce who know what they need to learn and know what’s in it for them. They are committed to investing their time to learn something new. A survey conducted by Harvard Business Review indicates that today’s learners are autonomous and learn with purpose. It means they decide what to learn, how to learn, and where they want to learn. Most of these learners first go to their networks, then look towards their social networks, such as LinkedIn, and finally rely on the company’s learning platform. This shows that learning has become accessible and democratized.
If learning content has become democratized, then what is the role of learning and development (L&D) professionals in leadership training?
L&D could focus on becoming a guiding factor for the new-generation learners. Even though these learners are learning with purpose and autonomy, they still need help to make good smart choices among all of the content that’s available to them. Leadership training no longer has to be classroom-based, L&D can guide the learners to the right person and right content. There is an old value chain that is in place in most organizations that leadership training is occasional, scheduled, and structured. This has worked in the past. However, to future-proof your business, you need to establish a new value chain where learning is much more personalized, self-directed, and immediate.
2. Start Leadership Training Early On
A survey indicates that a significant number of leaders across organizations are millennials. This means more and more younger people are promoted to managerial positions. The question now arises – Are these new managers ready for their new roles?
Very few organizations prepare their employees for managerial and leadership roles before promoting them. Often these managers are functional experts with good subject knowledge.
The role of L&D professionals should be to identify these future managers and equip them with the necessary skills and training on how to manage and lead others. They need a combination of on-the-job as well as off-the-job training. Mentoring and coaching programs are some key tools that L&D professionals can set up and deliver. L&D can also tap into the personal learning cloud PLC, which includes components like MOOCs and platforms, such as Coursera, edX, and 2U, for delivering interactive content online. These platforms have made it possible to connect learning needs and learning outcomes outside of the organization resources.
3. Create a Pipeline of Talent
The final area L&D should focus on, is to future-proof the talent pipeline. L&D and HR should aim to identify the next generation leaders as early as possible to prepare them for leadership roles. The role of L&D professionals here is to offer tailored leadership programs for employees at every level in the organization and ensure they are building a strong pipeline of future leaders. The leadership is for all and this message needs to be heard across the organization.
Some of the leadership training programs that can be implemented at different levels are:
Individual team members: They can benefit from learning practical skills like time management, following through on commitments, and communicating effectively. The training should focus on preparing individual contributors to lead themselves before they lead others.
Mid-level managers and supervisors: They can benefit from training in the areas of building effective teams, coaching direct reports, and fostering a culture of accountability.
Executives: They can sharpen their existing skills and take a deep dive in areas such as strategy, innovation, coaching, delivering outcomes, and change management.
To conclude, L&D needs to ensure that leadership training should be in line with the organizational values and yet allowing the employees to explore, challenge, and contribute to the organizational culture and values. Future-proofing through leadership training means generating programs that create great leaders at every level.
At Tesseract Learning, our learning and visual architects are constantly innovating and reinventing their approaches to design, develop, and deliver effective L&D programs.
To know more about our services and how we can be of help to you, contact us or write to me at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.