The death of the programme?

3rd Oct 2012

Last week a client said to me “leadership programmes are dying”.

I disagree. Instead, I think they’re morphing.

Leadership programmes of old were set-in-stone, prescribed, thou-shalt-follow-this-course style programes. They were created and rolled out in a context of command-and-control style organisational leadership. HR and L&D functions were positioned as the central point from which all learning and development activities emanated. Technology’s capability was limited. The obvious thing to do was bring people to a place where you could teach them what they needed to know and then send them back out in to the world.

The world’s changed.

Now we need thinking, technologies and solutions that can help leaders learn and grow in the real world,  where there’s no one right answer, and challenges are unique to the context.

Luckily we have these at our fingertips. We’ve got smarter ways of thinking (e.g. distributed leadership) and better technologies (e.g. Yammer) that are helping to redefine the way we can help leadership to emerge and develop.

One core idea is that the leader / learner is in the driver’s seat. Not HR.

In this new world, there’s still a place for the programme. But it’s a different sort of programme. It’s a development programme for one, designed by the person themselves. Accessing the ideas and people they need, when they need them, to meet their real life challenges, in their context.

That presents a new type of challenge for anyone charged with organisational leadership development.

Are you up for it?


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