Most organizations try to predict which capabilities leaders will need in the future. Often, to cover all their bases, they also develop leaders across a wide range of capabilities to prepare for every eventuality. In looking ahead, though, many of these development processes are linear, and end up producing an out-of-date solution by the time a leader has completed all the steps. An iterative design allows for change as feedback comes in.
“ Inclusive environments aren’t just nice to have — they are a mission-critical priority”
William Hill, a U.K.-based gaming company, realized its development programs couldn’t keep up with fast-changing business needs and leadership roles, so L&D purposely built room for organic growth into its development program for high-potential employees (HIPOs). The approach adopts a build-as-you-go modular approach, and involves senior management and HIPOs as active co-designers of the program.
Organizations are more and more global, diverse and collaborative, so inclusive environments aren’t just nice to have — they are a mission-critical priority. For those in doubt, note that our research shows leaders who effectively manage across diverse cultures outperform their peers who struggle in this metric. If L&D improves the ability to manage and proliferate diversity, they will further the business value of their leaders.
“ Leaders aren’t a homogeneous group; they have individual needs that vary widely”
Red Hat, a software company headquartered in North Carolina, promotes inclusion with open decision making. The decision process doesn’t just rely on people in a certain role or at a certain level of seniority; rather, it includes the right people — those affected or surprised by the decision, and those who care about it.
L&D favors universal competency models for universal work contexts, because they are scalable for large organizations. But leaders aren’t a homogeneous group; they have individual needs that vary widely based on role, team, organization and external environment. To ensure leaders can perform at their best even as conditions change, L&D must be personalized to the needs of the individual.
Microsoft India, a subsidiary of the American software company, created a cloud-enabled training app that enables a personalized focus that can still be scaled to a large audience of leaders. The ASPIRE app, which is part of a broader 12-month customized leader development program, allows leaders to guide themselves through the program and then offers post-program support.