Companies across the world are feeling a leadership shortage since baby boomers are retiring and the gen-ers are only ½ of the baby boomer population also taking into account that most millennials are not prepared to take on a formal leadership role at the executive level, it is indeed a dire situation. Therefore, leadership development is not just a need but a necessity to ensure that the company has enough qualified leaders in the pipeline.
It does not mean that organizations are not providing leadership development, they are, but the major criticism is due to the fact that most of these developments are ad hoc, without a clear alignment to the strategic objectives of the organization and the cultural behavior necessary to compete in today’s world. Now is the time to reevaluate your leadership development efforts!
The best organizations take their time to design a leadership development strategy that properly aligns leadership development to the business strategy.
Efficient leadership development goals include:
1- Defining leadership development within the context of the organization, its mission, vision, and culture.
2- Identifying the organization’s leadership development needs and developing a solution for the need.
3- Creating an efficient leadership development program that helps individuals to learn about themselves and others, and grow in their unique leadership skills.
Ultimately, leadership development activities are designed in a way that ensures that individual leaders and collective leadership of the organization are prepared to put in place the most important strategies related to key drivers.
One of the initial activities is to develop your leadership strategy. For this, the first step has to be identifying the company’s business drivers, the forces that shape organizational business strategy. By clearly understanding your drivers, you can identify the leadership strategy implications that would be needed to support key business drivers. For example, if one of the key drivers of your organization is “Global” then you would be assessing the population, location, skills, and capabilities of the current state of leaders.
You would also be determining how the future state should look in terms of requirements for how many, geographic locations, experience, education, skills, and competencies, etc. Developing a leadership strategy is a process that involves a senior leadership team and a steering committee that provides oversight. In this process, crucial conversations happen which may act as interventions that begin shifting the beliefs and values concerning executive talent issues in the organization.
There are various strategic planning methods that can be of help. In the “future perfect” method, the individual projects his future self and imagines what the leadership culture would be if the organization was implementing a business strategy and operating according to it. In the defined leadership strategy, the leadership development plans are formulated to support your strategy. It should specify the actions that have to be taken to retain, develop, or acquire leaders and the leadership skills required for the business strategy.
The end goal of the organization would be to successfully implement its business strategy and achieve the desired results. While the success can be of varying levels, with a strategic leadership development approach, one will be able to assess the problems easily and be in a better position to make proper adjustments. So go for it!