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Keeping leadership development relevant


For almost as long as there have been leaders, there have also been people talking about different leadership models. As organisations shift and change, and the demands on leaders naturally alter, new leadership models will rise and older ones will fall from favour.


This has always been true. What is unique about this pattern in today’s world is the pace at which this change occurs. With the march of technology and the ever-smaller world that globalisation has created, the demands of leaders can appear to alter on a very frequent basis. The concern for organisations is that this pace of change creates a constant battle to keep leadership development programmes relevant and effective. The risk is that leadership development that isn’t kept current will ingrain ideas and approaches that are no longer the best fit for a changed business world.


The leadership challenge of today involves integrating and leading employees from many different generations – all with their own very distinct motivations and expectations of their employer. As these different generations interact and move up in an organisational structure, their requirements for leadership development will also be similarly distinct.


A critical part of keeping leadership development programmes relevant is very simple: nothing is going to stay relevant if you never revise it, so be ready to regularly assess the effectiveness of your current efforts. An organisation may well have invested heavily in a shiny customised training programme for their future leaders, but they will rapidly see a fall in its ROI if they believe that all facets of the programme can remain in stasis for ever more.


A truly effective leadership development programme should be revisited every time it is set to be used, making sure that its next cohort are still being well-served with the latest thinking on leadership, relevant to the organisational situations they will face, with content and delivery tailored to the specific style that will have the most impact.

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