During the past few years we have seen many companies giving much greater attention to leadership development programs. Many of our new clients haven’t had any leadership development programs in quite a while. Those companies that did have these programs had fairly traditional ones, typically with two components – a boot camp and mentoring. Historically, as one of our current clients stated, these programs didn’t work very well.
Companies today are being much more proactive at filling the leadership pipeline. Currently, 40 percent of our business is coming from programs designed to groom future executives such as directors and junior executives who are being trained for bigger jobs. Another 40 percent is coming from our programs for first line managers, which we’ve designed to groom people for the director positions. Much of the content of these programs focuses on “change” or “transformational” leadership.
We have begun to wonder why there has been an uptick in leadership development and more companies seeking out better approaches to development programs.
Our conclusion is that the companies that are investing in leadership development are being challenged by disruptive competitors and major market changes. Older healthcare, technology and retail companies (just to name a few) are being clobbered by disruptions in their industries. As I say to the lot of them, “think of the Ubers that are changing your market. How would you like to be a taxi company?”
The smart companies are realizing that the leadership that got them to their recent success is not going to be effective in the new conditions. These companies are also realizing that their leadership development models are out of date. So, they are investing in developing a new cadre of leaders often in the face of resistance from older executives and fading business models.
While not all of them will survive, I would bet on a company that understands that new leadership and new leadership development paradigms are essential for survival.
Are you willing to embrace new leadership development programs to survive?