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Leadership Development

A Discussion Paper

Leadership Development

Successful leadership development programs take account of the organisation's context, the needs and aspirations of the leaders and the latest leadership research. The aim of the development is to support leaders in gaining the qualities and skills that will distinguish the individual and organisation from their competitors.

Typically effective programs have several components.

Leadership Development Program

Right Arrow Agree

1. Leadership Model
    (desired capability)
2. Key needs
3. Development
    program and

Right Arrow Complete core

1. Leadership Assessment
2. Professional
    Development Plan

Right Arrow Complete agreed

Scenario planning
Individual projects
Internal/external projects
Expert mentoring
Tailored workshops
Acting positions
Formal study
Special events
Right Arrow Integration

1. Development goals linked to
    performance management system
2. Reinforcement activities/events
3. Progress reviewed regularly
4. Mentoring support
5. Re-assessment

Right Arrow Evaluation

1. At the end of each phase
    and event
2. Process, content, output
    and impact based
3. Multiple perspectives

Reviewing the Context
Initially, it is important to explore the current and future opportunities and challenges facing your organisation and the implications that these have for your organisation's leaders.

The business would be explored from a range of perspectives (a Balanced Perspective), such as customer, financial, process, people, social and environmental. This exploration would involve thinking about how your organisation wishes to look in the future, in terms of:

  • current and future products and services
  • areas of growth and contraction
  • acquisitions and sales of businesses
  • desired position in the global market/against competitors
  • desired organisation and image
  • impact of technology
  • changing work-force, people and values
  • global leadership trends.

Key stakeholders will be involved in this assessment and agreeing the approach to deliver the desired outcomes. Commitment and relevance is therefore built into the Leadership Development Program from the beginning.

Agreeing Leadership Model and Needs
The conclusions from the Reviewing the Context phase help create a model of the leadership qualities and capabilities (Leadership Model) required for your organisation to thrive in the future. A profile of the current and desired capabilities is produced, with key needs identified and agreed with senior managers.

Move on to next section of this article Leadership Development Program.


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