Having a great leadership programme ensures that the leaders who complete your programme actually become better leaders who are able to drive team and business performance. And that long after the programme has ended, they can continue to sustain their learning so that the business continues to experience the value of the investment in the programme.
So, how do you take your leadership programme from good to great? Well, you need to give your leaders on the programme more than they expected.
More than just excellent content.
More than just a great experience.
To maximise the impact of your leadership programme, I recommend that you incorporate these 4 key elements.
A network they can lean on
Your leaders need a trusted network that they can turn to for support. This would be a group of people that they could learn with and learn from.
It is generally assumed that the people who are on the programme will create this network. While it is true that a network is created during internal programmes, the learning within this type of network can be limited. The reason for this is that there may not be enough diversity within this network.
Leaders need a diversity of industry, location, job functions, subject matter expertise amongst others. This is very difficult to curate in a network internal to your business.
Instead, to maximise the impact of your leadership programme, create a wider, extended network incorporating leaders both from within your organisation and leaders from outside of your organisation, or enable your leaders to access one that already exists.
A facilitator they can count on
The relationship between your leaders and the facilitator is a critical success factor to the effectiveness of your leadership programmes.
Your leaders need a facilitator thathas the right level of subject matter expertise. And It’s important that the facilitator understands how to facilitate courageous and engaging conversations, and serves your leaders as a trusted advisor and resource throughout their programme.
To maximise the impact of your leadership programme, find a facilitator that meets your leaders where they are at, and who is able to walk alongside them through their learning.
A platform to engage freely
It’s often said that most learning happens outside of the classroom – meaning, outside of formal learning events. In a traditional setting this could happen on lunch breaks, after class or during practical assignment implementation.
To capture this type of learning and to catalogue these conversations for the benefits of the wider network, you should provide your leaders with a platform that they can engage with each other. This could be a Slack channel, a Facebook group or even a Whatsapp group.
To maximise the impact of your leadership programme, choose a platform that your leaders can have “on the go” or “in their pocket” so that they can access this knowledge bank easily.
A leader to be their champion
For leaders to implement their learning from a training programme into the workplace, they need a working environment that is conducive to allowing them to experiment and implement new ways of working.
One way to create this enabling environment for your leaders is to provide them with a workplace mentor. A leader, in a Senior position, who is able to influence others. This person becomes the leader’s champion: someone who guides, supports and motivates them to achieve their goals.
To maximise the impact of your leadership programme, assign your leaders with a mentor to help pave the way for them to put their learning into action.
How can you apply this learning?
To come back to the question we started with: What makes a great leadership programme? The answer is simply that a great leadership programme is one that never ends.
If you apply these learnings, then long after the programme has ended, your delegates will still have retained these key resources: a network they can lean on, a facilitator they can count on, an accessible knowledge bank and workplace mentor.
These resources and relationships will continue to serve your leaders into the future as they further develop in their careers.
Learn more about the Leadership Masterclass Collection. This corporate membership gives you the ability to share ready-to-use leadership masterclasses with your leaders, and gives them access to weekly webinars where they can learn alongside leaders from their fellow member companies. Click here to learn more.