It is an irrefutable fact – leadership excellence and organisational success are closely linked.
Globally, forward-looking businesses are seeking out solutions to aid the growth and creation of both the organisational bench strength and the personal development of individuals within leadership teams. In support of this objective, many organisations establish robust Learning and Development Departments (L&D), whose core objective is to build the ability of the human capital within the organisation. These departments not only represent the organisational commitment to learning but also provide in-house niche programmes.
More often than not, however, there comes a time when L&D, and the greater organisation, require consultation with specialists to elevate these leadership programmes and ensure that the organisational strategy and leadership strategy are aligned. In these situations, most organisation seek out development consultants to partner alongside them and their teams with the hope that the additional input and contribution from these consultants will leave a lasting impact on the business.
The right leadership partner will ask in-depth and pointed questions as to the intent of the development programme, align this to your organisational strategy and make the process of creating your leadership programme both meaningful and impactful.
This process and the invitation to include external experts when needed seems to be ‘obvious’, particularly when organisations are invested in developing their people.
So why then, do so many leadership development initiatives fail to deliver organisational objectives?
Leadership development programmes, and by extension, the expert consultants that deliver them, are often described as being ineffective thanks to a lack of sustainable results over the long term. This creates a conundrum – if organisations see the need for partnering with experts and if the experts are indeed experts, why are the results so often underwhelming. The answer lies within a simple maxim – organisations cannot fully outsource the responsibility of leadership development.
The growth of a team or individual within the organisation will only be effective if their leadership:
- Take full ownership of the process;
- Remain invested and
- Are clear as to the objectives of such programmes.
Too often, organisations abdicate the responsibility of leadership development to appointed experts, without retaining any sense of ownership of the process.
It is almost impossible to build leadership strength within an organisation without its leaders taking true cognisance and investing real time in the process themselves. While consultants can offer the very best in leadership development within a programme, if individuals don’t have the opportunity to lead within their day-to-day work lives, no real change will occur. Individuals, regardless of their potential or current stage of leadership, take cues from their closest senior leaders and require boundaries, clarity, accountability and safety in order to truly thrive. Read more about the requirements of exemplary leaders here.
There is no doubt that leadership consultants will aid in unleashing the latent potential within organisations, but such interventions will only render successful results when the leadership of the business retain responsibility and ownership of the journey themselves. An excellent partner will ensure that this element of leadership development within the organisation is incorporated into the programme, making it a natural, easeful and impactful process.
Lockstep Case Study
Download our case study which explores how we partnered with a global organisation that was looking to develop its leadership bench strength.