Leadership development has been a said priority for most organizations. However, more often than not, this commitment is just on paper. Let us quickly look at some facts. According to a study by Brandon Hall, 83% organizations say that it is important to develop leadership at all levels. However, a mere 5% have actually implemented it at all levels. Even where implemented, there are significant challenges in place. At the same time, the nature of leadership development and the role of a leader in an organization is fast changing. In such a scenario, conventional leadership development practices following a hierarchical model may not be the best solution for organizational success. There is an urgent need to reinvent the wheel and embrace leadership development with behavioural change agents.
Challenges in leadership development today
To reinvent the wheel, it is important to understand the challenges and gaps in the existing leadership development practices. To begin with, most leadership development practices have a one size fits all approach which seldom take into the different personality types that potential leaders possess. Invariably, the effectiveness is low because it is not customized to the needs of the learners. Generally, it becomes more of a tick in the box than effective leadership development.
Secondly, most organizations rely upon age old learning management systems which further dilute the leadership development. The entire focus is on theoretical learning and teaching with little or no exposure to practical application and coaching. Subsequently, this results in breeding ineffective leaders who are unable to drive confidence in their teams and command respect and credibility.
Leadership development with behavior nudges
The main challenge as identified above is that conventional leadership development practices are rudimentary and superficial. For effective leadership development, organizations need to leverage behavioural change agents which can adapt to the personality of upcoming leaders and subtly promote the right behaviour and practices.
The idea is to switch to solutions which focus on personalized leadership development with behavioural nudges. Put simply, this involves calibrating the best leadership practices to match the professional goals as well as strengths and weaknesses of the individual. Following this personalization, individuals gradually receive soft nudges to alter their behaviour in a way that will promote both their professional development and wellbeing as well as leadership capabilities.
Such nudges are often found on platforms like SuperBeings and are based on people sciences and analytics. Their focus is not only short term leadership abilities, but rather, long term holistic transformation based on habit building. Invariably, they offer bite sized coaching nudges to enable prospective leaders form productive habits and work smarter, and in the way augment their leadership potential.
Thus, organizations today need to break out of the conventional practices that are yielding ineffective leaders to adopt new age practices which work on the individual leadership fabric. The approach should not be bombarding the prospective leaders with best industry practices and expect them to absorb them instantly. Rather, give them time and the right tools to transform the way they work, live and lead.