Building The Leadership Factory

Building The Leadership Factory
Rahul Sethi
Leadership Coach and Trainer

Today’s globalised, cross border and high tech business environment allow for trade over a larger geographical area than ever before. Leaders of tomorrow will communicate not only on a business level but also on a humanistic level. At the same time, every organisation needs leadership development and leading from the front not only for senior leadership but throughout the organisation. In the new age organisations, not only people at higher positions are expected to work as a leader but everyone to ownership and full responsibility of themselves and people around them. It will become the driving force society and nation at large to do well along with the organisations. Companies want each employee to learn the skill of leadership and exhibits it professionally.

If organisations have to develop leaders at scale, what I call as ‘leadership factory’, it can’t be achieved by endlessly spending money on series of training programmes every year but through the following three approaches to leadership development.

1. Integrated developmental engagement:

Instead of just sending employees to a training programme and hope to bring a change. It should be accomplished as a comprehensive intervention through

a. Accessing the areas to be developed at an individual level

b. Upskilling (know-how) through self-paced learning modules

c. Re-skilling through simulation games and group workshops

d. Coaching to practice (show-how) and regularly measure to bring positive and permanent change

If one has to build a leadership factory, one size fits all will not work. It needs a combination of training and customised, one-on-one sessions. Coaching understands how the brain works and how individuals apply their learnings to bring about positive and permanent change. One of the most significant issues that leaders of today are facing is not of know-how, but how to apply the knowledge and make it an integral part of behavior.

Coaching can be the most cost-efficient tool for the development of individuals because of its magical outcome. Coaching aligns beliefs and tackles internal obstacles to change and learn in a very systematic manner. The structure of the coaching process is such that each step of the path can be measured both subjectively and objectively with the connection of KPIs to the learning process. In this way, companies can control the ROIs by measuring the results, leading to a cost-effective method on all sides.

Coaching programs that are designed by experienced professionals from the industry, who can inculcate desired qualities in people working there. The design of coaching techniques is based on the way the brain likes to learn and the necessary impulse to self-development. It in fact, not only assists individuals to learn more efficiently, but it also harmonises the employees together with the company’s direction regardless of roles, levels, and functions.

On the one hand, coaching brings a neutral view to the table, and on the other hand, entire engagement can be customised for each individual and organization’s requirements. Such organizations where people working across departments exhibit great leadership ability do well overall.

2. Culture of coaching:

As per article, 70% of change efforts fail because they don’t pay attention to the people side. So how can companies ensure employees perform to their best abilities in a highly diverse and ever-changing arena and pull in better business results? It can be achieved by building the culture of coaching, where employees are not hesitating to consult with the coach to develop self and others. The key to all that we do in life, whether business or personal, is communication. Leaders of tomorrow will be expected to lead more with informal authority and influence.

Learning how the brain works, how the brain learns as well as applying an integrated and holistic approach to development will not only enrichen individuals in the workplace but also enhance business relations across stakeholders.

As per article, Effective leaders must recognize that results they achieve are through working with people around them. It could be their direct team members, cross-functional, or external stakeholders. Organisations of tomorrow will need leaders to learn for themselves how to coach and be coached, continuously develop self and others in the team.

The culture of coaching builds active constructive engagement and promote knowledge transfer and collaboration across the organisation.

Culture of coaching can move organisations from hiring a coach for their executives to triple play coaching impact where scope expands from an employee getting the coach to his team and the organisation at large. Organizations of the future can no longer be dependent on coaches to come and support leaders and managers. It has to incorporate coaching as crucial leadership and management practice as part of their leadership philosophy. This shift would build pan organisation accountability and have a positive and permanent impact on how leaders and managers engage, develop, lead, and manage their people.

3. Embrace technology for new learning practices across the organisation.

By 2020, it is estimated that over 50 percent of the workforce will be Millennials. They and the following generations are very tech-savvy and, therefore, organisations need to adopt technology as part of the learning process. As Microsoft recently said, digital transformation is a cultural shift, not a technology problem.

As per the recent Forbes article, some Apps allow for self-coaching anywhere anytime and use of technology (Bots) to ask yourself the right questions, especially for people who are too conscious of the presence of another individual in the critical developmental area. Coaching via Skype is pretty mainstream nowadays, enabling coaching to happen at a distance and, often, at a lower cost. Research has demonstrated that coaching is as effective virtually as it is face-to-face.

Augmented and virtual reality can play a dominant role in the learning session, especially to the individuals or teams having visualisation problem or feels coaching techniques involving mindful meditation is not for them. It also helps the coaching session to become more engaging for millennials.

This article has also published on LinkedIn

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