Leadership development refers to the process of increasing the ability of individuals to assume leadership roles within an organisation. These leadership roles help to execute an organisation’s strategy by building alignment, winning mindshare and increasing the capabilities of others. These leadership roles can be formal with the authority to make decisions and assume responsibility. Or they could be informal with limited authority.
Individual leaders development
Leadership development has traditionally focused on the ability to develop leadership skills and attitudes.
Learning in a classroom-style setting and the associated reading to develop leadership skills may be problematic due to possible confusion between doing what one knows and knowing what you should do.
7 Steps to create a Leadership Development Plan
To ensure your organisation has future leaders, a leadership development plan can be a valuable tool. A strong leadership development plan is essential for any organisation’s continued success and growth. A solid leadership development plan will outline the steps needed to identify and nurture your next generation of leaders.
1. Identify and assess talent
Some organisations have formal leadership development programs and talent pools that they can draw from to select the right talent for their leadership development plans. Some organisations don’t have formal talent assessment or identification procedures.
2. Get buy-in from key stakeholders
Leadership development plans often require more investment in the employee. It usually involves allocating a budget to ensure its success. Before proceeding, senior leadership would have to approve the budget. Prior to approving the budget, Senior Leadership might consider whether the plan is aligned with the organisation’s strategic goals. Senior Leadership might also be able to approve who is included in the leadership development plan.
3. Identify your leadership style
Potential leaders may have to follow a certain leadership style in an organisation. This could be determined by the company’s culture or business needs. A new style of leadership called transformational leadership is gaining popularity.
- Autocratic Authoritative
- Democratic Pacesetting
- Coaching Affiliate
- Laissez-faire Transformational
4. Determine the core leadership competencies
To develop a leadership development plan that is successful, it is crucial to identify the key leadership competencies required for the organisation’s future and current success. These competencies are the basis of the development plan. These competencies are essential for ensuring that the next generation leaders is ready to face current and future challenges.
5. Assess leadership competencies
The organisation must assess selected employees against the identified leadership competencies to understand the scope of the leadership development plan. This assessment will reveal the employee’s competency gaps. These gaps can then be used to determine and/or create the best developmental opportunities for the employee in order to fill those gaps.
6. Design the leadership development plan
To ensure that your employees are learning the right things, consult the Learning & Development experts in your company. To provide an environment conducive to learning, incorporate as many of these learning solutions below as you can.
- Micro-learning that you can self-pace – Similar to Google Grow and LinkedIn Learning.
- Complementary Leadership Mentoring – This type pairs potential leaders with those who have the skills they need.
- Job shadowing – This gives employees a real-life view of a job’s flow. This gives you the chance to meet key stakeholders and learn about the job’s challenges.
- Rotation of jobs – An employee takes on new roles for three to six months. Often, it is temporary.
- A professional development trainin session is usually 2-3 days offsite training to improve a skill or competency.
- Professional certifications – Employees might need to obtain and maintain professional certifications in order to be recognised by peers and perform certain tasks.
7. Continuous 360-degree leadership assessment
It is important to determine if your leadership program is effective and meets its goals. You need to be able to track the progress of your employees during and after a leadership development program.
A 360-degree assessment of leadership from key stakeholders is one way to do this. Employee engagement and continuous feedback are key to the plan’s success. Engaging during the process allows for the possibility to adjust the plan’s goals to reflect organisational changes. The employee is ultimately the leader that the company needs.
Make an investment in the future leaders of your organisation by developing leadership development plans. This will ensure that you have the skills and knowledge to identify and develop them in real time.
Leaders must not lose sight of their employees and the next generation of leaders who are ready to face the future challenges. While they may feel intimidated by the uncertainty of times, they also look forward to the opportunities that present themselves during times of crisis.