Strategic Approach to Leadership Development

I have had the pleasure and privilege of supporting a number of organisations over the years to develop and implement leadership programs.  I have also observed organisations burn vital but scarce capability development budget dollars because they did not know how to take a strategic approach to this vital work.  I have found the work of Professor Ron Cacioppi to be of assistance.

In his work, “An integrated model and approach for the design of effective leadership development programs”[1] he identifies seven points for an “integrated approach to leadership development planning”.  These are:

  1. Link to strategic imperatives of the organisation
  2. Set objectives for development relevant to the participants and the strategic imperatives
  3. Identify appropriate methods
  4. Select providers and design specific learning program
  5. Evaluation of the program delivery and effectiveness
  6. Integrate with human resource management systems
  7. Overall assessment of the value of program broad objectives and program philosophy

The model identifies a further 8 elements of an effective individual leadership development experience.  These include things such as; improved self-knowledge and self worth, and, action learning, testing behaviours and ideas in action. 

Best practice development[2] informs us that the quality of any learning activity is only a part of determining the effectiveness of the development program.  Well designed learning activities can deliver an ordinary, or no result for the organisation, while a learning activity of an ordinary design can deliver outstanding results for these parties.  The difference lies in the application of good practice, in particular by the participant’s line manager.

If you would like to discuss the above or any other aspect of optimising the impact of your leadership development program, please contact us here at OCS.

[1] Ron Cacioppe, Graduate School of Business, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia. Published January 1998, Leadership and Organization Development Journal. 

[2] Brinkerhoff, Robert, O. The Success Case Method. 2003. Berrett-Kohler Publishers, Inc.