What does leadership team development do?

June 28, 2023

Nigel Girling

Head of Professional Qualifications
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Sixty per cent of HR leaders believe that for an organization to achieve its goals, developing their leadership team’s effectiveness is key. To be high-performing, the strengths, skills, experiences, and perspectives of the team must be brought together effectively.

Like any other team, effectiveness and collaboration does not just happen. It requires work, investment, and focus to create and sustain – this is where leadership team development comes in.

So what does leadership team development do? The answer should be that it energizes the team, makes them a more effective force and enables them to work well together to take the organization towards its strategic goals.

But the precise answer is: ‘Whatever it’s been designed to do’. By that I mean that any programme to develop leaders must be specifically designed for that team to deliver outcomes and impacts for their distinct organization. Simply putting leaders through some form of development may or may not achieve some tangible benefits – it depends what the programme was designed to achieve.

To elaborate: sometimes organizations can view leadership development as either a sheep dip or perhaps as a tick in a box.

In the former, the leaders all receive the same development input regardless of their previous experience, training or performance – which therefore brings variable degrees of benefit according to their needs, but rarely delivers a great return on time invested.

In the latter, the content and design of the programme may not be considered in much depth at all, as the primary purpose is just to run a leadership development programme.

Neither is a great approach.

Leadership team development should be designed to make the difference that the organization needs by enabling the team them to become more cohesive, more aligned, more capable and more effective. To do that, the content, methodology and approach must be aligned with the specific needs of each individual leader, of the team as a unit, and the organization as a whole.

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