The Crisis in Leadership Development

With hundreds of classes and programs by hundreds of organizations offering many types of management and leadership training formally and informally, classroom and online, you wouldn’t think we would be in a crisis.  With US$15 Billion spent annually on leadership development, it doesn’t appear to be hurting.  Looks can be deceiving.  Just look at some of these statistics:

According to PWC, 81% of CEOs rate Leadership Development programs as less than highly effective.

According to the Corporate Executive Board, 63% of senior leaders lack the required abilities to achieve critical results today.

According to i4cp, only 32% of mid-managers exhibit behaviors consistent with the global capabilities their organizations deem most important.  And 87% DO NOT formally measure the impact of leadership development performance!

Research just conducted this spring, 2015, by Advance Learning Group for the ATD International Conference and Exhibition both confirms these figures and adds to them.   Some quick findings:

  • Mid-level managers are one of the biggest needs
  • There are no 1 or 2 key measures of leadership development success
  • Formal programs are preferred but these are not the way incumbents learned

These results all point to one thing: Leadership Development is in crisis today.  We aren’t training the right way, people aren’t transferring or retaining the knowledge, and rarely is leadership development measured and evaluated, especially in a meaningful way to senior executives.

There are many ways we can help resolve this crisis, but the first and foremost is to measure, evaluate, and share results.  I’ll be sharing more data from these studies in the future in blog posts, white papers, and journal articles.  In the meantime, let’s end this crisis now through proper measurement, application and transfer of skills learned.

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About hprager

Father, husband, brother and son. Delighted to be friends and mentor to so many wonderful people. Passionate about: leadership, learning and development, education, nature and the environment, youth, music, jazz, the tuba, Israeli dancing, networking and helping others, humor, laughter, swimming, hiking, the Cubs, Northwestern athletics, theater, musicals, concerts, traveling and making new friends wherever I go. Helping the world be a better place when I leave it.
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