If you want your business to succeed in the long term, cultivating the next generation of leaders is essential. For companies with 50 to 200 employees, a well-designed Emerging Leaders Program can be a game-changer. But what sets apart an average program from a truly great one? Let’s dive into the main differentiators.
- Customisation and Flexibility: One size rarely fits all, and that’s especially true for emerging leaders. Does your program offer tailored development plans to cater to individual strengths and weaknesses? Is it adaptable to changing business needs and changing business leaders? Flexibility is a hallmark of a great program. A feature of the program at Developing Leaders is the additional reading integrated into the program. Selected texts are agreed with the leadership team before the program starts, reflecting current trends, essential focus points and leadership team preference.
- Clear Starting Point. There is no point diving right into an Emerging Leaders Program without knowing the current skill level of each participant. This is where a comprehensive leadership assessment is vital. The Velocity Leadership checkpoint provides just that – ensuring both facilitators and participants know current strengths and development areas. This allows participants to begin focussed development early, and allows facilitators and coaches to adapt and adjust content to meet current needs.
- Clear Objectives: Great programs have well-defined objectives. Do your participants know what’s expected of them, and are these expectations aligned with the company’s strategic goals? In addition, are the individuals goals in alignment with what their managers / leadership team expect? A great Emerging Leaders Program integrates the needs of the individual with the needs of the business and business leaders, providing a feedback loop for all three
- Leadership Team Integration: A key differentiator between an average and a great program is the quality of mentorship, coaching and communication provided in conjunction with the businesses leadership team. Does your program provide executive summaries and short training videos for the Managers of an Emerging Leaders Program? Are questions and developing activities integrated to include the leadership team in the process? If not, you risk separating a key business relationship and sending the two groups in different learning directions.
- Practical Skill Development: Beyond leadership knowledge, emerging leaders programs need to develop a broad set of practical leadership skills. Leadership models and ideas need to be transferred to practical applications that can be applied in a learning and real setting, applied and challenged in real life situations, with feedback and reflection encouraged and shared with others.
- Feedback Loops: Great programs facilitate regular feedback and performance evaluations, as well as shared knowledge from outside the program. In adapting an old African proverb, ‘it takes a village to raise a leader’. Emerging leaders Programs should not develop leaders in isolation, it should be in conjunction with current leadership groups and teams, sharing skills and knowledge through the process. Is your program structured to help participants integrate their improvement and communicate it with their team? Is the leadership team of the business involved in the process throughout the program (not just at completion)? Including the leadership team in the additional reading component of the Developing Leaders program encourages additional discussion between participants and their Managers.
- Cultural Integration: A strong company culture is a powerful asset. Great programs ensure that emerging leaders understand and embody the company’s values and culture, and can integrate new learning to fit within cultural behaviours. It also encourages participants to challenge their own behaviours and cultural norms and accept responsibility for their actions and making change.
- Transparency and Questioning: Are the program’s inner workings transparent to all participants? Do the participants understand why certain components are being taught and integrated? Can participants challenge the learning being provided and question its intent? Participants should be engaged in their own learning process and understand the purpose of content and its practical applications. A key skill of a leader is to be able to question effectively and challenge the status quo. These skills should be developed and encouraged within an Emerging Leaders Program. This requires not only knowledgeable facilitators, but ones that are willing to be challenged themselves and learn with participants.
- Cost Effective and Quantifiable ROI: Efficiency matters. A great program maximizes the value delivered within the allocated budget and demonstrates its worth through a clear return on investment. It should enhance productivity, employee satisfaction, and profitability.
Now, the big question is, does your Emerging Leaders Program encompass these differentiating factors, or is it merely average? Evaluating and improving your program in line with these principles can make the difference between nurturing competent leaders and fostering exceptional ones. After all, leadership development isn’t just about the future; it’s about the present, too.
Developing Leaders can develop a great Emerging Leaders Program to fit for your unique business right now. For an obligation free discussion on how a program can be applied and adapted to suit your needs, follow the Calendly link on the Emerging Leaders Program, or enter your details on the page for us to get back to you!