Leadership Development on a Shoestring

Always distribute scarce development resources in such a way that both the individuals being developed and their business partners reap the benefits. Individuals need to see how their personal development will help them in their own careers and have a positive impact on the rest of the organization.

Paying attention to the alignment of goals will ensure that the effects of an individual's leadership development are felt throughout the organization and acknowledged by others. This will make your development programs more efficient and give your employees a clearer sense of purpose for developing the skills they need to one day be leaders in your organization.

Sometimes conduct facilitated peer-learning groups. People often learn best by interacting with others who are facing similar challenges. Identify the major challenges employees face on a regular basis and establish a format for pulling groups of peers together. Have the groups explore best practices and find creative solutions.

Enabling leaders to share their experiences-both good and bad-can be a powerful learning exercise. Select specific management challenges and assign a seasoned executive to serve as a facilitator. Ask the people who are more skilled to coach and support those who are struggling.

Never ignore work done in past leadership development programs. If you can, always build off what has been done in the past. Don't shift from one approach to another. Employees will write off each new program as "program of the month" initiatives and you will never get the sustainable development you seek.

Mike Noble, managing partner at Camden Consulting Group, oversees all the firm's strategic business development activities and client engagements.

Read more about cio role in CIO's CIO Role Drilldown.

This story, "Leadership Development on a Shoestring" was originally published by CIO.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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