Why do leadership development programmes fail?

PageLines- NoticetheElephantintheroom.jpgWhy do Leadership Development Programmes Fail? 

According to a report by Pierre Gurdjian, Thomas Halbeisen and Kevin Lane and released by McKinsey this month (January 2014) four reasons are given: Overlooking context; Decoupling reflection from real work; Underestimating mindsets; Failing to measure results.

Will this evidence be yet another elephant in the room that’s overlooked, or will organizations take action?

  1. Overlooking context
    • Context is a critical component of successful leadership – don’t we know this?
  2. Decoupling reflection from real work
    • Adults typically retain 10% of what they hear versus two-thirds when they learn by doing
  3. Underestimating mindsets
    • Effective leader(ship) often requires a change in behaviour – often shirked in development programmes
  4. Failing to measure results
    • No evidence to quantify a return on investment

The report states that US companies spend $14 billion annually on leadership development yet only 7% of senior managers polled think that companies develop global leaders effectively.

Reed’s who are involved in international recruitment found that 96% of employers would rather recruit someone with the desired mindset yet lacks the skill set. This reinforces the message from the McKinsey report that the right attitudes and behaviours are crucial for success – and it’s critical not just in leadership development.

Is it time to face the facts?

If we are going to change behaviours we have to address some of those areas that a majority of training/learning providers (internally or externally) avoid – those underlying beliefs and attitudes that drive behaviours. We need to develop people who have a ‘can do’ mind with winning mindsets. People that are capable of operating in different contexts, know how to inspire, engage and empower and are not afraid to address some of those current practices which generate behavioural waste leading to under performance and a stagnating businesses.

Read the full report Leadership Development here: McKinsey 


Do you want your leadership development programmes to accelerate your performance?

Mind Fit is the prequel to training in that it solves the people problems of the 21st century and provides a solid foundation for personal development and business growth.  Contact us to discuss your specific context. 


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