Ask any group of leaders how they learned to lead and they will tell you it wasn’t in the classroom – it was on-the-job in trial-by-fire experiences. Yet learning strategies for leaders and for others often still focus – in reality – on courses.
This has built a huge and costly infrastructure that is rapidly out of date. Organisations need a new architecture of learning – less bureaucratic, less costly and more effective. A number of simple improvements can help. We have identified three of the most critical things needed for this new architecture to be in place, that are typically weak in even the best organisations, and that Ci can help create in our role as a research and development partner.
1. Create an experience map for your organisation and put it online so that emerging leaders can record past experiences and plan their future. Experience mapping shows them a range of powerful learning experiences and competencies these can help develop, mapped to grade/role/potential.The map is derived from Ci interviews with leaders.
Then make the map available for use in development and succession plans, PDPs and mentoring or coaching conversations.
2. Help managers boost the quality of their conversations about development, using the map. Then measure the quality, not just the number of PDP forms completed, for example using a simple conversation feedback tool. The experience mapping data can be used as a catalyst for change, enabling every leader to identify ‘conversation gaps’ and providing hints & tips to help people plan career/development discussions.
3. Support individuals at career transition points, for example helping them assess their Career Agility before taking on a stretch assignment. This diagnostic tool – the CareerPulse™ Healthcheck – helps them prepare for mission-critical roles, reduce their risk of derailment, get the most from their next role and advance their career.
- Degree and type of ‘stretch’
- Clarity of task goals
- Clarity of career goals
- Management and network support
- Habits of reflection
What are the benefits?
- A stronger leadership pipeline, at lower cost
- Engagement and retention through career development
- A more sustainable, future-focused performance culture
- Organisational data to refine support for real-time learning
- Reduce the risk of costly failure in critical roles