Leadership development is an ever-growing business imperative, yet some of the difficult questions I always asked as a practitioner included:

  • What does leadership development look like?
  • How do we measure it?
  • How do we know if it’s working?
  • What should a program include?

The Leadership Development panel at HCM Excellence 2015, moderated by Madeline Laurano, included speakers from Genentech, Capgemini, and CIBC. It was a powerful presentation by three speakers representing award-winning companies, and the insights the audience and I gleaned from the session were numerous.

Key Session Insights

What it means: Organizations need to look at internal development as not only a viable strategy, but a powerful one for changing organizational capabilities long term.

What it means: As Madeline mentioned in her comment, it’s critically important to include measurement and feedback loops into the leadership development processes. Without them, the long term success of the leadership development initiatives would be jeopardized.

What it means: Capgemini’s speaker shared his thoughts on the unspoken benefits of leadership development: improved networking among leaders, objective feedback from peers and participants, and learning the core pieces of how the business operates.

What it means: One of the key questions asked by the audience was “do people in your leadership development programs do this in a dedicated manner, or is it in addition to their day job?” The response from all three panelists was that the programs run parallel to other work duties–in other words, they don’t get a “pass” on the day job.

It’s important to understand that concept, because committing to a leadership development initiative doesn’t mean that the workload eases–in many cases it could drastically increase. However, the long term benefit of growing leaders is worth the effort and investment.

The session ran over with more than half a dozen questions from the audience about more specific areas of leadership development, including technology, holding participants accountable, and how to measure and reinforce the networking benefits of the programs.

Were any of the comments above specifically interesting for you? What are your key leadership development challenges?

Ben Eubanks

Ben Eubanks, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is an HR professional and industry influencer. His experience working as a leader in the human resources field has provided him with a broad range of experience encompassing smaller organizations, government contracting firms, and the nonprofit sector. He has hands-on experience with various HR disciplines, including recruiting, benefits, employee relations, and compensation.

Leave a comment