|LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMESIn a world that is rapidly changing, our approach to developing leaders has had to evolve to match these rapid shifts. It has meant several changes in the approach to leadership development, with initiatives now more agile in order to equip leaders real-time in addressing their emerging reality. Leaders are now faced with a digital economy and the significant role data and technology are beginning to play in how decisions are made – and they have to shape their organisations and workforces accordingly. Leaders need to operate flatter, more flexible management structures, where consistent innovation and stronger ownership for decision-making needs to be devolved to frontline leaders. And then there is the emergent millennial and multi-generational workforce, as well the acceleration of globalisation, while dealing with unique local challenges. Our approach to development is based on several principles that we utilise in customising programmes that either focus on teams, divisions, or segments in an organisation’s leadership structures. We also cascade leadership development programmes linked to significant organisational and cultural transformation initiatives. Our programmes (depicted in the diagram below) help different groups of leaders address their specific requirements in the broader organisational transformation. They apply a blended approach to learning, be it team coaching, action-based learning, or more formal learning programmes that integrate with cultural initiatives. Key is the ability to integrate the leadership transformation process and programmes, thus providing strong support to organisations as they evolve.
Our approach to cascading and integrating leadership developmentOur principles for designing and implementing leadership programmes are:
- Leaders need to go first – a critical success factor for leadership development is the engagement of the senior leadership team, and getting them to understand and embrace the shift in leadership behaviour that they are seeking.
- Leadership development needs to be co-created and ownership shared – leaders by default need to think and shape for themselves if they are to lead, not relying on the thinking of others. Ensuring that leaders partner in the design and development of their leadership programme with the right thought partners and expertise is fundamental.
- The key measure is a sustained shift in behaviour – we recognise that the behaviour of leaders is an important indicator in achieving the desired performance or shift in culture. Behaviour is a function of three things, namely attitude, competence and context. Our approach is to assist in defining and measuring these behaviours as an input to designing and tracking progress on our leadership interventions.
- Leadership development needs to be systemically integrated – another key element is ensuring that the leadership development process integrates with other elements that have an impact on behaviour. Due to MAC’s broader consulting ability and experience, we can assist in shaping and implementing some of those elements, or ensure that the initiative effectively integrates with what is already in place or being planned.
- Organisations are teams – we ensure that the work is done in particular with senior leaders in their functional teams. This supports entrenchment of behaviour, learning from the behaviour of others, and more importantly the in-situ experience of leading a team to deliver on the changes required by the changing environment and organisation. Teamwork allows for a more agile development process that can integrate and address leadership challenges real-time.