20.12.2018500 Words

Leadership Development – Review 2018

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These 500 words on Leadership Development is for all leaders and managers who are interested in supporting their people through challenging times.

“Twice and thrice over, as they say, good is it to repeat and review what is good.”


2018 has almost been and gone. As another year rolls around, at CLP we like to look back and see what 2018 delivered.

The dawn of 2018 saw many areas of leadership development being put out there as critical issues for companies to address to help them evolve and grow.

Talent retention and talent management has been high on the agenda especially as procedures and processes become more automated. Who is being hired and for what purpose has risen up the importance ladder as corporations have been desperate for educated, skilled and well-trained employees. But is that anything new?

According to a study done by LinkedIn, 27 percent of North American businesses were due to spend more on internal programmes this year than in 2017. One of the main areas of focus for training was management and leadership skills.

With our clients we have been focusing on systemic, design-thinking principles alongside a highly customised approach. It is important to pay special attention to ‘real-life’ situations to intellectually, emotionally and socially engage participants. Learning is a continual process that requires peer support and communication remains vital.

Understanding diversity across generations, culture and gender has come to the fore more so in 2018 than any other year. How has diversity sat with leadership? What have the perceptions been of leadership across different groups and whose job has it been to make decisions? We have seen the emergence of squad–based group dynamics within organisations giving further autonomy to ‘lower-ranking’ employees. How has this integrated with higher management? And finally, what types of organisations have supported gender balance?

To address these challenges we have developed a partner-approach designed to build tailor-made learning architectures within clients existing leadership development landscape. Leadership programmes have to be in line with the organisation’s strategy, culture and needs of specific groups.

Embracing technical skills is now imperative for any organisation and the rapid advancements in digitalization in 2018 has accelerated the relevance of technical skills. But has this been to the detriment of ‘softer skills’? Often a problem can arise in leadership when managers don’t receive training as they take on a new leadership role. Communication and delegation still need to remain high on any manager’s skillset wish list. As technical teams become more entrenched in all business types, the leadership development of these managers needs to remain as a priority to ensure there isn’t a loss in knowledge transfer.

“Multipliers invoke each person’s unique intelligence and create an atmosphere of genius—innovation, productive effort, and collective intelligence.”

Liz Wiseman

The Multiplier effect has had a profound impact on leadership development in 2018. Getting more done, with fewer resources, developing and attracting talent, and cultivating new ideas and energy have helped drive organisational change and innovation. Multipliers effectively, access and channel the intelligence, talent, and creativity of the people around them for the benefit and growth of their organisation.

Purpose has also been a ‘buzz’ word doing the rounds in leadership circles this year. What is the purpose of teams, customers or business? By defining this purpose and using is as a core strategic element of the development programme companies have inspired their teams, engaged their customers and transformed their business.

Lastly, we do not want to forget agility and agile way of working. While agility training, funnily enough, was condemned by few as having a too close meaning to popular ‘dog training’.

So that was the year that was 2018. Now we turn our thoughts to 2019. What will it bring, how will business evolve and where will the leadership trends lead to…who knows, but we’re excited to find out. Join us for the ride.

Dr Marcus Gottschalk


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