21.01.2021 15:27:37
26.11.2020500 Words

The importance of Leadership Development in times of crisis

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It is widely observed that in times of crisis, Leadership Development (LD) activities are often one of the first things to be struck off a company’s budget sheet, regardless of the fact that skills and leadership development are vital to its survival.

‘Never let a good crisis go to waste!’

– Winston Churchill

Unexpected events, such as Covid-19, require organisations to adapt their focus in a fast-paced environment. In 2020 we have already seen unprecedented changes to existing business models, customer behaviours and leadership. At CLP our challenge has been to show how Leadership Development does remain valid despite these challenging times.

Our reasoning is that the human capital, just like financial capital, is a resource for the company to perform, to grow, but also to survive during challenging times. Employees, just like financial capital that your organisation would invest to sustain and grow the business, participate in strengthening the organisation through their engagement, their entrepreneurial mindset, the agility of their work and their loyalty. The message your organisation sends when cutting Leadership Development activities in times of crisis, could be that investing in them doesn’t provide immediate returns, and can lead to misinterpretation that their work is not valued, or that their development is not associated with organisational success.

That’s tough. Especially when you need to gather people around a common goal, in a time where psychological health is challenged, and where people’s creativity is actually your best source of agility and innovation.

That is why we have launched SHAPE, to help LD teams to react proactively to the changing business environment and rebuild their learning roadmap, without breaking your organisation’s bank account. It creates a new mandate for their key LD activities within their organisation by considering new learning needs and dramatic changes to budget.

SHAPE consists of a series of interactive virtual workshops where LD professionals will be guided through our ambidextrous approach in close relationship with key stakeholders and internal decision makers. The result is a set of alternative LD roadmaps that promote essential issues using disciplined financing and efficient learning methods.

These workshops give Human Resources and Development (HRD) teams a viable alternative to simply cutting costs by using our dual approach to create Leadership Development crisis plans that don’t need to wait for a crisis to be put into action.

The workshops guide the whole LD team through the SHAPE approach, creating opportunities for preparation, self-work and implementation.

At CLP we believe in building virtual development experiences that empower LD teams and enable change. Our unique value proposition lies in relevant, curated content that is highly interactive on multiple levels with the help of innovative technology and tools: be it high-end conference calling systems with premium features, online creative spaces where teams can interact on the same screen, or even simulations to visualise change.

Understanding Change and how it impacts a business is still vital for survival, especially when things such as business strengths, challenges, lessons learning, blocking points and windows of opportunity need to be understood in order to negate them adversely impacting the business. That is why retaining a LD programme within an organisation is needed to ensure long-term business survival.

Our SHAPE programme re-adapts Leadership Development to being more virtual friendly and stops it being disrupted or removed from a company’s DNA.

But what does the two-day SHAPE Leadership Development programme consist of?

Create – those attending will create an alternative set of piloted and tested LD roadmaps for their individual business

Analyse – the current LD landscape will be analysed to identify influencers such as corporate strategy, LD trends, LD future scenarios and learning needs.

Hack – all those attending will hack and dissect the future of LD landscapes.

Pilot – first measure will be established in iterative feedback cycles.

Work – with a Design Thinking approach all participants will stay close to their business needs.

By so doing, our existing clients have been able to let their existing learning and development landscape evolve from more face-to-face and pre-COVID-times approaches to virtual, agile programmes without denaturing their essence: see it as a form of programme upcycling, taking into consideration new challenges while preserving the DNA of what the development programme stands for.

So, if you’re interested in Shaping your LD and rebuilding your learning roadmap, please click here. We also meet every week on Thursdays, for a coffee and HRD insights during one of our Prime Time sessions – make sure to register and to take the conversation further!

Dr. Marcus Gottschalk

Marcus Gottschalk

CLP periodically publishes 500 words that reflect our experiences, research and thought leadership. Download your PDF version here.

These 500 words on Leadership Development are for all leaders and managers who are interested in supporting their people through challenging times. Click here to view more.

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