Leadership Training

Leadership Training 3.0

Fulcrum Labs
116 posts

What is up with leadership training?

On one hand, CEOs largely agree that leadership training is “critical” to the health of their businesses. In fact, according to recent research, CEOs are incredibly worried about the leaders they’ll need to drive enterprise success and for many organizations, leadership training and development is the #1 priority.

But despite what appears to be solid buy-in from the top and an investment of more than $14 billion annually on leadership training, only 14% of CEOs say they have the talent they need to execute their business strategies.

Additionally, the people who are actually working in leadership positions don’t feel fully supported:

  • 47% of managers say they don’t receive any training when they take a new leadership role
  • 98% of managers believe they need more training to deal effectively with “important issues such as professional development, conflict resolution, employee turnover, time management and project management.”

According to the Brandon Hall Group:

“More money is spent on leadership development than any other area of corporate training, yet 71% of organizations do not feel their leaders are able to lead their organization into the future.”

The Leadership Training Disconnect

So what’s going on here? Where’s the disconnect between the investment on leadership training and its outcomes?

We think a lot of it comes down to the way that leadership training is delivered.  For example:

  • We know that a lot of it is delivered via in-person seminars that cram a lot of ideas and practices into a 2-3 day session. Research tells us how ineffective this method of learning is for long-term knowledge retention and behavior change.
  • We also know that when leadership training is conducted online, it’s often in a one-size-fits-all framework without a lot of nuance for managerial context or experience. According to a McKinsey report, one of the key reasons that leadership training fails is that it isn’t individualized to the needs and set of circumstances a leader/manager will face in their actual role. (Read more about why this is important for adult learners here.)
  • And finally, we know that most of today’s leadership training programs don’t capitalize on all we’ve learned from research about how our brains learn and form new habits – specifically, how critical practice is to helping us retain and apply new learning accurately and effectively.

But the problems aren’t just with delivery, they’re also with organizational expectations.

For example, one thing we hear a lot (especially from companies where leadership training is not mandated) is that they want to offer it in a way that’s easy for their learners to consume. They view their role as content curators, and anything employees are engaging with in this voluntary system is just gravy. We totally get that. And if the goal is simply to provide learning resources, then it works. But if the expectation is to increase the value and benefits (for both the learner and the company) from leadership training, then it won’t fit the bill.

For companies that want to enact real change and develop strong leaders, training measurement and analysis is critical. How else will they understand if their leadership training programs are working, if they need to tweak content for efficacy or if their people are ready to take what they’ve learned and apply it?

The Fulcrum Adaptive 3.0 learning platform helps organizations overcome both of the issues laid out above. First of all, its AI is able to personalize the learning to the needs of each individual in real time. Making it much more effective at teaching learners what they need to know for their particular leadership contexts and experience levels.

Secondly, the Fulcrum approach is all about practice. Learners work toward mastery, practicing the content and skills so they’re ready to accurately apply them on the job. The platform builds skills habits, not something that’s just forgotten as soon as the training is over. It also allows companies to verify what people learned and didn’t learn and to what degree. But even if they don’t care about verifying mastery and predicting who will use these skills on the job from the platform’s data analytics dashboard, Practice is about more than that.

Practice is about turning a passive learning experience into an active one. It’s about engaging their mind to retrieve and put to use knowledge they consumed, which increases retention. Practice is about boosting someone’s confidence. Metaphorically, they get to see their shot actually go into the basket… maybe not on the first shot but after a few attempts. And that’s powerful.

And finally, for companies that currently have no interest in assessing what their people learned in leadership and development training, we say that’s ok. Because with Fulcrum, if they ever change their minds, they’ll have access to that data, as well as a much greater sense of how well their content is actually working. It’s like an insurance policy that’s waiting for the day when they need to delve more deeply into leadership training and development. 

If your company is experiencing a disconnect between your investment in leadership and development training and the outcomes you’re experiencing from it, then let’s connect. We’ll show you how our Adaptive 3.0 Learning platform can help your organization effectively develop the leaders and managers you need to execute your business’ strategies and goals.