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Blog : Purple: How to...develop leaders at all levels


Purple: How to...develop leaders at all levels

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Not only has research shown that 73% of business leaders believe they achieve their goals sooner if they’ve had development, Bersin has reported that high performing organisations that invest in leadership development generate nearly 60% of improved business growth. So just imagine the impact of developing all employees in certain leadership skills - such as decision making, time management and communication - could have on the success of individual, team and organisation?

‘Leaders at all levels’ enables the entire workforce to develop some leadership skills regardless of whether they plan to become a leader in the traditional sense, or not. By increasing leadership capability, not only will there be less conflict and ambiguity, there will be greater engagement, productivity, people will be continually challenged; enabling them to drive their own progress and potential. Makes complete sense yet organisations still aren’t doing it. Maybe the ‘knowledge-is-power’ cohort are afraid of letting go? Or perhaps it’s a big task that isn’t tackled because there are ‘other priorities’?

There are a number of methods to drive this culture of leadership learning in your business; though it’s important to remember that delivery methods should be varied, ensuring the right fit for individual and organisation. Here are our top three tips:

1. Make learning and development accessible
Developing your people doesn’t need to break the bank. There are many low/no cost learning tools such as reading books and journals, eLearning, providing in-house libraries and short, snappy ‘knowledge’ sessions, webcasts, job swaps and secondments work as well as, if not better than, classroom based sessions, as found in a report byWhat Works Centre for Local Economic Growth (2014). You could have an internal intranet or learning hub, like Talent Toolbox: Wiki, which provides an area for people to access learning resources and share their own. The vital thing is not to prescribe the learning. Whilst there will be certain things everyone will need for example during on boarding, individuals should be able to acquire the skills and knowledge they need as and when they need it, with no limits – imagine the potential that could uncover!


2. Review progress regularly
Talk about learning on a regular basis; whether that’s one to one or as a group. Encourage everyone to drive their aspirations, establish goals and identify the development that they need to help achieve. This makes people responsible for their desired outcomes; whilst also allowing them to track progress, impact and contribution. . This will encourages higher levels of responsibility sand support for others, leading to greater engagement.

3. Mentoring and coaching
These useful support tools allow individuals to talk through challenges with a trained coach or mentor who is often more senior and experienced. Not only does it help find resolutions, it can provide ample opportunity to learn detailed industry knowledge, discuss career aspirations and progress, bounce ideas and even adopt useful mentoring / coaching behaviours.

Growing leaders at all levels will have a positive impact on your organisation, creating clear communication within and enabling your people to handle situations, reducing conflict and the need for intervention.  For more information contact sally@purplecubed.com.

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