High impact leadership development is a crucial component in the well-being and success of every organisation.  It ensures the smooth operation of every department and every team.  Good leadership development programmes make life better for all employees.

Leadership development is a significant problem faced by many organisations.  It is becoming increasingly difficult in modern workplaces to create sufficient opportunities for employee development, learning and growth.  It is even more difficult to create enough opportunities that are high quality and high impact.  As a result, ‘good enough’ has to do given the restraints of time, resource, and relevance.


6 Common Barriers to Leadership Development

1.      Budget won’t cover it all

It is simply just not possible for a company to provide sufficient funding or resources to deliver the amount of learning and development needed for effective leadership development to take place.  However, this development is absolutely necessary if customers, employees, shareholders, and other stakeholders are to be kept happy.

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2.      Managers are time poor

Managers and leaders often don’t have the time to attend training due to work pressures, especially programmes lasting longer than one day.  In fact, many participants want to benefit from the learning opportunity, but only if it could be delivered in less time. 

3.      Logistics are a nightmare

All Training Managers will know the challenges faced trying to get time poor managers to attend a training programme scheduled into their diaries.  It is difficult enough when the organisation is ‘single site’.  What about geographically dispersed organisations?  Or, even worse, multi-nationals?  Not only is it difficult to get these busy people away from their demanding jobs.  Costs explode when travel is involved – not just the costs of travel, but also the costs of valuable time away.

4.      Relevance

Look carefully at any in-depth training evaluations of leadership development programmes.  A key trend will tell you that each participants will only find certain aspects of the course relevant.  The rest of the programme challenges their ability to stay awake.  So, given all the time, resource and logistics pressures, participants sit through a full learning programme while only finding relevance in a small percentage.  It doesn’t add up, does it?

5.      Classroom vs Other Methods

How are your leadership development programmes designed?  Do you run a classroom based programme maybe with a diagnostic completed in advance of the training?  Perhaps there is a coaching session attached to the diagnostic so the person can be more focused on their own development needs.  This is time and resource intensive, yet e-learning has still to grab the imagination and engagement of many.  There are other ways, you know!

6.      Programmed into the company calendar

The leadership development programme is scheduled into the company calendar, because its timing is most frequently based on what suits the company and the trainer.  Every effort will be made to accommodate as many participants as possible.  However, it is impossible to suit everyone.   It is probably safe to say that the timing will always be wrong for the majority of participants.

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