In order to save time, money and build more capable leaders organisations need to avoid four common mistakes according to an article by McKinsey & Co. Studies sadly show that, despite the huge amounts of money spent on training, after 12 months only about 10% of the material covered is retained or put into action by the attendees.

According to their research, the four common mistakes to be avoided are:

1. Underestimating mind-sets – Becoming an effective leader often requires behaviour change. This often requires a change in the in the ‘mind-set’ that drives the behaviour, i.e. the beliefs and attitude that keep certain behaviours entrenched. Development that incorporates personality assessment goes a long way to opening the individual’s eyes to their preferred ways of being. Effective behaviour change solutions require a means to practice new behaviours consistently in the workplace. Smart technology solutions such as the QOPD ‘Talent Enabler’ use the latest thinking in neuroscience to help people to transfer & embed new behaviours to their workplace, thereby, creating sustainable change and ROI on training investment

2. Overlooking the context of the development – The assumption that ‘one size fits all’ and that the same skills sets will be effective regardless of culture, economic climate or the organisational strategy. Therefore, the question to ask when planning a development programme is: “What is this programme wanting to achieve? How do we want these individuals to behave following the programme in this particular context?”

3. Putting the new skills to work – Most people learn by doing. So how can the organisation provide opportunities for delegates to apply their knowledge to address high priority needs? E.g. accelerating a new project launch or developing a new digital marketing strategy.

4. Failing to measure the results & ROI – Organisations often run leadership development programmes with no useful metrics in place at the start of the programme and therefore cannot get sound ROI data. Solutions would include:
Using robust 360 feedback measures. However, many 360s are too light weight and do not provide valuable data. 360 feedback systems need to be carefully chosen and probably customised to get the best results. QOPD Strengths & Gaps 360 is a robust 360 process which provides comparative pre and post 360 reports.
Monitoring career development of the leaders for a few years after the training
Measuring changes in employee engagement resulting from the changes in the leadership behaviours being displayed.
Monitoring the business impact, e.g. increased productivity pre- and post-training.By being reminded of these ‘Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’, organisations can put specific processes in place that will significantly increase their return of on investment of leadership development interventions.