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Ross Beard

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Leadership training falls short of managers’ needs


Corporations always want to do more with less, but this is not cutting it when it comes to leadership training.

High-performance companies do not scrimp on their training budget to get the results they want. They spend four times more than their rivals, placing great value on innovative training for their leaders. As a result, high-performance companies get more for their money, spend smarter and outperform their competitors.

According to research by Deloitte, leadership programs ranked as a top priority and as important overall to organizations. The level of importance placed on leadership has reached a new high globally, with between 81% and 94% of respondents rating the trend as either important or very important, but the challenges are still huge.

Despite leadership being a top priority for a majority of global corporations, research shows only 7% of respondents believe they are excellent at building future leaders. The majority of corporate trainers have little confidence in their ability to deliver training to build tomorrow’s leaders. Something has to give.

The importance of leadership

According to Towards Maturity, “the essence of leadership does not change—but the tools available to support leadership development are evolving rapidly.”

Leadership is what drives organizational success or failure. Leaders inspire and engage their people to achieve better outcomes. According to the MindTools definition, based on transformational leadership principals, an effective leader:

  1. Creates an inspiring vision of the future
  2. Motivates and inspires engagement with that vision
  3. Manages delivery of the vision
  4. Coaches and builds a team so it has the tools to effectively achieve the vision

Corporate leadership programs miss the mark

With Towards Maturity’s research revealing that 7 in 10 learners use mobile devices to learn on the way to work and 50% use them after work and on weekends, corporate training misses the mark when it concentrates on a one-size-fits-all approach.

Only 39% of organizations offer mobile content, and only 20% build cross-platform solutions, despite the fact 3 in 5 learners finding classroom learning essential.

The biggest barriers to leaders’ learning is lack of time, with 65% of managers from the Towards Maturity Learning Audit Report revealing that 50% of their leaders were turning to self-paced learning online.

Even though training developers might understand learner needs, 45% are still biased towards face-to-face training and reluctant to change their ways. Further, 68% of organizations said they do not have the knowledge to change training models, and 37% feel they lack the skills to implement mobile learning technologies.

Simple solutions anyone can implement

As workforces change with a new generation of technically-savvy employees coming through, corporate training teams need not feel disempowered in the face of learner expectations. Many simple solutions are available for authoring high-quality content that meets learner needs on the run. 

You do not need a degree in IT to use authoring tools. Most are self-paced and directed to give the options needed to design the type of solutions your leaders need to learn.

You can offer flexible training through social media platforms, gamification and cross platform solutions. This may sound complex, but it is not. Look for authoring tools that help you bring organizational training alive, accessible and relevant.


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