Replay and Fast Forward

It’s Hogmanay and time for a mental replay of 2015 and forward glance to 2016.

For me it has been a year of travel to speak about leadership and all its manifestations. Chicago, Boston, Cambridge, Gothenburg and Zurich. I have also focussed on delivering webinars and developing coaching sessions by Skype as increasingly we have global clients who are not always available face to face.

For Ros Taylor Company it has been a year of getting the Institute of Leadership and Management accreditation for all of our programmes, Just Leadership, Women as Leaders, Corporate Coach International and shortly Fast Track to the Top.

So the focus has been about ensuring that RTC clients are getting real value for money and real change in their leadership. Change that lasts.

I was speaking to an HR leader of a global pharmaceutical company and she was saying that they had conducted research into all the interventions that had happened in 2014 to enable more women to reach board level. The company ran networking events to bring senior and junior women together. Webinars which focussed on leadership skills and the role modelling of those who had ‘made it’. These interventions though commendable had made little difference to the promotion of women to more senior positions. Great that they carried out the research as the majority of organisations do not take a rational, evaluative look at training and development.

With the same pharmaceutical company we have had much more success with 30% of women in our Women as Leaders Programme being promoted in the organisation or indeed leaving to a promoted post elsewhere. Both of which are acceptable outcomes as these women may return with more experience.

We of course have carried out our own evaluation and the key ingredients necessary to successful leadership interventions are:

  • Bespoke training to the target group. One size will not fit all. It is essential to speak to those involved and focus the development to what they require. Sounds simple but so many organisations buy ‘off the shelf’ leadership packages that have little relevance. Or they are only academic ‘telling’ and not personalised.
  • Any development has to suit all learning styles. Some people like to discuss and learn from others, some by reading and understanding current theory, others learn by practice and finally there are those who create their own way of carrying out new skills. Any programme has to account for all of these styles.
  • Another major difference I have noticed is the inclusion of coaching in the mix for leadership programmes. When you bring a group together they provide support to each other and reinforce the learning but add a personal coach who reminds them of the goals they have set and personalises the development and you truly get results that stick.
  • Always conduct follow up sessions which make participants responsible for their learning and accountable for the return on investment.

Looking forward to next year we are working on our Fast Track to the Top programme for young high fliers. Keeping these millennials focussed and loyal will be our clients’ challenge next year and we will be launch the Fast Track programme to help. Our usual RTC ingredients will be there with some additional participant challenges involving raising the bar on their performance, creating new products and delivering creative ideas for their organisations.

Can’t wait. Bring on 2016.