“The fortune is in the follow up” – this is a key sales line, heard many, many times before. And it’s true – provide good service and people will continue to come back to you.
But what does this mean for leadership development within an organisation?
You know those team members you sent on that latest leadership junket? The one where they all head out for a couple of days, have a team dinner where everyone gets really drunk? Yep, I’m talking about those training sessions.
Whilst it’s great that you have recognised the need for continual learning and development of your staff, sending them to a conference is not going to cut it. It’s a start, but it will be a MASSIVE waste of money if you don’t follow it up.
I remember going to one where we all learnt how to have difficult conversations and how to coach our team members. There was a lot of content packed into two days, and lots of role plays, lots of ‘aha’ moments for managers. It was great to meet and network with other managers and have a few drinks over dinner.
But when we got back to the office the next week…crickets.
Nothing was said about what we learnt. No questions were asked, no support given to ensure we practiced what we learnt. Guess what happened? People went on their way doing what they’ve always done.
Do you think there was much change to the culture?
Just a huge chunk from the profits of the organisation gone.
So how do we maximise this spending on our leadership training?
- Ensure you do some pre-work. Start the attendees thinking about what they want to get out of it. At the very least give them the agenda and tell them what they will be learning!
- As part of this pre-work, ask them to write down what their struggles are in their current role. What challenges do they face being a leader. This will help them to start thinking and paying attention to the content, as they try to answer these questions.
- Bring a coach into the organisation to help embed the learnings. Someone who goes to the training, and then helps the managers to practice what they are learning. This gives the managers a safe, third party to talk to and to go to for help.
- Create Individual Development Plans just after the conference. Your managers should come back highly engaged and this is the best time to help them continue their future career with your organisation
- Follow up the learning from the conference. For a minimum of 6 months. This will ensure you are still talking about what they’ve learnt, asking how it’s been put into practice. This will also give you a great business case to take to your executive team/ Board of Management to show how effective you are 🙂
If you don’t want this to be a waste of money for you, then give me a call BEFORE you send anyone away, and I can help maximise your ROI and actually help to make a contributing and lasting change to your workplace culture.