Intentional Leadership Development – One Size Does Not Fit All

One of the essentials to our Intentional Leadership Development  approach is the fact that it is highly unlikely that a given set of leaders in the same organization will have the same developmental needs at a given time. Why? Because no two leaders have been through the same developmental experiences in their careers or have the same ability to learn from experience. That’s why sending all leaders to the same leadership development workshop, event or program is seldom effective. One size or kind of development does not fit for all leaders. Intentional Development avoids this mismatch by approaching development from a standpoint of “mass personalization”.  Learners follow similar steps to developing or enhancing critical skills but the approach is customized to their situation and needs. First, Intentional Development emphasizes that development strategies must be matched to the talent. For example, high performing, high potential employees will benefit most from navigating a variety of diverse and challenging jobs and experiences. Likewise, the developmental strategy for middle potential, solid performers would be very different. The second component of “mass personalization” has to do with specifically articulating the leadership competency that a leader will focus on in their Intentional Development Plan.  We call this step ‘Seeing It”, where learners identify the most beneficial development target. The particular  target competency (or competencies) for individual leaders will vary based first upon context – what is driven from the organization’s strategy and the specific challenges the leader is facing in their current or near future role – and the learners current portfolio of strengths and weaknesses. With a specific development strategy and target identified, learners can than follow the same steps to build their competence – outlining a Learning Map, creating a Development Action Plan and completing regular Intentional Development Tracking – but based on a personalized foundation.

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