When you build your leadership development program, learn how to consider a variety of and a balance in types of learning to maintain the attention of your participants.
- At some point we've probably all listened to a speaker who had a monotonous voice and droned on and on. It's awful. When planning your strategic leadership program, keep this in mind. You need to create the right balance and variation in your learning approach so you can engage participants and keep their attention. Years ago, I ran a consulting firm that partnered with Zig Ziglar's company. He was one of America's most well-known speakers and authors who influenced millions of people through his books, including the best-seller See You At The Top.
Because of this partnership, I went on a cruise with Mr. Ziglar and others who were there to learn. We would have a class with Mr. Ziglar's team on the days we were at sea, and then we would go play on the days when the ship docked in an island. It was a fun way to learn because we felt like we were on vacation. During those sessions, Mr. Ziglar taught us to change it up when delivering a program to keep everyone's attention. Then we saw it in action. He gave us his famous water pump speech where he explains success in life using the metaphor of a water pump.
He started out standing up, talking with enthusiasm, but then made subtle or sometimes obvious changes about every three minutes. He would lower his voice, get down on one knee, walk out into the audience, and then go back to speaking with enthusiasm. If you weren't paying attention you would never realize how carefully each move was planned to keep the listener engaged. When you build your leadership development program you want to be just as deliberate about the balance and variety and types of learning as Zig Ziglar was in his speeches.
For instance, in the case study, you can see how a strategic leadership development program was created for over 600 franchise owners in a large staffing company. Download it from the Exercise Files. They used the 70-20-10 approach. This is a fairly common formula used in the training profession. It is based on the idea that 70% of the learning experiences come from job-related experiences, such as trying out new skills back in the participant's day job.
Another 20% of learning comes from interactions with others, such as coaching, peer coaching, and mentoring. 10% comes from formal education events like classroom training. Another option might be to follow thought leaders Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood who've said that there's a need for an increased emphasis on formal education and off the job development. They recommend a ratio of 50-30-20. Where 50% of the participant's learning comes from job-related experiences.
Another 30% comes from interactions with others, such as coaching, peer coaching, and mentoring, and 20% comes from formal education like classroom training. While these are well thought out models you can certainly come up with your own approach based on what your organization needs. The point is to build an approach that has a good mix and keeps your learners highly engaged from start to finish.
- Moving from traditional to strategic leadership development
- Creating a leadership development model
- Researching and analyzing your company to assess its needs
- Choosing the most powerful design elements
- Balancing different types of learning
- Measuring your program's ROI
- Creating a powerful final design
- Selecting and integrating instructors and program materials
- Budgeting and running a pilot program