Learn to determine when internal leadership development resources are best and when it may be wise to consider external resources.
- I'm an expert on talent who also happens to have developed a corporate training program for new leaders. Well actually, I hired an outside learning and development specialist to transform my intellectual property into a dynamic learning program for leaders who are suddenly in charge. Could I have done this myself? Probably, however I knew that hiring an outside experienced resource would result in a much stronger program done in half the time it would have taken me to do an okay job.
If you're like me, you've got a ton of ideas you want to implement this year, which probably feels overwhelming at times. Let's break this down so that you can maximize your resources, reduce your stress, and get your managers the help they need to become great leaders. Begin by taking a look at the outcomes you'd like your managers to achieve as a result of participating in company-sponsored leadership development opportunities. Next, put together a 12-month plan that you can realistically implement over the next year.
Now that you've got your plan, take a look at your team with an eye towards determining their strengths and whether or not you've got the in-house talent needed to fully execute the plan. If you're like most people, you'll probably find that there's more on your list than your team can realistically handle. That's okay, as that's fairly common. Some leadership development needs are better handled by an outside resource. For example, most organizations choose to hire external executive coaches to work with their managers.
If you think about it, this makes perfect sense. Suppose you were in the position of being awarded a coach. How likely would you be to share your deepest fears with someone who may report up in the organization to the same boss as you? An outside coach is able to gain trust more easily, and without trust there cannot be a coaching relationship. On the other hand, if you're looking to establish a mentoring program, and you're willing to do the research needed in order to put together a program that will be effective in your organization, you'll most likely pull in internal resources to act as mentors to those in need of career guidance.
If you've never created a mentoring program before, consider hiring a consultant to help design the program, especially if you're currently operating as a team of one. Of course budget will always come into play when determining whether or not to use internal resources or bring in an external resource. However, before saying you can't afford outside help, consider the following: Will using an outside resource actually save you money in the long run? We know that people don't leave companies, they leave their bosses.
Should you delay getting your managers the help they need to effectively lead their team because you are trying to save money, and there's an exodus of staff, what will this cost your business? Will the company be at risk for losing long-term customers when you no longer have the staff to properly serve them? You know, it doesn't have to be all or nothing. You can stretch your dollars by partnering with an outside firm to develop courses and then have them train internal subject matter experts to deliver the training.
As you're thinking about whether to use internal or external resources for the development of your leadership team, keep in mind your objectives. The expertise on your team, the timeline you are operating under, and whether or not there is a way to combine both internal and external resources. Choose the option that works best for you, and if need be, you can always course correct along the way.
- What makes a manager effective?
- What managers seek from their employers
- Coaching versus mentoring
- Determining whether to use internal or external resources
- Helping managers take control of their learning
- Creating a management training strategy
- Measuring the effectiveness of your program
- Avoiding common management development mistakes