- Today's leadership development programs don't have what it takes to break old habits, according to research from AchieveForum. To overcome that barrier, learning and development pros need to make such training tactical, the organization concluded.
- In traditional leadership training, learners are loaded up with skills, knowledge, understanding and desire, AchieveForm said. But they're sent back to the same environment, with instructors hoping they'll be able to spot opportunities for leadership on their own. Instead, learners need a "pro-active, tactic centric" approach. This means leaders need to be taught how to modify their environment so that the new behaviors, not old habits, get triggered.
- According to the report, learners can do so by reflecting on problems that commonly arise in the absence of leadership behaviors and identifying features of their work environment that trigger habits. Modifications may be quite concrete, Achieveforum said; they can include changes to instructions, process maps, their workspace or the equipment they use.
Knowledge retention and implementation are barriers for learners in several areas, but development professionals are getting creative.
Some experts suggest "communities of practice" — groups composed of individuals learning common skills and in need of social practice. Philanthropy University, for example, uses such communities to encourage peer-to-peer learning and improve organizational effectiveness through the exchange of ideas and best practices, Mark Goldstein, a community associate there previously told HR Dive.
Other employers have turned to virtual reality, which research suggests may be a boon for learning engagement and knowledge retention. Those coaching leaders have used the tech to put managers in a position to test their new skills — practicing firing an employee, for example — in a safe and controlled environment.
What's more, employees are generally receptive to leadership training. In fact, workers prize leadership training above other types of learning, according to new research from PayScale. And the more training they get, the more training they want.