Sunday, January 6, 2008

What are your Predictions for Leadership Development in 2008?

This is January’s “Big Question” from ASTD’s Learning Circuit’s blog, (I modified the question to focus on leadership development instead of “predictions for learning”).
Check out this blog for other bloggers contributions to the same question, and please leave your answer to the question as a comment on this post.

1. The talent shortage will continue. Companies will continue to struggle to fill leadership vacancies and replace under-performing managers. This lack of bench strength and leadership talent will contribute to poor operational performance and be a barrier to growth.

2. Great leaders are starting to get this. I think savvy leaders have always understood the long-term strategic reasons for leadership development. It’s just that short-term operational business issues always came first. As leaders continue to or start to feel the pain of a talent shortage, they’ll begin to attack this business challenge like they do any other critical business problem. They will successfully apply all of the general management tools and know-how that’s worked for them to solve any other marketing, customer, or financial challenge.

3. As leaders begin own the challenge of leadership development, they’ll begin to get real good at it. Why shouldn’t they? After all, there’s a reason great leaders get to where they are, these are the best and brightest, and they’ll figure out ways to develop leaders that are better that anyone in HR has come up with.

4. Those of us in HR, training, coaching, and other practitioners in leadership development will need to be looking for these emerging best practices, and be willing to challenge our assumptions, be open to possibilities, and be ready to support them and leverage them across the organization and other companies. We need to be ready to write new chapters in our best practices manuals.

5. Internal coaching programs will continue to emerge as an effective way to develop leaders. However, the biggest impact will come from great leaders signing on to learn how to coach other aspiring leaders. Professional coaches will need to learn how to partner with managers and be able and willing to transfer what they do.

6. Given all of this, there will continue to be a need for, and a shortage of, leadership develop professionals. More and more companies will be looking for practitioners with a proven track record of designing and implementing effective talent management, succession planning, and leadership development strategies, systems, and programs.

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