Wednesday, October 1, 2008

More Leadership Development on a Dime


A while ago, I wrote a post called “Leadership Development on the Cheap”, listing 10 ways to develop leaders without spending a lot of money.

I hope that kind of information is helpful to the majority of my readers that don’t have huge budgets for leadership development but still want to do the right thing.

As I come across quality low-cost or free resources, I’ll continue to share them. But I’m changing the series title to “Leadership Development on a Dime”, after one of my wife’s favorite Home and Garden Network shows, “Design on a Dime”. (The “On a Dime” series challenges designers to transform a room on a $500.00 budget.)

Free Coaching Videos

I was recently reviewing a batch of 360 assessments, preparing for upcoming debriefs. ALL of them had relatively low scores in the area of listening. So I did a little searching, looking for a good article I could offer on the topic. These were for senior managers, and realistically, they are not going to go to a training program or read a book. In this case, I need something simple, quick, yet on the mark.

I found a resource on the Marshall Goldsmith Library called "Athena Online, SmartBytes". It's a collection of FREE two-minute videos on a variety of leadership coaching topics. Some have corresponding articles.

Bingo - just what I needed. Check them out – they’re really good.

Cheap Succession Planning Software

I’ve written a lot of posts on how to use the 9-box performance and potential matrix tool for leadership assessment and development. I was on the ASTD discussion board a while ago, and came across a consultant, Andy Beaulieu. Andy developed a product called “Succession Planner”, a piece of software that uses the performance potential matrix tool and allows you to generate automated reports. You can do position profiles, replacement organization charts, risk reports, and other nice color-coded charts.

It also comes with a comprehensive user’s guide that walks you through a succession planning process using the tool.

I was impressed for a few reasons. First of all, it’s very similar to the approach I’ve used, and I’m sure many others. Secondly, I was impressed with Andy’s background. He’s been doing this for a while and really knows his stuff. Lastly, and why I’m mentioning it here, is that it’s really CHEAP – only $60.00 for a single user license! Most “talent management” software products will cost thousands of dollars. You can even download a demo copy for free.

Granted, it’s just a simple tool – an Excel file - but in many cases, that may be all you need.

I ended up emailing a bit with Andy about this product, and was surprised to learn he really hasn't sold a lot of copies. This is after spending hundreds of hours developing it. Good product, bad marketing. Perhaps after this post he’ll see some increased interest.


New Supervisor's Toolkit

One of my favorite leadership development blogs is Wally Bock's Three Star Leadership blog. It's always a great source of business and leadership information and news, and I really like Wally's opinions. You can tell he knows what he's talking about, based on good practical experience.

Wally's developed a "Working Supervisor's Support Kit" for new supervisors. For only $39.95, you get Wally's book, a comprehensive workbook, a complete set of forms (developed by supervisors that he's trained over twenty years), and a set of pocket reminder cards. Combined with your company specific HR training, it's pretty much a new supervisor training program in a box.

Stay tuned for more "Leadership Development on a Dime". The next edition will feature a new line of perfume and cologne that makes you smell like a leader. Only $19.99 a bottle. No, wait, that's for my "Real or Fake Leadership Program" series.

2 comments:

Chris Morgan said...

Hi Dan - I believe that the use of Action Learning groups can be a great tool for leadership development....and it's very low cost.

I have started a series of posts on my blog about action learning that your readers may be interested in.

http://learn2develop.blogspot.com/2008/09/ride-credit-crunch-with-action-learning.html

Chris

Dan McCarthy said...

Chris -
Right, I agree! don't know why I missed that one, action learning should have been on the top of my list.
I'll look at your posts for sure.