When businesses and organisations look at their own effectiveness they often come across barriers to change, which seem systemic, and therefore hard to overcome.
These barriers, typically, have developed from the top down. They point towards weaknesses in leadership, rather than in the organisation itself. These barriers include:
- muddled direction when it comes to strategy and values;
- poor teamwork at leadership level;
- top down or inconsistent leadership style, making leaders unapproachable;
- failure to invest properly in talent; and
- employees feel unable to raise concerns about obstacles to effectiveness.
“It’s often the case that weaknesses in leadership come not from a lack of training, but from the wrong kind of training,” observes Lisa Gower of Ubuntu HR.
Why Can Leadership Training Fail?
“The barriers to change usually appear together, forming a formidable blockage,” suggest Lisa. “While a business or organisation may have put its senior management through training, this might not be effective in offsetting the effects of systemic faults.”
“For any business to improve, its leadership must be able, and willing, to clearly articulate its strategic objectives, and to bring employees along with them, to get them fully on board”
“Leadership skills must go beyond processes and encompass the ability to align people to a vision,” Lisa explains.
“If training at senior level focuses on the nuts and bolts of management, performance and problem-solving, it isn’t getting to the core skills of leadership,” warns Lisa. “These are to do with motivating and inspiring others.”
Leadership and Change
“While managers are used to directing people, when it comes to making change happen, much more is required,” Lisa says. “Leadership must show employees the importance of change, so that they buy in to it. Good management can guide, but great leadership can transform.”
How does this translate into training for leadership?
The answer lies in developing talent. This means introducing leadership training throughout a business or organisation.
“You must define your strategy and values, but then you must communicate this in such a way that it becomes embedded, so that it motivates change”
There are clear steps towards this kind of talent development as part of a leadership training strategy.
“It means listening and taking on board opinions and insights about how things currently are and then acting on them,” suggests Lisa. “This involves coaching and training with an aim of long-term behavioural change.”
“Effectively, leadership is about change, and not simply managing it but inspiring it. The right leadership training, therefore, is essential to make change happen,” suggests Lisa.
“Not only this, but by encouraging leadership talent within your business, you’re being more cost-effective than if you recruited new blood, while also retaining and motivating your existing employees.”
Alternatively, Ubuntu HR has devised a report with HR Aspects Magazine, which looks at; discovering talent, why investing in leadership training is critical for your business, and the qualities leaders require to become vital agents of change.
To get a copy of the report, visit ubuntuhr.co.uk