The 7 Common Mistakes That Undermine Leadership Programmes | Mantle

17 Apr 2024

The 7 Common Mistakes That Undermine Leadership Programmes

Effective leadership is crucial for organisational success. However, despite significant investments in leadership development programmes, many organisations struggle to see tangible results. We’ve identified seven common mistakes that undermine these programmes and offer practical solutions to overcome them.

Not Setting Up for Success

Many leadership programmes fail because they lack clear objectives and alignment with organisational goals. To avoid this mistake, conduct a thorough needs analysis and engage stakeholders to define specific outcomes. By tying the programme closely to strategy and business plans, you can ensure that it delivers tangible value.

Neglecting Trainee Engagement

Engaging participants’ brains is essential for effective learning. Instead of focusing solely on content delivery, emphasise the importance of a growth mindset and individualised learning. Encourage trainees to reflect on their beliefs and behaviours, fostering self-awareness and motivation for change.

Overlooking Manager Involvement

Managers play a crucial role in supporting their team members’ development. Involve managers from the outset, setting clear expectations for their involvement and support. By aligning manager support with programme objectives, you can enhance learning transfer and application.

Failing to Be Learner-Led

Effective leadership development is not about delivering content but facilitating learning and application. Design programmes that are learner-led, focusing on critical behaviour changes and practical application. Incorporate adult learning principles and create engaging learning environments for maximum impact.

Ignoring Learning Transfer

Many programmes focus on participant satisfaction without considering learning transfer and impact. To ensure lasting change, tie leadership initiatives closely to business plans and measure behavioural change. Support trainees in creating high-impact development plans and use action learning methods for real-world application.

Inadequate Programme Evaluation

Proper evaluation is essential for programme improvement and demonstrating value. Build evaluation into the design process from the outset, using methodologies like Kirkpatrick’s or Dr. Jack Phillips’. Report back to the business against stated outcomes and drive continuous improvement through regular reviews.

Lack of Continuous Improvement

Leadership programmes should evolve over time to remain relevant and effective. Incorporate continuous improvement into the design process, refining programmes based on feedback and results. Expect a minimum of 20% improvement in impact in year two and build in regular reviews and refinements.

With over 50 years of combined experience, Denise and Graham are experts in designing, piloting, and improving leadership development programmes across various sectors. We are passionate about developing leaders and are always happy to engage in collegial conversations about leadership impact and team performance.

Contact us for an obligation-free initial consult and discover how we can add value to your leadership development initiatives.