The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus.
As a mid-size company grows, CEOs often find themselves overwhelmed with various business tasks and operations. It is easy to become so focused on working in the business that they spend very little time working on the business. As a result of the constant overwhelm, they often fail to invest in the development opportunities of their employees.
When the question comes up with CEOs of mid-size companies, “Why don’t you offer development opportunities for your leaders?” their reasons commonly fall into the following categories: insufficient time and resources and the training lack of applicability to real-world problems.
LACK OF RESOURCES AND TIME
A common excuse of mid-size company CEOs is stating they either lack the resources or can’t afford their leaders to spend time on training. Most mid-size companies are thinly managed and rely on informal processes for talent development. Everyone is overwhelmed with their job responsibilities and has no additional capacity.
Because of this, the internal leadership pipeline is inadequate, forcing the company to look externally for new management hires. However, a well-developed leadership program can cultivate the skills of your internal talent and reverse this effect.
In addition, investing in leadership development makes it possible to scale the business by freeing up the leader’s time and other resources to work on the business instead of working in it.
LACK OF APPLICABILITY TO REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS
Any development opportunity is an investment in the future and will use company resources. But if framed correctly, development offerings can be designed to solve urgent needs or problems in the business. Suppose your mid-market company would like to have their managers equipped with the skills to take charge of projects from their bosses, freeing up senior leaders’ time. A leadership development program designed to solve this issue would free up more time than it costs.
GROWING VS SCALING
Ideally, you want to grow and scale your corporation, but are you clear on how to simultaneously reach both outcomes? Growth can occur linearly or exponentially and is achieved when revenues increase due to investment in resources. Scaling happens when revenue increases without an increase, or at least without a significant increase, in resources.
Designing and delivering a fit-for-purpose program doesn’t need to be out of reach for smaller companies. In a recent study on the modern L&D landscape for mid-market companies, mid-market organizations who turned to a trusted learning partner to support them performed better in the market space and achieved a higher growth objective.
It is common for leaders to rate themselves high in their ability to identify and assess their best performers; however, these same leaders give themselves poor marks in four critical areas that leadership development programs can effectively address:
- Succession planning
- Developing high potentials
- Identifying retention risks
- Mapping and filling skills gaps.
As John Maxwell puts it, “The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development.
There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them as leaders, and continually develops them.