What is the best leadership strategy to-date? Kathy Caprino, a contributor to Forbes.com, shared this interview she had with Ray Carvey, Executive Vice President of Corporate Learning at Harvard Business Publishing in this article below.
Do a Google search on “Leadership Training,” and you’ll find over 100 million results – academic programs, management training series, white papers, leadership “gurus,” articles, resources and more. Those of us in the leadership space are inundated with new-fangled approaches to understanding leadership, and teaching and training leaders today.
Through working with emerging women leaders at Fortune 500 companies and in academia and non-profits, I’ve formulated my own views about what goes into the making of a truly great leader – one who is capable of articulating a powerful, positive and compelling vision for organizational and individual growth, and who can generate the trust and support needed to execute on this vision.
To learn more about the best of the best in leadership training today, I was excited to catch up with Ray Carvey, Executive Vice President of Corporate Learning at Harvard Business Publishing. Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning division partners with clients to create world-class leadership development solutions for managers at all levels in global organizations and governments.
I asked Ray all about what top-level leadership training does now that it didn’t 10 years ago:
Kathy Caprino: What lessons have you and Harvard Business Publishing learned recently about employee training that you didn’t know before?
Ray Carvey: We’ve learned that there are several key dimensions of leadership training that must be present in all the programs we deliver, if we’re to help organizations thrive and succeed in today’s environments. These key dimensions are:
Developing a leadership mindset.
To evolve as leaders, managers have to internalize the idea that leadership is fundamentally different from managing tasks. Being a great leader means both managing tasks and functions well, but also understanding how to behave and “show up” as a leader. It can be hard to grasp for some, but it can be learned.
There’s a big difference between a learning organization and a training organization.
It surprises me how many training programs exist in a vacuum. They might focus on training on specific skills like time-management, budgeting and coaching, for example, but they incorporate very little business context into the design of their programs, and they measure metrics such as “usage,” rather than real business impact. Top-level training organizations move beyond abstract learning to understand how to align what they’re doing with key business objectives.
Our clients who really do this well speak in business terms, not in training lingo. For them, learning and development initiatives start out with what the business is trying to achieve. Some business goals we’ve helped clients achieve are building stronger capabilities for innovation, improving client/supplier relations in high-growth emerging markets, or shifting what has been a single-country headquarters mindset to a global one.
If content is king, then context is queen.
Context is so important for effectively incorporating learning into an organization. For learning, getting it right in the context of your organization’s needs is what makes it relevant, meaningful and “sticky.”
Leadership development doesn’t and shouldn’t look the same at every organization. For example, how leaders make decisions at a start-up in a high-growth industry is going to be quite different from decision-making at a 100-year-old organization in an established market.
Read the full interview here.
Learn more about different leadership strategies by following this Steven Rindner Google+ Page.