5 Ways to Improve Your Leadership Development Program...Online

Leadership Development Is a High Priority and Increasing as a Percentage of Training Delivered Leaders drive performance, and the higher the leader’s position and the broader the scope of responsibility, the greater the impact that individual can have on an organization. But with almost 80 million baby boomers approaching retirement, there will be significant impact on the pipeline of available leadership talent. The the cost of recruiting and retaining competent managers is going to increase. Online learning, as part of a comprehensive leadership development initiative, can be used to increase program effectiveness in several ways: EXTEND & TARGET Traditionally, leadership training has been constrained by which employees can attend classroom events. This makes it difficult and expensive to reach geographically dispersed employees or expand to a wider group of managers. The increasingly global and mobile nature of today’s workforce means many employees are left out of classroom-based leadership training programs. Managers are also on the move, working in different offices, different regions, at home, etc. Online learning can effectively eliminate the barriers of time and geography. Interactive and social learning experiences, provided online, have proven effective for a wide range of content and competency development needs. It allows you to reach more people, but also reach people wherever work requires them to be. CONSISTENT CONTEXT Online learning activities allow you to deliver a consistent curriculum to large groups of managers. Historically, ensuring consistency across multiple
instructors, cohorts, and locations in a large-scale classroom based program was a challenge and often undermined the success of the program. But local instruction provided greater ability to tailor the content to the manager’s context. With the advent of virtual classrooms and online communities, online programs can now provide both the consistency of online content and the contextualization of classroom activity without requiring participants to travel or disrupt work activities. SPEED TO COMPETENCY Leadership training certainly benefits from“high touch” activities. But online learning, especially when blended with online activities, can often be used to reach the training goal and out comes more quickly and at a lower cost. There are numerous blended learning models.One of the most common is to use
e-learning as an on-ramp to classroom training. This can shorten the overall time needed for a program. It also ensures that learners arrive at the training event with a common understanding and baseline of knowledge, ready to take advantage of a more immersive (and expensive) in-person experience. On line learning also shortens the time employees are physically away from work, offers the opportunity for learning when it is most convenient, and to progress as quickly or slowly as necessary. LEARN, ACT, REFLECT In an asynchronous online experience, learners have a greater opportunity to assimilate new ideas and practice new skills on the job, while still being involved in a learning experience. The benefit of ongoing reflection is an often over looked
facet of online learning that frequently provides superior outcomes to an out-of-workplace event. The impact of a one-time event tends to fade over time. But research shows that when learning is reinforced in the workplace, the positive effects are greater and last longer. Online learning takes leadership development from a series of disconnected events to a more continuous development process. SOCIAL NETWORKS Managing global teams is a reality in today’s workplace, and also one of the greatest challenges managers face. Technology such as the virtual classroom and
social networks are being used to support collaboration for virtual teams.“Blended” does not have to imply “classroom.” Many of today’s leadership programs are
conducted virtually. Managers can use online learning technologies to build the global social networks they need to execute company strategies during and after the learning program. -For more resources on planning and managing corporate
training go to www.ecornell.com/whitepapers.

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