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Human Resources & Learning & Development – Are You Providing Training Programs for your Senior Leaders?

We don’t often consider the need for training, or professional development, opportunities for senior leaders. We do, however, consider what training is needed for nearly all other employees in the organization and may even have training programs in place for various groups/levels of employees. But senior leaders in the organization need learning opportunities also; it may just look a bit different.

In this article, I want to share some ideas for providing learning opportunities for senior leaders in ways that work for them and enables for their own professional and personal development. To do this, I will share a number of small client case studies of work done by Abudi Consulting Group.

Client Case Study 1

Given significant growth in this global organization, there was a desire among the C-suite to provide some workshops for senior leaders (C-suite, SVPs) to enable them to be more successful in a rapidly growing organization. For this global client, we provided a number of two-hour training opportunities for senior leaders via virtual sessions with a focus on topics such as:

  • Leading with Emotional Intelligence
  • Leading across Generations in the Workplace
  • Mentoring Your Management Staff
  • Leading through Change

Prior to each virtual session, we provided pre-reading for participants as well as a few topics to consider for discussion during the virtual session. The sessions were collaborative sessions, which included discussions and working sessions enabling for individual planning.

About one month after each virtual session, we had another virtual sessions to check in on progress implementing against action plans and to address challenges faced by senior leaders.

Client Case Study 2

For this client, a national organization, the goal was to provide leaders opportunities to collaborate (and therefore learn from each other and leverage the diversity of the leadership team). For this initiative, we held quarterly on-site brainstorming/collaborative sessions with leaders from the executive team through to VPs.

Each quarter we had a particular topic of discussion, and we provided attendees with a list of thought-provoking questions to consider prior to the collaborative session. As one example, during one quarterly session we asked participants to consider the following:

  • Given the change that will happen over the next year for the organization to remain competitive, how can we engage employees to get them involved in shaping any change?

In the session, we considered a variety of ideas from a number of industries to develop creative ways to engage employees in upcoming change. We also discussed upcoming change initiatives and how they would impact employees as well as how to prioritize them so as not to overwhelm employees.

Client Case Study 3

For a regional client, we held monthly in-person workshops aligned to the monthly on-site leadership team meetings. Each month we alternated between,

  • A 90-minute training session
  • A 3-hour problem solving session (to solve a business problem that crossed functions)
  • A 2-hour brainstorming session with a focus on best practices to implement within the organization or around a proposed strategic initiative

Additionally, ACG implemented and managed a SharePoint® site for the organization which enabled for regular collaboration, sharing of best practices and discussions around challenges for all leaders within the organization. This alone was a great learning opportunity as it enabled for leaders at all levels to leverage the diversity of those around them. In each of these cases, not only are we providing options for professional and personal development of senior leaders in a variety of ways besides sitting in a classroom, but we are also encouraging and enabling for collaboration around achieving business goals, addressing common challenges, and sharing best practices. All of which are learning opportunities for leaders.

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