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Archive for February, 2010

GLD 7: Managing the Program

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On February 27, 2010 NO COMMENTS

You’ve planned, analyzed, obtained buy in, and even wrestled with a budget for your global leadership development program. But before you move forward with implementation, you need to determine how the program will be managed effectively. As you have moved through the challenges to global leadership development, you’ve probably realized that with each challenge comes a separate program component. Each component will need to be managed, and managed closely in the first stages of the implementation of the program. Let’s look at this challenge from the process standpoint and discuss some best practices for managing the global leadership development program.

First, take a good look at all of the components for your program. At the high level you’ll probably have separate components for training, coaching, succession planning, and operations. Is there a person or group who will naturally manage each one of these components already? If not, decide how each component will be managed. For example, training and coaching most naturally fall to the training organization. Will you outsource the training function or keep it within your organization? What about succession planning? Do you have a talent manager within the training or organizational development functions, or is the talent manager part of human resources? Or are you the de facto talent manager because of your sponsorship and management of the leadership development program? Operational components, such as scheduling and travel, are also a factor. Do you have an admin staff that can handle the added responsibility?

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Learning Management System Basics (LMS)

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On February 22, 2010 NO COMMENTS

A Learning Management System (LMS) can provide tremendous benefits both for the training department and for the organization in general. There are numerous choices for LMS providers, as well as functionalities, so an LMS implementation project can become quite confusing. Just what are the LMS basics and how can a system help your organization?

To start with, let’s discuss what an LMS really is. In basic terms, the LMS is a system that helps you deliver and manage training in numerous formats. One of the first misconceptions about an LMS is that it is used solely for the delivery of online courses. While this is an important component, it is not the only reason to use an LMS. The LMS consists of a few separate parts. First, the management system consists of the tracking and reporting of the organization and individual learning activities. Second, the content authoring system (or LCMS) allows the training department to create and or upload its own in-house or purchased learning content and courses, and the third part is the content and courses themselves.

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GLD 6: Obtaining Buy-In in a Global Environment

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On February 20, 2010 NO COMMENTS

All of your best plans for the creation of a global leadership development program may be meaningless if you do not obtain the buy in of key individuals or groups. Any organizational development program needs this buy in and approval, but a truly global program is probably going to require more work on your part; after all, your key individuals and groups are probably just as diverse as your program itself. Let’s look at the best process to use when looking for buy in from those key groups.

First, it is absolutely necessary to define the individuals and groups from whom you need to obtain buy in or approval. Before we move on, let’s look at the difference between buy in and approval. You’ll need to obtain buy in from any individual or group who can push your global leadership development program forward. This could include line managers, key organizational leaders, executives, and even various work groups. The concept of buy in also includes approval, but try not to forget the people who need to approve the program before it can move forward. Divide the key people and groups within your organization and determine which ones should “buy in” and which ones should “approve”. Tailor your presentation to each group, keeping in mind the cultural differences you may encounter within the organization and its regions. Most likely, you’ll come up with an executive group, a stakeholder group, managers and front line supervisors, and key business leaders throughout your system. And each group will require you to “sell” the global leadership program from a different perspective.

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GLD 5: Budgets and Workforces

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On February 10, 2010 NO COMMENTS

One of the biggest challenges to any training program is budget. In today’s environment, training budgets have been slashed and it may be difficult to obtain further funding. And in those budget cuts, sometimes only the most essential of training programs can continue to be offered. So the challenge for a global leadership program may be obtaining a budget, much less obtaining more money to complete the program. One of the first considerations in the area of budget is simply whether or not the budget can support a global scale leadership development program. If the answer is questionable, you may have to work hard to obtain buy in, which we will discuss in the future.

To begin looking at your budget possibilities, you probably will want to determine how you will create your leadership bench, as well as how you will train and coach those individuals. If you have made this determination, consider creating a matrix of training and coaching methods, as well as network and group meeting costs. Tailor your matrix to your optimal situation and then work your way down the list, eliminating the areas that prove to be too costly. When you take the time to complete this exercise, you’ll know exactly what to ask for-and how to explain the costs of the program.

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GLD 4: Training and Coaching Methods

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On February 1, 2010 NO COMMENTS

Now that you’ve determined how to build your global leadership bench, you must make the determination of which coaching and training methods you’ll use-and begin the process of developing the program. As with any program, there are a wide variety of options available in terms of development and delivery. But since your leadership development program is to be truly global in scope, your choice of training and coaching methods could be a ‘make or break’ for the program and its participants.

First, consider all of the options available. For leadership development, the possibilities may be endless. In person, classroom training is always a good option. Informational pieces can be delivered via the classroom, independent study, or even as online learning interventions. Networking for leaders can also occur in person, but also via web conference, blogs, or moderated discussion boards. The coaching and mentoring aspects of a leadership development program are often best in person, but what’s to stop you from testing out the effectiveness of a web cam if the members of the program are geographically diverse?

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