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?
If the options are overwhelming, think about your organization first. Are the potential members of the leadership program geographically diverse or are they in the same location? Again, a global program does not have to be a program that exists in multiple regions or countries; a global leadership program will prepare the organization’s leaders for whatever challenges come their way. If your leaders are close in proximity, consider traditional training and coaching methods, that is, classroom training and seminars along with face-to-face coaching and networking opportunities. If the cost is effective, this is always a good methodology.
What if your organization’s leaders are spread out over diverse geography? Also, keep in mind that in today’s economic climate travel and classroom training may not be a possibility, even for organizations whose leaders are close in physical distance. If this is the case for your leadership program, consider the alternatives to traditional approaches. Informational pieces or case studies can always be delivered online or via email. But when it comes time to ‘sit down’ together and discuss the information, what are effective methodologies? Web conferences are good ways to accomplish a personal meeting with geographically diverse populations. If your program has various learning modules, consider placing those in an online format first. For example, if there is a section on Emotional Intelligence, create an online program that provides information, examples, and case studies. Then, bring the participants together to discuss the course via web conference. To continue the leadership network, consider using blogs or monitored discussion boards. These methods are effective in keeping a discussion going or in introducing new topics.
When it comes to coaching potential leaders, we’ve discussed the possibility of placing mentors and coaches in close proximity to the members of the leadership group. But if this is not feasible, or may not be in keeping with your organizationŐs leadership goal, you may want to consider using alternative methods for coaching, as well. For example, web cam coaching sessions can occur from desk to desk very easily, as can web conference sessions. Coaches and participants can keep track of each other via email or text, as well.
When you are looking at potential training and coaching methods for a global leadership development program, the first thing to consider is the feasibility of your methods. The second thing is to consider what learning methods may work better for your global audiences. As we have discussed, cultures vary from business unit to business unit and from region to region. As cultures vary, so do learning methods and styles. Take some time to determine what types of learning interventions have worked for each population you are trying to reach-and see how those methods can be used in your leadership development program.
A final consideration is the overall goal of your leadership program. What are you trying to accomplish? Are you truly going for leadership development and succession planning, or are you starting with the introduction of leadership concepts at all levels and building a more comprehensive plan as you go along? The answers to these questions may help you determine your training and coaching methods, as well. For example, if you are simply introducing the concept of leadership, local instructor led courses and online interventions may serve the purpose until the full program is up and running.
Next, we will look at the challenges of workforces and budgets.