Leadership is possible no matter where you are in an organization’s hierarchy. People in management and leadership positions had to start somewhere – and most of them got where they are by proving themselves as leaders before they were placed in a position to lead. But the difficult part is knowing what actions to take – and when. Here are five ideas that will help you create a leadership framework even if you aren’t the leader.
To begin with, learn to seek responsibility. This has two meanings. First, be on the lookout for responsibility higher than your own. In today’s environment, with shrinking staffs and budgets, many organizations need people who can take on further responsibility without looking for higher pay, more prestige, or even a higher position. This doesn’t mean that you should “sell out” or take on so much that your other duties will suffer. But it does mean that you should look for areas or subjects of interest and volunteer for projects or duties in those areas. Being on the lookout can also mean that you try to find ways to streamline processes or save money – and share those ways with management.
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On November 30, 2010 NO COMMENTS
As we’ve discussed, development is a primary role for training, but there are ways that HR and training can cross in this important function. We’ve looked at more traditional forms of development, so now let’s examine other development avenues for training and HR.
One of the first avenues for employee development is through career paths and curriculum development. In terms of curriculum, training is usually going to work with managers, supervisors, and the people who do the jobs in order to determine what competencies or skills are included in training programs. This in itself is a form of development, but consider taking it a step further to career paths. The career path is essentially a collection of curricula that make up the most logical steps in an employee’s development. This could mean moving from one position to another within one area of expertise, or taking a logical step into another area. For example, call center employees can logically move into supervisory roles from lower positions, but in some situations they can also move into roles such as analysis or quality assurance. With career paths, HR is the training department’s definite partner. HR can tell you which positions people are moving to and from, as well as how department and division managers envision those career steps. In addition, just as you can give feedback on success in new hire training, HR can provide a profile of who works best when promoted into certain roles. For example, the call center supervisors may be more people oriented, whereas the quality assurance position may require more analytical skill. Career paths that are developed as a partnership with HR will be accurate and will also help increase the credibility of the training program as a whole.
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On November 23, 2010 NO COMMENTS
The development of human capital is a primary role for training. Development can come in many forms, which we will review. However, we will take a different view on development by determining how we can best leverage HR in this all-important facet of day-to-day business.
First, let’s examine formal training programs, such as classroom, online, and social-media based learning. Depending on your organization and its scope, you may have formal training in place for just about every position. Or, you may have a formal training program that serves as a “funnel” for the rest of the organization. Your formal training program may be a blended approach, where participants attend class and then go to online learning interventions, but it may also use one approach or the other. However your formal training is structured, you can rely on HR to help you evaluate and improve each component. You are probably already evaluating training from the participant and supervisor perspective, but have you ever considered going in tandem with HR to evaluate training?
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On September 14, 2009 NO COMMENTS
As we close our discussion on creating a coaching or mentoring program, you must take the time to make the program permanent. You’ve measured the success of the program in both human capital and otherwise. You’ve shown that success to the decision makers and stakeholders and they are “on board”. Let’s look at some ways that you can make the program a permanent part of the organization.
First, the key part of permanence is to always be a step ahead of the organization. If things are going to change, you need to be aware of the coming changes. To do this, you should keep in contact with your executive sponsors or stakeholders. Set regular meetings with them using the coaching program as a meeting subject in order to keep the program in their minds. Be prepared to show how you’re evaluating and making changes along the way, both the good and the difficult changes. Once you’ve got this “window” into the future of the organization, you can always be on the lookout for ways to change the program with the organization. And when you do this, your executive sponsorship and buy-in will continue.
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On August 18, 2009 NO COMMENTS
Your coaching or mentoring program is now well designed. You’ve spent time on the details and the program has taken shape. Don’t jeopardize your success by forgetting to carefully plan the implementation of the program. In this step, you’ll need to look at marketing, selection, training, and scheduling. You may have planned some of this in your design stage, but let’s discuss some general tips in each of these areas to ensure a smooth rollout.
One of the most important pieces of implementation is the marketing of a program. Just as your organization markets its products and services to its clients, you must market your coaching program to your clients. And, as with other developmental programs, the sell is not always easy. First, determine who your target audience will be for both coaches and proteges. If the entire organization makes the cut, focus your marketing on the benefits for the organization, the coaches, and the proteges. Consider a training program rollout as a comparison.