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?
Second, consider the geography you’ve created with the global leadership development program. For example, did you divide the entire organization into geographic groups for purposes of the program? Does each of these geographical groups have the manpower to manage each component? Does each group already have a training or organizational development staff that will take on the new responsibility of managing the leadership development program?
If there is no structure already in place for managing a global leadership development program, consider the big step of bringing it all under your training or organizational development function. This will give you a great “bird’s eye” view of the program, its implementation, and its progress. Plus, if component managers report to you, you’ll have the ability to be closer to the program. With this structure, you can report succession planning and the positioning of the leadership bench to your human resources department, as well. This way, you’re creating a dual relationship between your group and the human resources group. This relationship will work for the benefit of each group.
One of the other factors to consider is the tracking of the training component. Will the leadership development program be a part of the organization’s learning management system? Will you input groups and career paths into the LMS or will that be tracked by the organization’s HRIS system? Either way, be sure to investigate whether those systems can be adapted to track a leadership program or not. Most likely, if these systems are already in operation, they can be utilized to track a global leadership development program just as easily as any other program.
Regardless of how you decide to manage the program, you should take the time to visit, inspect, and observe the program in action. This may mean taking on some additional travel and time, but it will give you a good idea of how things are going. If travel is not an option, be sure to meet with the managers of the geographic locations on a frequent basis in order to track progress. Along with this, it is very necessary to evaluate the program from various levels. For example, participants should complete a level one evaluation for each component, that is, after each training program, coaching session, or networking event. Participants and managers should also be evaluated down the road to at least give you higher levels of evaluation. If you do not measure behavioral change for a global leadership development program, you won’t have much to report back to your executives and stakeholders. After some time, you should even attempt to look at the return on investment for the program, as well. Even if you’ve moved only one high potential leader into a new position, you should be able to report the costs and benefits of that move.
As you move through each challenge to global leadership development, you should get a clearer picture of how the program will function within your organization.
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