Leadership Training succeeds in a Supportive Organization
I just read October 2016's Harvard Business Review article "Why Leadership Training Fails--and What to Do About It" by Michael Beer, Magnus Finnstrom and Derek Schrader.
This article peaked my interest because I have often been asked in my career, to facilitate meetings that help organizations move forward with a project. The individuals requesting my assistance have taken many leadership courses throughout their careers, but cannot lead their teams to communicate and accomplish their goals. The problem is not their leadership training, but a lack of an organizational infrastructure that enables them to communicate openly and effectively as a team with the freedom to implement change in their organizations as the team identifies.
When I consult with teams to help them be more productive in their teamwork, I commonly have to start the meeting with a frank discussion--allowing all members to speak openly and honestly about the project, then once everyone is aligned with a strategy, I lead their conversation on how they want to accomplish defined goals, producing written and actionable tasks, which may change in future meetings--based on what they discover by working together. Why don't senior leaders create this culture in their organizations? Change is hard to implement, especially when it is an organizational culture to do it the way that it has always been done.
The HBR article stated that the solution to this problem is to first create an organizational system where new behaviors, not old behaviors, are the norm, thereby enabling learning that improves organizational effectiveness and performance. Once this is accomplished, then train individuals to lead and work effectively as a team. Leading in a faulty system is a recipe for stagnation and potential failure. I have seen numerous organizations, for-profit and non-profit, diminish significantly because of unchanging negative culture.
Contact me for a discussion if this affects your organization, I'd like to help your team work well together by changing your organizational culture to be positive and productive.