Reinventing leadership Development – New Benchmark research launched

by | Jun 13, 2011 | Articles, Press Release, Research

Leadership development: Out of the classroom & into the workplace

14-Jun-2011 A ground-breaking study by Towards Maturity, into the effectiveness of technology-led leadership and management development, reveals that learning technology is bringing executive development out of the classroom and firmly into the workplace. Martin Baker, CEO of Clear Lessons, says the research – the results of which are revealed today – confirms that online, on-demand learning is enabling busy executives to access knowledge immediately, effectively and seamlessly, when and where they need it.
Unique independent  research – supported by Clear Lessons, the UK partner to Harvard Business Publishing and founding ambassador of Towards Maturity – has found that learning technologies are bringing leadership and management development out of the classroom and into the workplace.

The ground-breaking study, by the highly respected independent benchmarking organisation Towards Maturity, investigated the use of technology-led learning for leadership and management development, and its impact on business performance.

Revealing the results at Clear Lessons annual leadership seminar on 15 June, London, Laura Overton, MD of Towards Maturity explained: “It is clear that the choice for learners is no longer simply between classroom and self study.”

“Equally, the ‘blend’ is no longer just about the ‘eLearning sandwich’ where participants are required to take a prerequisite eLearning course prior to attending the classroom, and then revisiting the eLearning for refresher training.”

Learning technology now supports a third of all coaching, action learning programmes and workshops, she says, and two thirds of programmes include online resources, such as check lists and job aids, to support the application of skills back in the workplace.

In general conversation, many managers and providers still say they prefer face-to-face and more ‘traditional’ methods of delivering leadership and management learning. Yet the study highlights that, when exposed to new media, the preference for pure classroom training diminishes.

Contrary to expectations, when asked to identify managers’ top three media for learning delivery, survey participants did not include ‘the classroom’ .Many participants said that managers preferred solutions that either delivered on-demand learning at the point of need – through the provision of timely information – or immediate access to a community which could provide them with support.

Martin Baker, CEO of Clear Lessons, points out that: “Learning online can be such an integral part of ‘doing’ that managers who learn to solve challenges in this way may not consider this traditional ‘training’ at all.”

“Anecdotal evidence tells us that this approach works. But surprisingly, before this study there has been little or no research into the effectiveness of online leadership and management development – despite the fact that [according to previous research by Towards Maturity] 50% of all leadership and management programmes are now e-enabled.”

The executive summary of the report Reinventing Leadership Development can be downloaded below.

Some more highlights of the research follow:

Facts and figures – survey results
Participants from more than 180 organisations (in the private, public and not for profit sectors) providing development opportunities for more than 35,000 leaders and managers, took part in the survey. More than 80% face the challenge of supporting those leaders and managers across multiple locations (around a third in multinational locations). In these circumstances, technology enabled resources are proving increasingly popular.

More budget for technology-led leadership and management development

•3 out of 10 organisations have seen their budget for leadership and management development increase over the last two years (only 1 in 4 saw a decrease).
•3 out of 10 anticipate further increases in overall leadership and management development budget over the next two years (3 in 10 also expect a decrease).
•27% of the leadership and management development budget is spent on learning technologies.
•6 out of 10 organisations anticipate that the proportion allocated to learning technologies will also continue to increase (only 1 in 10 expects a decrease).

Why are organisations using learning technologies?

80% of participants are introducing learning technologies into the mix in order to:

•Improve efficiency (saving time and cost).
•Improve productivity (through sharing of good practice between managers, reducing time to competency and ensuring faster application of learning back in the workplace).
•Increase agility (in terms of increasing speed of engagement and responding to changing business needs).

What results are organisations getting from using learning technologies for leadership and management development?

•Four out of five report that they are reducing cost, increasing the speed of engagement with learning and reducing time spent away from the business.
•Two thirds believe that technology is helping to deliver a more consistent and faster application of learning back into the workplace, and is reducing time to competency.
•Three out of five organisations which are trying to improve sharing of good practice amongst managers report that this is happening.


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Download this summary

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  • L&D Benchmark Reports
  • In-Focus Reports
  • Sector Reports
  • Case Studies
  • Free Resources


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