2018 Leadership Predictions

By now, companies largely have mastered the art of technical and compliance training. Next, organizations will turn attention to leadership development at all levels to improve managers’ ability—and willingness—to effectively lead their teams by providing ongoing coaching, delivering actionable feedback, motivating for performance, and leading difficult conversations.
  1. Leadership development will be seen as a competitive advantage and prioritized. By now, companies largely have mastered the art of technical and compliance training. Next, organizations will turn attention to leadership development at all levels to improve managers’ ability—and willingness—to effectively lead their teams by providing ongoing coaching, delivering actionable feedback, motivating for performance, and leading difficult conversations. As a result, bottom-line benefits can include an increase in leader (and employee) retention, engagement, and loyalty; an improvement in customer satisfaction; and a stronger team of leaders capable of internal promotion, among others.
  2. Female leaders will be developed and empowered. Organizations everywhere must account for, and address, the historical biases placed on women. Organizational cultures will be re-examined to uncover beliefs, processes, and behavior that have prevented women from excelling. Leadership development programs will be reframed to ensure female leaders reach their full potential.
  3. ALL managers will be tasked with improving customer experience. Improving customer experience has been a top priority for organizations for many years. Now, organizations must leverage managers—all managers—to truly change customer experience. All employees must reimagine their job description to clearly outline the ultimate benefit they bring to the customer. Leaders must establish a corporate culture that values and rewards an unwavering focus on the customer.
  4. In-classroom training will be central to blended learning programs. While there’s no denying the power (and convenience) of virtual instructor-led training, self-paced learning courses, or social learning platforms, organizations will bring in-classroom training back to the center of any holistic blended learning approach to leadership development. In order to truly digest a complex topic such as leadership, learners must connect with the material, draw inferences, apply lessons and models to their unique situations, test new skills, and measure progress. That type of learning is best suited for a classroom.
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