Leadership Training and Development for the Future Workforce

The Conference Board recently released its “C-Suite Challenge report.  How CEOs and C-suite executives are transforming for the future – Opportunities, and challenges ahead”.  The report touches on many issues from human capital, to regulation, and sustainability, among others. This post focuses on the human capital component, specifically leadership training and development and the role that executive coaching will play.

In the report, CEOs believe that their leadership style will change, enriched by new skills, and driven by new organizational models. The short answer is that the nature of their work will change.  This change will happen as a result of two drivers; first, a stronger emphasis on strategic skills AND second a stronger emphasis on people management and other so-called soft skills.

Hot Issues for 2019 and beyond

Attracting and retaining top talent is the number one issue, and developing the next generation of leaders is the third.  Two out of the five most important issues are related to human capital.  Which is also the view of CFOs. They both believe this will be the biggest obstacle to overcome.

These results aligned with PwC’s 20th CEO survey report. In it, CEOs emphasize that they care most about “their people,” especially high potentials, and that employee development and training is their priority

Ongoing Innovation Challenges

In the Conference Board Report, respondents rated the strategies that would be essential to deal with the challenges of human capital in the future. Here are their responses:

  • Building engaging cultures
  • Expanding coaching and mentoring programs
  • Re-skilling; more flexible internal structures and networks to support agile fluid teams
  • Supporting personal resilience
  • Supporting technology-enabled collaboration platforms

Executive coaching is at the top of their minds as a direct strategy to confront the challenges of the future.  Personal resilience is also at the heart of creating a workforce that is adaptive and responsive to the challenges ahead. Building resilience is a component of leadership development and supported by executive coaching.

 Addressing Blind Spots 

The report makes a point to identify a few missed opportunities. These, if addressed, would help build an open, inclusive, and engaging culture, address the gender pay gap, work-life balance, innovation obstacles, and rewarding teams.  CEOs are not addressing these directly.

However, when it comes to work-life balance, the authors mentioned that this is a critical reason why women opt out of management.  This affects not only diversity and innovation but succession planning as well.

Building personal resilience, if prioritized, will help to address the work-life balance issue. Building personal resilience is a strategy that CEOs have cited as essential to deal with the human capital challenges in the future.

Increasing the operational efficiency 

Looking out to the future, CEO’s have identified three hallmarks of operational efficiency for successful organizations. Balancing short term agility with long term vision (42%), Transparency in communication across all organizational levels (35%), and Redefining how works get done (34%). Trust building seems to be the hallmark of how companies will be able to get things done; this requires a significant behavioral change and mindset change.

Building and Managing the future Workforce – Investing in the future

The report makes clear; there will be a shortage of leaders with the right skills; thus, there will be a priority to attract and retain top talent.  The kind of talent that will help companies lead thru complexity, ambiguity, and disruption in real-time.

The skills that will make them effective leaders, able to inspire, engage and develop exceptionally efficient teams who can execute the strategy while achieving results.

In the report, CEOs were asked what initiatives they are most likely to fund to develop leaders?; their priorities are as follow:

  • Formal Leadership development training
  • Promote Cross-functional rotation experiences
  • Have more diverse leadership
  • Enhance executive coaching initiatives
  • Focus on succession management processes

The Role of Executive Coaching in Leadership Training and Development

An HBR featured article ‘Educating the next generation of leaders” shows the complexity of leadership development programs, some with mixed results.  What I found most interesting is to see in their list priorities “Enhancing executive coaching initiatives.   Leadership behaviors are hard to change, and that is where executive coaching adds the most value.

Executive Coaching is most helpful, especially when putting in practice new knowledge. This sometimes entails significant behavioral change and resilience.   Understanding concepts is easy; however, long-term change in leadership takes time, follow-up, and discipline — not just understanding. Learners need to practice, get feedback, and be accountable; that is where executive coaching comes in.

 

Luis Velasquez MBA, PhD

Luis is a leadership coach, employee engagement expert, and management trainer. Formerly a University professor and research scientist, Luis holds a dual Ph.D. from Michigan State University; and an MBA in Organizational Leadership.

One Comments “Leadership Training and Development for the Future Workforce

  1. It really becomes very important to have well-trained employees within your organization so that they work efficiently and get more profit to business but before that, an organization must conduct training programs for both leaders and employees so that they enhance their skills. This training brings equality at the workplace among all the members which is actually good thank you for putting up this post.

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