The Mindful Leadership Blog

Just In! Build Leadership Bench Strength Better, Faster, Cheaper

November 8th, 2018

What’s hot?

Over the past 19 years, there has been such a significant slippage in leadership bench strength (leaders who can step in immediately to replace those retiring or moving on) that only 14% of companies surveyed report strong bench strength.*  It is time to face reality and re-examine traditional leadership development activities.

So what?

Organizations need to move away from cumbersome competency frameworks to make leadership learning experiences relevant with trusted content that employees can access easily anywhere, on any device, at any time.

In our last Just In! we talked about how 21st century supervisors learn and recommended Action #1: “stop making your future leaders drink from a firehose” and instead provide just-in-time micro-lessons.







What to do?

Millennials and Gen Z employees (your bench strength) want in-the-moment leadership lessons AND – here is the kicker – they also want a solid support system for their learning.

Today’s message offers Action #2:  Shift from courses to resources and experiences.   Four ways to do so follow:

  1. Support micro-learning with a neutral, trusted mentor. Select a Learning and Development professional or a respected manager to hold brief, structured follow-up sessions with learners to discuss what worked, what didn’t and next steps.
  1. Connect learners with an “on-call” coach – an expert on the micro-lesson topic. Example:  If the micro-lesson is about how to provide performance feedback, link learners with someone who has a proven track record managing performance and who can quickly respond to their specific questions or challenges.
  1. Connect learners with others who are on the same developmental journey. You can do this by encouraging live forums or through community boards where they can post planned actions (anonymously if desired) to get comments and feedback from other learners.
  1. Encourage experimentation and celebration. Provide occasions for people to discuss how they transferred their learnings on the job.  And, bring people together to celebrate the completion of on-line series.  If it is not possible to do it live, do it virtually.

Click here for your free copy of the white paper, “Why Micro is the Answer to Your Macro Leadership Development Needs” to see how you can put your next generation of leaders front and center to bolster bench strength.

 * The Global Leadership Forecast 2018

Leave a Comment

(will not be published)