Blended Learning Approach for Corporate Leadership Development Programs
If you do a Google search for ‘executive leadership development program’ you will get over nine million hits. Clearly, there are many players in the marketplace, most of them universities selling their MBA programs. It’s a competitive market. But if you drill a little deeper, you’ll notice that these programs are quite similar is structure and delivery. There is very little variety in this crowded market.
The same subjects seem to pop up again and again. For example, ‘adaptive leadership’ or ‘strategic management’ are two that you’ll see repeatedly. In addition, most of these programs adopt a single method of learning—classroom instruction. Although we talk a lot about blended learning, there isn’t much tangible evidence of this in these programs.
There are numerous definitions of blended learning. I define blended learning as a process uses a variety of learning methods to create a rich and varied learning experience.
For example, this may include executive coaching, classroom instruction, online webinars, experiential learning, and so on. Corporate leadership development programs advertised online follow a familiar pattern of classroom learning, with little or no blending.
Our executive leadership program breaks new ground. We have adopted blended learning to differentiate ourselves from a bland and saturated marketplace.
The Lunch & Learn Series for Executives covers the following six units:
Unit 1—Strategically Managing Performance
Senior managers have a role to play in strategically managing performance in their department, division, or organization. This means that everything that is said, done, and thought about in their area of responsibility should be either directly or indirectly linked with the strategic direction of the organization. This unit considers the tools necessary to align strategic performance with the work people do.
Unit 2—Enhancing Your Personal Influence at the Executive Level
Every day, in every situation, senior managers are attempting to persuade their colleagues, boss, stakeholders, and team members of adopting certain behaviour. This requires influencing capabilities. It means that the leader needs to be flexible in their approach. This unit offers the senior manager an opportunity to understand their influencing capability and how they can adopt a more flexible approach to accommodate different people and circumstances.
Unit 3—Creating Thinking Space and Managing Time
More than most, executive managers are time poor. They are being pushed in all directions by forces internal and external to the organization. They have little time to take stock and consider and evaluate their decision-making. This unit considers some practical strategies for creating thinking time and space to make sure the leader’s actions and thinking is aligned with the strategic direction of the organization.
Unit 4—Options for Organisational Structuring
The organizing structures we have been using for the last 100-years are inadequate for a world of accelerated change and uncertainty. Bureaucratic structures have been useful in times of stability and predictability, but not now. This unit considers some new and innovative ways to structure people at work.
Unit 5—Negotiation and Conflict Management
Negotiation and conflict resolution is part of the executive managers complex role. There are always competing forces at the top of any organization. Mastering these skills are critically important to the leader’s success. In this unit, we consider five negotiation and conflict resolution strategies and how the leader can be adaptable using each of these approaches.
Unit 6—Driving Positive Culture Change
All organizations have a unique culture. The question then is this: Is the current culture a productive culture for achieving the organization’s mission? The executive leader has an important role to play in nurturing the right culture. This unit considers some useful strategies and tools for changing the culture of a workplace.
Executive Leadership Development Program
More important than the subject-matter, is our blended learning approach. These six units of the executive leadership development program are delivered online via webinar. Each session is of one hour’s duration. In between these sessions, executives can receive one-on-one coaching from an experienced coach. The focus of these coaching sessions is the implementation of ‘homework’. Questions such as:
- What did you find meaningful in the previous session?
- Why was it helpful?
- How can you implement this in your current corporate structure?
- How will you know you have successfully implemented this?
In addition, there are several diagnostics used throughout the executive leadership development program. For instance, executives complete the Influencing Capabilities Profile before Unit 2. The profile shows the executive how they prefer to influence. Unit 2 is then a debrief of the four influencing strategies.
The executive then works with their coach to adopt a more flexible influencing style and approach. When conducting this program inhouse, we also use group coaching to facilitate peer-to-peer learning.
This program can be tailored to current corporate leadership development programs by using real-life case studies, examples, and illustrations when several executives from the one company undertake the program together.
So next time you Google ‘executive leadership development program’, consider talking with us about tailoring a solution for your corporate leadership development program.