Sunday, April 7, 2013

Why Leadership & Team-Development Programs Fail

Research shows that most development programs fail to deliver expected returns. Here, experts offer tips to master the real drivers of behavior for sustainable change.

Every organization wants to maximize the potential of their leaders and employees in order to achieve superior results. In fact, significant investments are made in programs that aim to improve performance by changing the way leaders, employees or teams behave. However, research shows that most development programs fail to deliver expected returns. Too often, there is more effort put into the design of the program, instead of what people need to experience in order to develop. If executives understood the mechanics of the mind and what it takes to create sustainable behavioral change, they would rethink their approaches to leadership and employee development and challenge their current beliefs about how behavioral change actually happens. 

We now know so much about how the brain learns and how people develop. Recent advances in neuroscience are highlighting connections between cognitive and emotional functions that have the potential to revolutionize the way we develop our leaders and employees. In particular, the relationship between learning and emotion and what needs to happen in the brain for learning and behavioral change to take place. Those who are developing leadership and team development programs don’t always incorporate these advances in their approaches being. 

The following are the key reasons why most leadership- and team-development programs fail:



Personality assessments are often used in developmental programs to help leaders and team members to increase their self-awareness. However, existing approaches focus on strengths/weaknesses or preferences, leaving out insight into unconscious patterns of behavior and emotions that typically get in the way of development, despite everyone’s best intentions.  For leaders or employees to develop, they must understand how this happens for them by being aware of their nature, emotions, and how their brain is organized. This allows them to know how they process information and what gets in the way -- fear, embarrassment, etc. -- of trying new behaviors and shifting from unproductive reactions to other people and work situations.

Read complete at: wrote by Anne Dranitsaris and Heather Hilliard

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