During the Pandemic, Most Organizations’ Leadership Programs Miss the Mark

It is difficult for leadership development to make a strong business impact without a rich strategy embracing a culture of continuous learning with a heavy emphasis on practical experiences. Only 10% of organizations are at that level of maturity, Brandon Hall Group’s latest Impact of Leadership Development Study shows.

Brandon Hall Group’s Leadership Development Maturity Model, based on the 2020 Impact of Leadership Development Study, shows that only 10% of organizations — those at Level 4 of the model — have a fully developed leadership development strategy yielding strong business results.

Brandon Hall Group’s Leadership Development Maturity Model, based on the 2020 Impact of Leadership Development Study, shows that only 10% of organizations — those at Level 4 of the model — have a fully developed leadership development strategy yielding strong business results.

“These organizations’ leadership development efforts are fueled by a culture of continuous learning, including coaching and mentoring, action learning projects and other opportunities for leaders to apply their new skills in a practical setting,” said Brandon Hall Group SVP and Principal HCM Analyst Claude Werder. “Only in this kind of environment, wherein leaders are empowered to take ownership of their development, can leadership development programs have real business impact.”

Employers must build programs that develop leaders who can:

  • Drive engagement across the organization while implementing an effective employee value proposition
  • Empower collaboration to drive business results
  • Drive a culture of diversity and inclusion

On average, only about half of organizations do any of those things. But when continuous learning is in progress or fully in place — Levels 3 and 4 in the maturity model — it is closer to 70%.

“Bottom line: it is difficult for leadership development programs to truly impact the business without a multifaceted strategy aligned with the organization’s business objectives. And since business objectives change, especially in a disruptive environment, HR leaders must be vigilant to ensure the leadership development strategy stays aligned with the organization’s needs, ” said Brandon Hall Group CEO Mike Cooke.

It’s not easy. Brandon Hall Group helps corporate clients with strategies to improve the impact of leadership development. In our research, only 34% of organizations said they can prove their leadership program significantly impacted business results; i.e., develop leaders who can help their organizations meet their business goals. However, that percentage rises to almost 60% among Level 3 and 4 organizations.

Similarly, when asked whether they are equipped to implement and sustain effective leadership development programs, 44% of organizations overall said yes. At Levels 3 and 4, 68% said the same.

To preview the evidence-based insights Brandon Hall Group publishes for the most forward-looking corporate organizations, download the KnowledgeGraphic The Value of a Strong Leadership Development Strategy.

For information on Brandon Hall Group’s research and how we can assist your organization, please visit www.brandonhall.com

We are a human capital management research and advisory firm with more than 10,000 clients globally. For over 27 years, we have been delivering research-based solutions that empower excellence in organizations around the world. Our vision is to inspire a better workplace experience. Becoming a Brandon Hall Group member means our team joins your team. Membership provides a host of resources and services and – most importantly — a seasoned team of thought leaders and client support professionals dedicated to your success.

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Mike Cooke

Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group Mike Cooke Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Mike Cooke was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AC Growth. Mike held leadership and executive positions for the majority of his career, at which he was responsible for steering sales and marketing teams to drive results and profitability. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and operations in the research, consulting, software and technology industries. Mike has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management having worked for several early high-growth emerging businesses and has implemented technology systems to support various critical sales, finance, marketing and client service functions. He is especially skilled in organizing the sales and service strategy to fully support a company’s growth strategy. The concept of growth was an absolute to Mike and a motivator in starting AC Growth, in order to help organizations achieve research driven results. Most recently, Mike was the VP and General Manager of Field Operations at Bersin & Associates, a global analyst and consulting services firm focused on all areas of enterprise learning, talent management and talent acquisition. Tasked with leading the company’s global expansion, Mike led all sales operations worldwide. During Mike’s tenure, the company has grown into a multi-national firm, conducting business in over 45 countries with over 4,500 multi-national organizations. Mike started his career at MicroVideo Learning Systems in 1992, eventually holding a senior management position and leading all corporate sales before founding Dynamic Minds. Mike was CEO and Co-Founder of Dynamic Minds, a custom developer of software programs, working with clients like Goldman Sachs, Prentice Hall, McGraw Hill and Merrill Lynch. Also, Mike worked for Oddcast, a leading provider of customer experience and marketing solutions, where he held a senior management position leading the company into new markets across various industries. Mike also serves on the Advisory Board for Carbon Solutions America, an independent sustainability consulting and carbon management firm that specializes in the design and implementation of greenhouse reduction and sustainability plans as well as managing the generation of carbon and renewal energy and energy efficiency credits. Mike attended University of Phoenix, studying Business Administration and Finance. He has also completed executive training at the Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.