The need to reinvent Leadership and Management Development


Leadership and management development has stayed roughly the same over the last thirty years; chalk and talk, but maybe disguised as more exciting through new technology. Despite these advances in methodology, many of the same old models are being trotted out, and managers still tick the box, sending their staff on 3-5 days generic training a year.

This is all now obsolete. Effective management development, which leads to a more motivated, engaged and productive workforce, can never be a ‘one size fits all’ approach. It has to be bespoke. The culture of any business is always unique, depending on the background, sector, ownership (corporate or family firm?), size, ambitions etc. So how can a generic development programme ever fit?

As well as being unique to each business, a management and leadership development programme should be implicitly and explicitly tied to the context of the business. This way, it will add layers of referential knowledge to the business, not isolated silos of information.

Different departments need to do Leadership and Management development together, as do different levels of the organisational hierarchy. When a CEO finds time to willingly take questions from a small cohort of managers from across the business, who are all learning together in a structured programme, the culture change is tangible.

Steve Morley is Managing Director of strategy house Sango Consulting. He spent ten years working in campaigns, marketing and communications for big NGOs, before setting up his own consultancy in 2006. He has since worked in over fifty organisations across all sectors.

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