In my previous blog post, I discussed the need for a fundamental shift in the way Leadership Development is looked at by organizations. And, we need some special people to make that happen. Who are these people?

Role 1: Chief Talent Examiner (Head,Talent Labs)

With sharp intuitive wisdom and an eye for the unseen, this person examines your leaders-in-waiting and writes that all-important prescription. He has sharp diagnostic tools in his bag, both formal and informal. He can not only arrive at the ‘talent gaps’ but also make sure the candidate agrees to them.

The CTE has a fair understanding of the business to be able to help each candidate paint a picture of the future, and figure out the leadership growth needed to fit adequately in that picture.

The CTE re-examines each high-potential candidate during the year, tweaking the prescription as needed.

The CTE’s score-cards form the basis for the next role to get into action.

Role 2 : Chief Design Officer ( Head, Talent Program Design)

The CDO is well-versed with learning methods and offerings available round the globe. He is your creative whiz who can rustle up effective combos which can cater to different needs. He has a flair for creating personalized offerings from off-the-shelf and in-house resources that are available.

Like a talented conductor of an orchestra, he can summon the right tones and notes to conjure the right learning menu for each leader-in-waiting.

The CDO uses each person’s prescription and builds on it to recommend a unique development program.

Role 3 : Chief Talent Coach (Head, Talent Coaching)

Your CTC could be one of your senior leaders who has an interest in coaching and wants to take it up full-time. The rest of her team need not be full-time coaches. Ideally, if the culture permits, all your coaches could be your leaders volunteering 10-15% of their time towards coaching.

The CTC is a trained coach whose job is to prepare other coaches and cub coaches to deliver coaching on the various developmental needs. A person with super influencing skills and charisma to drive deep-seated change, her job would be to prepare and execute coaching camps/modules/workshops.

It’s time to review if these roles/capabilities are present in your Leadership Development Function in some form or the other.

If you haven’t noticed, let me draw your attention to the fact that there is one role missing in the above: the role of ‘program manager’ or the person who ‘drives’ subscription to talent development programs. Consciously so.

We need to stop fuelling that dysfunctional mindset towards leadership development which has shifted the accountability to the wrong agency, HR. Till we have these folks doing all kinds of tricks to remind, cajole and plead with senior leaders to participate in leadership development activities, the fundamental shift will never happen.

We don’t need more and more stable boys tugging at the horses’ reins, pulling them to the water! We need folks that can make that water exciting enough and experts that can make those horses want a drink.

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