Leadership development can’t stand still

March 7, 2018 by Wally Bock

Leadership development isn’t an endeavor where you get it right and then go on to figuring out other things. Google just published an update to their 2008 Project Oxygen findings in a post titled, “Great managers still matter: the evolution of Google’s Project Oxygen.” It describes how things changed there. Here’s a summary paragraph.

“But as our company grew in size and complexity, demands on our managers and leaders increased as well. From the results of our employee survey we learned that Googlers wanted to see more effective cross-organization collaboration and stronger decision making practices from leaders. We’ve also learned more about how we need managers to show up in some of our related work streams (e.g., teams, unbiasing, performance management). So we took a second look at our research, refreshed our behaviors according to internal research and Googlers’ feedback, and put them to the test. We found that over time, the qualities of a great manager at Google had grown and evolved with along with the company.”

Leadership development is a dynamic endeavor

In the business world, everything is moving at once. The needs of business change and so do the demographics. Technology changes, too. Your leaders must adapt to those changes, so your program must adapt.

Leadership development must fit company culture

Every company has a unique culture. That’s why some of those dynamite leadership practices of current media darlings work just fine for them but are ineffective or even toxic when you try to apply them. Simply put, the way they do it at General Electric isn’t how they do it at W. L. Gore and they’re both different from NUCOR and all three are different from your company.

Leadership development and your company

Your leadership development program must help aspiring leaders succeed in your unique culture, but that’s not all. It must adapt to your leaders’ changing needs and wants.

Wally Bock is a coach, a writer and President of Three Star Leadership.

Posted in Leadership Development

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