Leadership development and on-demand learning

August 8, 2018 by Wally Bock

Leadership development has always included training. I began my business career in the late 1960s. Back then, training was usually a multi-day, off-site, highly structured event. The Training Department held those events when there were enough people who needed training to “justify the cost.”

When I began my corporate journey, that shocked me. The Marines created my expectations. There, training went on all the time. If you wanted more, you could take correspondence courses from the Marine Corps Institute or the University of Maryland.

It’s easy to disparage the training departments of that day, but they were doing the best they could with the means available. Today, many universities and private companies offer training. Today, technology has changed the game. Today we can deliver training that’s both online and on-demand.

Leadership development and online learning

Aspiring leaders show up today with basic search skills. When they have a question, they pull out their smartphone or tablet and search for the answer. That’s a start, but it’s not enough.

We should sharpen the skills of both current and aspiring leaders so they can search more effectively. We all need to get better at vetting sources and evaluating research results. More experienced leaders should add “research skills” to the areas where they coach aspiring leaders.

Leadership development and on-demand training

We know that the best learning happens in the workflow. On-demand training can add resources an aspiring leader will be able to access when he or she need them. That presents us with another problem.

Training departments must find and develop online resources that reinforce company culture. They must create resources that meet the specific needs of a company or industry. That’s one of the key challenges for training departments today.

Thanks to Julie Winkle Giulioni whose article, “Getting the Most from Online, On-Demand Learning” inspired the train of thought that led to this post.

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

Posted in Leadership Development

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