Leadership development and learning in the Digital Age

September 26, 2018 by Wally Bock

Leadership development must be dynamic because the business world is changing all the time. Competition comes up with new strategies. Technology changes almost daily. Aspiring leaders must adapt. Emily Manley suggests that we help leaders develop best if we give them control of their own learning. Here’s one of the golden kernels from her thought-provoking article: “4 Reasons Why You Should Let Employees Drive Their Own Development.”

“So, what can learning departments do in order to work within this new environment? How can we give people the knowledge they need when that knowledge might be outdated by the time it reaches them? And will they even look to learning departments for that knowledge when they have such free access to whatever they need to learn?”

Leadership development and the changing nature of learning

New learning challenges confront leaders every day. They may need to master a technical skill or two to handle a new assignment. Sometimes they need to brush up on a corporate policy or best practice.

When I was in the early stages of my career, leaders spent a lot of time finding scarce learning resources. Even more resources are just a tap on your smartphone away today. Now the role of the leadership development professional is helping leaders evaluate, select, and get the most from all those resources.

Leadership development and leadership support

Leaders will find digital resources on their own. They need help finding internal experts and coaches. That’s where HR can help. HR can develop a maintain a list of internal experts with knowledge of specific areas of practice. They can supplement that list with qualitative evaluations of the experts and coaches.

Once upon a time, finding resources for quick learning was the challenge. That’s easy today. The challenge now is to help developing leaders identify resources that won’t show up on their digital searches. It’s helping developing leaders evaluate resources and then get the most from the best.

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

Posted in Leadership Development

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