This is what Arie de Geus said when he headed Royal Dutch Shell’s Strategic Planning Group: “The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage.” Arie’s quote is great inspiration for those who are considering, building or reviewing their own Leadership Academies. The question that Arie’s quote encourages us to ask is, ‘the ability to learn what faster than your competitors?’ What should your Leadership Academies help your leaders to learn, and how do your organisation’s strategic priorities impact the answer to that question? This is an executive summary of the first of three e-books seeking to answer these questions.

Create a ‘Line of Sight’

No matter what the size of your organisation, the answers we seek to provide here, are an opportunity to create a ‘line of sight’ between your business strategy and your leadership development investment. And at People & Performance, we have over ten years’ experience of helping organisations to do just that. These organisations come to us because we start with their end in mind. We understand the results they want, identify what needs to be different to get those results, and provide research-based tools and techniques that their leaders can use tomorrow. And this approach works, our clients regularly give us Net Promotor Scores of 9/10.

Your three strategic choices

In this first article, we use these experiences to lay out three strategic choices HR Directors and Chief Learning Officers can make to ensure their Leadership Academies, large or small, are supporting the specific learning their organisations need to acquire, if they are to beat their competition. 

And if those choices are the right ones, they can create or strengthen the clear ‘line of sight’ between your business results and your Leadership Academy. These choices are; which business results do you want to impact, which leadership capabilities will drive those results, and what interventions will best develop those leadership capabilities? We use the six questions shown in the diagram when we work with organisations, to help them make the three strategic choices and thereby create their ‘line of sight’. You can read more about these six steps in the full e-book, by downloading it below the chart.

Six Steps to ‘Line of Sight’
1
What is the intent behind our key strategic priorities?
2
What is required from our employees, in terms of:
Motivation to act?
Task performance?
Adaptability and learning?
3
What are the critical interactions with their employees, 
where our leaders should make these strategic priorities come to life?
4
What relevant interactions with employees will our leaders have during the program?
5
What learning do our leaders need, to conduct those interactions successfully?
6
How should we replicate those critical interactions through the program?


E-book on leardeship academies - three strategic choices

 

In Part Two of our e-books, we describe the choices you can make in how to execute your Leadership Academy or your next Leadership Development Programme, and talk more about how the capabilities you identify at this stag inform your design at the next stage.