Future Skills: Leadership & Talent Development for the Future

Hi there,

So how do you best train your leaders and talents for the future?

As training has become easier it has also become passive (less interactive) and outdated (not future-proofed). What you must do is combine these two – interactivity & future-proofing – in programs focusing on Future Skills, whether that be in the classroom or online.

Future Skills
These are the skills your people need to be successful in the future – tomorrow and the years after.

They include current or future topics trained & practiced to match their future work contexts, tasks & situations.

For example, coaching is not new, but it is amazing to see the journey it has taken until now. In future, it needs to meet the expectations of short-term planning, increased complexity, the gig economy & employee expectations to sustainability, empowerment & well-being.

Coaching is often trained as a skill, but train it as a future skill – putting coaching skills into new challenging cases & your real, future work contexts.

This will challenge and develop your people personally and professionally – so they are ready to succeed in the future.

Training Future Skills
We use this table to help us design and plan programs for interpersonal skills training of leaders and talents:

Future work contextPerspective
leadership development

Current work contextBackbone
leadership development
leadership development

Current topics: are those we already know well from leadership courses e.g. coaching, energizing, negotiation, communication.

Future topics: are those we expect to be more important going forward e.g. leading remotely, train-the-trainer, mental wellbeing, utilising data insights.

Current work contexts: are those we recognise e.g. in known situations, with a consistent employee group, long-life strategy etc.

Future work contexts: are those we expect to be prevalent going forward e.g. online, diverse employee groups, gig-economy, early empowerment etc.

This leads us to design leadership and talent programs to suit the transition toward Future Skills – moving further than only from Backbone to Innovative leadership development.

New programs must boldly focus on Perspective and Foresight leadership development – otherwise the impact will just not hit the mark!

leadership & talent

Featured post

Should You Do Personal Assessments?

Hi there,

I often hear that it can be difficult to navigate through the many options of personal assessment tools. I am frequently asked “Which tool should we use? You have experience with many, so tell us which one is best?”

Ask more questions
To answer that you need to start asking more questions. Ask yourself:

  1. What is the purpose of the activity which you have planned? e.g. leadership training, talent development, recruitment, individual or group coaching, organisational change. What do you wish to achieve and how will success be measured when you are finished?
  2. Where are you now on that journey? e.g. you have just started creating a leadership framework and guidelines before you plan to do leadership calibration, personal assessment, development, training and career progress?
  3. Is there really need for personal assessment? It’s not cheap so ask yourself e.g. Why is it necessary? Could you do without assessment? Do your leaders already have other results which you can use? Which type of new assessment could be relevant and, if so, why?

I think you get the idea! Just remember that ‘one-size-fits-all’ will not work here.

If you spend some valuable time on questioning you will reach a conclusion that suits your specific situation – your needs, expectations and budget. Here are some example situations which suggest that you could benefit from doing personal assessments:

Needs & Solutions
– You have a leadership framework and will measure your leaders against that, but need externally-validated predictive data on their personality profiles and challenges going forward.
– You have some leadership development planned and wish to integrate assessment in order to bring it’s level of relevans much closer to each individual.
– You have a leader or a group of leaders who you wish to offer personal coaching with a number of sessions specifically customized to suit each individual.
– You have a leader, talent or specialist with difficulties who you wish to offer a personal development path.
– You have a leader, talent or specialist who needs to prepare for a new role and to release their potential.
– You have one or more teams – maybe a new leadership team with new manager – who wish to accelerate their individual and shared performance by working actively with their personal profiles.
– You have plans to nominate and select your top talents and you require externally-validated predictive data to increase the quality of management selection decisions.
– You have already selected your talents and now wish to plan their individual and group develpment.
– You have a recruitment process planned and wish to supplement cv, interview, references data etc. with an externally-validated personal assessment to provide feedback and advice to the selection committee before they decide between the final candidates.
– You have an organisational change process and wish to add more security and probability to it’s chances of accelerated success.

Which assessment tool?
Well that depends. Organisations would not usually only use one. Quite often we choose a number of personal assessments as well as a cognitive assessment. I will not promote any here, but I do believe that time should be spent discussing which assessments to use and why – or when not to do assessments. First then can well-qualified assessment, reporting and feedback begin.

leadership & talent

8 Benefits to Online Coaching

My clients have now significantly increased (or started) holding coaching sessions online. Similar to online leadership training, it’s first now that the benefits have really been appreciated.

Even though face-to-face sessions are generally prefered, there are real advantages to holding them online.

I particularly like the listing of ‘The Top 8 Benefits To Getting Your Coaching Online” by Online Coaching Coach.

  1. Greater Access To Amazing Coaches
  2. Brings Location Convenience
  3. Makes Scheduling Easier
  4. Saves You Precious Time
  5. Accessible Almost Anywhere
  6. In Emergencies, It Is Very Accessible
  7. Gives You Anonymity
  8. Can Bring A Feeling Of Safety

leadership & talent

Why Run Leadership & Talent Progress Programs?

Hi there,

So why run these programs?

Here are some factors which may help you consider the impact (and ROI) of systematically working with the pipeline of leaders and talents in your organisation.

Leadership Programs

Engagement: High program satisfaction levels positively affect job engagement levels.

Job Impact: Programs have a positive impact on perceived job performance and job impact.

Future Skills for Leaders: Research shows the top priority for HR leaders in 2020 and again in 2021 is future ready business critical skills.

Turnover: Avoid the direct & indirect costs of voluntary turnover, which are much higher than many would expect – especially for good leaders.

Talent Programs

Promotion: Dedicated talent management & progress programs can double or even triple talent promotion rates.

Turnover: Well-managed talents & talent progress programs can halve talent turnover rates.

Future Leadership Bench: Research shows the second priority for HR leaders in 2020 and again in 2021 is ensuring a strong leadership bench.

Performance: Organisations with fast ‘talent to value’ progress in 2018 were more than twice as likely to outperform their competitors.

I hope this helped a little and added some value to your reflection and planning.

leadership & talent

A Method of Engaging People in Online Training: Role Play

Hi there,

As online training has become easier in recent years, the opportunities to improve participant engagement and create real behavioural changes have done too.

The methods we spoke about 10 years ago, which could only be done in a face-to-face classroom, can now be used – as newer online technology and changed participant mindsets enables just that.

This means that both global and local teams can now choose to collaborate as virtual teams. Even though face-to-face training is generally prefered, there is nothing to stop you having success with solutions which are held online – as long as you can ensure relevance, engagement and reflection.

A great example of this is role-playing online which, if done professionally by an expert facilitator, can lead to fantastic engagement and learning results.

When Rebecca Jestice wrote about this more than a decade ago, frankly online technology and people’s attitude to that technology just wasn’t ready. Now things are smoother and people have hands-on experience with various platforms. So now is the time!

Some of her points are here but take a look at the whole article if you wish to learn more Role-Playing for Virtual Team Training:

She says: Not only can virtual teams be trained online, but training is often critical for virtual team success. Is it possible to bring involvement and effective training/learning to virtual team members?

Online Role-Play
Exercises like role-playing are unique learning tools because they allow the learner to engage in experiential learning rather than passively accepting information that is given to him/her.

While PowerPoint slides might deliver needed information, they don’t require the learner to engage his/her thought processes in a manner relevant to his/her own experiences.

Experiences needn’t be elaborate in order to stimulate reflection and thinking but they should be relevant to trainees and what they are trying to learn. Just sending them out in break-out groups to discuss is not enough.

So, developing a repertoire of activities that engage trainees and can be used in various media types is important for successful virtual teams and virtual team leaders.

Sample Role-Play
In the role-play, participants were assigned different roles randomly such as a student, dean of students, faculty member, and concerned citizen. Participants were to discuss the topic at hand through playing their assigned roles in “letters to the editor” posted on the course site. The letters were supposed to bring critical discussion and debate to the topic from the differing point of views in order to bring a well-rounded understanding of the issue to the new teachers.

The sample role-play the authors presented could easily be adapted for leadership training or training for working in virtual teams. The topic of discussion can be changed to one relevant to the team as well as the roles that participants play.

Making the participants play the roles of different stakeholders in a virtual team project (e.g., leader, follower, sponsor, supporting staff, etc.) could be effective in bringing a more well-rounded understanding of virtual team issues to all participants and help them make well-informed and optimal decisions. This type of role-play could be very useful for virtual teams whose projects have consequences beyond their immediate teams or divisions.

Role-play is one mechanism that virtual teams and virtual team leaders can use to creatively enhance team member training and learning. As Rebecca Jestice states: It is still possible for virtual teams to have experiential learning opportunities through exercises such as role-play. Thank you Rebecca – now is the time!

leadership & talent

8 Ways Online Training Can Help With Talent Development

Hi there,

Online training is not new but it has become significantly more professional in recent years. The latest period has seen a real move to providing ROI – what businesses need, not just what’s nice to have or new on the block.

Even though face-to-face talent development is generally prefered, in global companies there is significant experience with online approaches – they see real advantages to solutions and solution management being held online.

8 Ways Online Training Can Help With Talent Management by efront capture some important aspects, which I have shortened in the points below. Go to their site, if you wish to learn more:

  1. Identify Corporate “Pain Points” And Performance Gaps
    You must first identify performance and skills gaps so that you can offer the right resources. This may involve a thorough online task analysis, assessments, and on-the-job observations.
  2. Provide Employees With Real World Experience
    Real world experience is hard to come by. As a result of doing this online, employees are able to see what works, what doesn’t, and where their strengths lie. They also have the power to identify personal areas for improvement so that they can continually develop their talents.
  3. Offer Immediate, Personalized Feedback
    In traditional training environments, an on-site instructor must give one-on-one feedback to every employee, which can be challenging in large group settings. However, online training courses provide immediate, personalized feedback.
  4. Maximize eLearning ROI And Reduce Online Training Seat Time
    Online training reduces the cost of training and the time it takes to manage your existing talent. This is primarily due to the fact that all of the online training materials are at your employee’s fingertips.
  5. Retain Top Talent By Offering Personalized Training Resources
    One-size-fits-all approaches just don’t cut it in the competitive corporate world. Online training allows you to customize every course, activity, and assessment based on your employees’ goals, preferences, and expectations.
  6. Offer Incentives To Improve Employee Retention
    Even highly motivated and driven employees need rewards from time to time. Online training incentives also improve employee retention and satisfaction, which help you hold on to your top talent.
  7. Improve The Effectiveness Of Onboarding Training
    Online training allows you to improve the effectiveness of your onboarding program and fully engage your new employees. Every new hire has the opportunity to go at their own pace and explore workplace practices in a supportive environment.
  8. Provide Ongoing Professional Development Online Resources
    Online training development may be an investment, but it offers your employees a wealth of benefits that keep them happy and fulfilled in the workplace. As such, they are more likely to stay with your organization in the long-run, thereby, reducing your new hire online training costs and maximizing your resources.

leadership & talent

Coaching in Motion

Where do you prefer to meet up with your coach?

Some prefer sessions to be held face-to-face, others online. Some prefer to meet at the client’s workplace, others outside – whatever works best!

Some of my clients prefer ‘Coaching in Motion’ where we combine our coaching talks with a good walk, run or other physical activity – enjoying nature, sunlight and fresh air. This gets us away from the office, restaurant, meeting room, sofa, desk and PC.

I believe we can walk & talk. We can always take notes later. Do you agree?
Do any of you combine coaching with other forms of motion?


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