One of the most powerful and useful team development experiences for leadership teams is to undertake an individually tailored leadership development program together. Programs can be designed to fit with the role and purpose of the team, the complexities and challenges of the overall organisational environment and the shared leadership challenges facing team members. The opportunity to discuss, and explore leadership models and theories and share challenging leadership experiences as a team builds skill, knowledge and capability at the individual level and simultaneously develops trust, cohesion, successful collaboration and mutual respect across the team – all powerful enablers of high performance.
For the first time in 2020, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, I experimented with developing intensive, experiential, on line learning programs and successfully created and ran a highly interactive, 6 month, on-line leadership program for the leadership team of a core part of an iconic Australian organisation. I will be building on this experience to offer clients programs consisting of a blended learning environment part online and part face to face which draws on the strengths of both environments.
A blend of face to face and virtual is ideal for leadership teams since it is generally time effective and manageable in terms of commitment. Ideally, they should be held over a number of weeks or months to ensure that learning can take the form of a rich, ongoing conversation about their experiences as leaders informed by appropriate models and research and with the opportunity to apply and test insights and practice new behaviours in real time in the workplace. The greater levels of trust, goodwill, openness, understanding and respect which come from a collective experience of challenge and learning are also of immeasurable benefit to the leadership team.