New survey forecasts end of traditional leadership training

Traditional leadership training is outdated and needs to change according to a new survey of senior line and HR executives in major companies across Europe and the USA.

In the research, undertaken at 111 companies in Europe and the US by the Institute of Executive Development and leadership development specialist, Mannaz, 62% of respondents said they believed the classroom based lecture approach would become less and less important over the next two to three years. 45% believed that the same would happen to outdoor or ‘experiential’ events.

Instead the companies questioned seemed to believe that there would be a shift to individual coaching and mentoring (75% of respondents) and to ‘leader to leader’ development (69% of those questioned).

When asked what were the main priorities of leadership development programmes 65% cited the need to stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation and the same percentage quoted a desire to improve overall executive quality. Only around a third (34%) were motivated by the need to attract new hires to the organisation or to retain existing senior leaders and executives.

“What the research shows is that the prevalent thinking on how an executive should lead is no longer valid – something the global downturn has very dramatically demonstrated,” says Mannaz’s executive VP, Dr Jorgen Thorsell. “As the workplace becomes ever more complex we are no longer just looking at the ability to lead teams and individuals. Leadership development must also embrace accountability, empowerment, risk-taking and the entrepreneurial spirit.”


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