A laser-like approach to L&D L&D departments can now access tools that provide a laser-targeted focus on specific training aimed certain competencies, or to empower them to help leaders specialise and play to their strengths YOU CAN picture the scene. You, as the sole member of the L&D department, are charged with researching and finding appropriate L&D options for the leaders within your organisation. The heat is on. You know you need to deliver something relevant and impactful. You don’t want participants returning from a course and responding with a lukewarm, ‘it was ok’. Once upon a time, you may have hoped a ‘spray and pray’ approach to leadership development would suffice: that is, provide a wide array of options and hope that some might stick.
be well across which training would match with which competencies, but they often don’t know,” says Paul Findlay, managing director of pd training. Is there a better way to match L&D offerings to individual learner needs? Enter psychological profiling. Although insights gleaned from psychometric assessment have been used extensively in recruitment and selection, its use in L&D is rare. “If you look at psychometrics in the recruitment and selection context, these are very specific tools and we’re very
We gravitate towards what we naturally enjoy and are naturally good at. This is where we tend to have our most creativity With tight budgets and greater demands on leaders’ time, that approach is not good enough in 2015. “We’re asked with some regularity by L&D departments in large organisations to map our courses to their organisational competency framework, from entry level up to management level. You’d imagine they’d
clear on what we can take away from that information. In the L&D space, no one has made that leap. People generally aren’t sure how to use the insights to make training more effective,” says Findlay.
Help is at hand pd training aims to close this gap with its
Leadership Development Companion (LDC). The tool was designed specifically for mapping suggested training for new and existing leaders based on their personality profiles. The LDC is a collaborative effort from pd training, psychometric publishing firm Leading Dimensions Consulting (US) and industry partners such as ArcTree Consulting in Brisbane, and AlignHR in Singapore. A leadership team completes a 96-question psychometric assessment, which takes around 12 minutes to complete. The tool generates reports detailing skills that come naturally to the leader (or leadership team), and skills that require extra effort to be good at them. It then maps the training required to fix or improve to specific courses in pd training’s course schedule. Intriguingly, the LDC takes a leaf out of Marcus Buckingham’s book (Go Put your Strengths to Work) by providing L&D professionals with the option to work on a person’s strengths as opposed to their weaknesses – the traditional approach takes the opposite tack by concentrating on improving weaknesses. This is a “paradigm shift”, says Findlay. “The general principle is that we gravitate towards what we naturally enjoy and are naturally good at. This is where we tend to have our most creativity and longest term concentration. It’s where we do our highest quality work. Conversely, in areas that don’t come naturally to us, we feel a bit drained, a bit tired. We tend to avoid them or do the minimum on them. The learning world says, ‘ok that’s what you’re bad at, let’s put all of our money and resources into that place, where you don’t excel’. Where’s the logic in that?” The LDC has been created in such a way that the development opportunities can focus on either end of the spectrum. Clients can focus on what they’re good at, or what they are not so good at, based on five clusters of primary leadership functions and accompanying competencies:
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