Updated: May 21, 2022
I've been doing business growth transformation coaching for the last 14 years and the pattern is painfully consistent. My experience aligns with Gino Wickman of EOS, who stated the number 1 factor for growth is the ability of leadership to function as a great team. Companies stop growing at the point where the leadership team has reached the limit of its effectiveness as a team. If they can't function as a great team & build other leaders under them to scale the business, then they won't grow beyond where they are at today. In fast growth companies, they can even jeopardize the viability of the business. This is true for everyone from start-ups to multi-generational family businesses.
Research tells us the number one cause of transformative growth is leadership & culture. The best results we've seen for building both is to train everyone in your organization to be a leader. Leadership is not about titles, it’s about a passion for excellence & making a difference. Making this thinking & behaviour the norm in your business is how you build a high-performance culture.
One of the big challenges for many owners is empowering younger professionals (20-39) to step up as leaders. They are the biggest, most educated, most ESG conscious generation in history & they are your future leaders, staff & customers, & the key to growing a great business. If you want to: attract, engage, & keep the best talent, then you need to engage them on their terms. This Workable article has a great outline on engaging them & at its core it says continuously growing & developing them is the key. You either grow them or lose them.
According to a Harvard Business Report the top three reasons young professionals say traditional learning and development programs are failing:
Poor content - Young professionals are 3.4x more likely than Baby Boomers to cite poor content as a barrier.
Not enough external thinking and expertise - Young professionals are 2.3x more likely than Baby Boomers to cite lack of external expertise as a barrier.
No application to on-the-job requirements - Young professionals are 1.3x more likely than Boomers to cite lack of job application as a barrier.
Further, it says 71 percent of young professionals who are likely to leave an organization in two years cite their dissatisfaction with how their leadership and professional skills are being developed, and companies not improving their development programs to fit young professionals. This could be disastrous for the sustainable growth of your business.
The answer is obvious; evolve your professional growth, training and leadership development to specifically suit younger professionals. Most organizations traditionally focus on developing technical skills; but young professionals want to develop leadership & soft skills. According to the HBR report and supported by similar reports by PWC and Deloitte, training needs to be specifically designed to engage young professionals:
Focused, multi-modal & collaborative in design
Relevant to their immediate needs
Purpose driven, explaining “Why”; not just what & how
"Chill”; relaxed & safe
Personal; instructors building rapport by listening & focusing on them
Based on this, MExit has developed a Future Leader Development Program built on the concept of leadership without a title. The sessions are formatted as networkshops, where best practice concepts are presented, then everyone is involved in small group discussions to collaboratively, make the ideas relevant and experiential. This format and material has been transformative with the clients we've worked with. Training everyone together gives them a shared language, shared values and shared experiences which according to Jim Collins is key to building great teams and culture.
I've attached our brochure that outlines the MExit future leader development, I'd like to hear your thoughts on this & if you like it please share.