How to Establish a Leadership Development Program

Developing a leadership development program in any organization is a difficult task. This is especially true when you are starting from scratch. While some people are naturally champions, people are more likely to be neutral or even skeptical of such initiatives. Until you can start demonstrating results, you cannot instill them into the culture. So be prepared for a long term effort. Here are some ideas to get you started and you can also explore the early career development program community for the best leadership development program.

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Get executive support for the steering committee: If the CEO is involved, ask him to sponsor the steering committee. The committee may include several other executive directors and possibly several senior mid-level managers. While it is good to have several human resources on the committee, the most important thing is that the committee is not dominated by different human resources. This should be a committee consisting mostly of direct managers who have significant influence over the organization. They need to be the "champions" selling this as a management-led initiative, not just a "HR program."

Start and develop some of the top, most supported initiatives: Research best practices, determine which ones are most beneficial to your business. By choosing a few key initiatives and doing them well, you can lay the groundwork for your program. Once you have a foundation, you can build from there.

These are just a few ideas for starting a leadership development program at your company. Even if you may be the program leader, remember that this is primarily a "team" effort. You need to have the support of others in the organization as well as great dedication from your CEO. If you follow these suggestions, the more likely you are to get off to a good start.

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