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Mind the Gap: Scaling Skills Development

With the shift to hybrid work, rapidly increasing turnover and heightened war for talent, leadership pipelines are the lowest they have been in years. As potential skill shortages loom, many organizations are using multiple tactics to close gaps. Upskilling and reskilling have moved to the top of the list, as businesses around the world work to build their leadership bench.

In a tight labour market, we often think of how difficult it is to hire; developing internal talent can reduce external hiring risks and costs. In fact, LinkedIn’s latest Learning Report states that “from April through August 2020 the internal hiring rate was nearly 20% higher than it was during the same time in 2019.” The #1 priority for L&D leaders in 2022 is to be able to quickly and effectively upskill their internal hires.

The simple answer to improving the skills and behaviours of key talent is leadership training and mentoring. But let’s be honest, it’s really not scalable. Development Dimensions International (DDI) recently released their CEO Leadership Report 2021 report, which shares some abysmal stats: only 35% of senior executives received any coaching during their transition to their senior role. Even fewer (just 21% of all senior executives) were assigned a formal mentor or coach. And, ironically, there seems to be a gap in the skills-gap assessment process as fewer than half of executives (49%) said they went through an assessment to identify their strengths and areas for improvement.

To make matters worse, many leaders and managers are feeling stressed out and burnt out, which has a direct impact on confidence levels. According to the DDI report, no matter how long it had been since their transition, nearly half of leaders with stressful transitions rated themselves as average or below-average leaders. On the flip side, only 16% of leaders who had low-stress transitions gave themselves low ratings.

So the question is… how can L&D pros not only support busy leaders through their transition, but also make it scalable to help fill the pipeline?

In our experience, group coaching and mentoring can really help to accelerate leadership readiness and promotability. Perhaps the simple genius of group coaching is it not only helps to build skill sets, it also builds mindsets. In the leadership programs we facilitate, our cohorts tell us that the group coaching format was a more engaging and valuable experience than they expected. The benefits of group interactions, diverse perspectives and built-in accountability to a cohort of peers helps to elevate the insights and create an enduring support network.

When you can harness the power of the collective, you can move from one-to-one learning to one-to-many learning. (And, let’s face it, leaders are time starved and 1-to-1 coaching and mentoring is hugely time consuming.) Whether it’s a common goal or an organizational challenge, if you can get a collective group sharing experiences, exchanging ideas and learning together, it is going to have a ripple effect in your organization.

How Can We Help?

Leveraging our highly tested CECI™ Goal Setting Process, your leaders learn a system to successfully navigate current and future leadership situations with ease.

Through our unique peer-to-peer group coaching and guided group mentoring programs, your leaders and key talent will learn how to adapt their leadership approach to thrive in an ever-changing world. They’ll also develop the superior coaching and collaboration skills essential for success.

Together, we’ll troubleshoot the burning issues that your organization is facing. We’ll help you build a community of managers who can help translate this new vision into lasting behavioural change. We’ll break down silos. Reduce turf wars. And increase empathy and collaboration.

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