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Overcoming barriers to leadership development

A recent study showed that 23% of leaders (including Directors and business owners) believe that they do not need any further leadership development or support in their careers.

To put that another way, nearly 1 in 4 of our current leaders believe that they are a finished product; that they are already the best leader that they can be, and that they would not benefit from further development.

If this was in fact true, it would mean that 1 in 4 of our current leaders are already the best they can possibly be. However, when we ask people how many extraordinary leaders they can think of, the answer is invariably around 1-2, rarely ever more than 3. To us, these numbers just don’t seem to add up.

The problem we have here is a worrying lack of commitment from senior leaders and directors to develop not only their own leadership skills, but to bring this learning to their people. This lack of commitment is likely to impact the entire organisation, stunting the potential growth of people and businesses. Unfortunately, it is a trend that we hear time and time again in conversations, and it normally sounds something like:

  • “we just aren’t sure that our people are ready for this kind of learning”
  • “we have employees that have been here for 30 years and won’t be comfortable being told that they need to change”
  • “many of our leaders are home-grown, they aren’t too accepting of outsiders telling them what to do or how to be”

If you want to see change in your organisation but aren’t sure your people are ready, don’t despair – there is a way forward. The working world is changing at an increasing pace and leaders must be able to keep up. It is only by understanding their development needs and having access to genuinely impactful development that leaders and companies can future-proof themselves and create long-term success.

How do we do this?

As leadership development companies go, we are progressive and we are different. What we offer is unlike anything else on the market. It’s immersive, it’s challenging and it’s pragmatic… and it’s designed to meet your people exactly where they are.​ But how?

We make it yours

For any programme to work it needs to be a collective endeavour. It needs to fit perfectly within the operational culture of your business. It needs to align with your values, use your language; it needs to create safety for a pool of people who currently feel vulnerable. It needs to feel like your programme, supported by Ivy House. That’s why we don’t build in isolation.​ We go through a rigorous design process that allows us to get under the skin of your culture, understand your objectives, language, the specific needs and skill gaps of this audience. For us, co-creating a solution is imperative and that’s why we invest a huge amount of time upfront, so we can design a programme that is a perfect fit for our clients and meets their people where they are right now.​

Expert coaching and facilitation

Our programmes are delivered by the most experienced performance coaches in the country. With a coach to delegate ratio of 1:12, this is deeply personal, coach and challenge-led development. 

Our coaches have worked with leaders at all levels, many of whom have been reluctant to change. However, there is a reason that, on average, our programmes get a market-leading NPS score of 87. Our coaches understand that for change to happen, leaders need to choose into the learning themselves – and some people will need more convincing than others. Not only do our coaches meet people exactly where they are, but they will also take them by the hand, and lead them through the development process in a way that works for them – so that ultimately, they are the ones choosing into the learning.

Push vs pull learning

Part of getting people to ‘choose into’ the learning is by taking a ‘pull’ vs ‘push’ approach. Push learning is associated with traditional education, where information is forced upon the learners without them taking ownership for the transference of knowledge. In contrast, pull learning is far more learner-centric. It harnesses the power of curiosity and self-directed exploration, encouraging delegates to seek understanding and dig deeper themselves. This ultimately increases the ability to retain understanding and skills in the long-term, which is what creates organisational change. This approach also capitalises on the intrinsic motivation to learn that sits within us all. By empowering leaders and talent to take control of their learning, it will feel for more flexible, exhilarating and valuable, and will be far more effective at creating change in the face of resistance.

Personal and professional development

​People only change when something really matters to them. The learning has to support their journey and be anchored to their needs, wants and values. Once they’ve understood who they are and the kind of leader they were born to be, we can start to look at what they want, what keeps them stuck—and how they can change. It’s this personalisation that really ignites both personal and professional change; because even if people are reluctant to change, most can’t resist learning more about themselves. With this level of engagement we can then go far deeper on the pragmatic professional learning.

A deep understanding of how different populations learn

​A one-size-fits-all approach to learning doesn’t work. Different generations learn in different ways, so the delivery and content must be specific to the needs of each population – whether they’ve done 30-years’ service or are brand new talent. With deep expertise in generational learning, our programmes and content are designed to meet the needs of specific populations, as well as ensuring delegates are set up for success in a multi-generational workplace.

If you are struggling with leaders who are resistant to development, and would like to know more about how we can help you, get in touch with us today!





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