Why leadership training doesn’t work (and what you can do about it)

How many times have you gone to a leadership development workshop, had a wonderful experience, left feeling great, and then went home and kept doing the same old thing?  Or, perhaps you kept up your new resolutions for a couple of months or weeks, and then went back to doing the same old thing.   Why does this happen so consistently? And why do we, knowing this, keep on sending people to training?   Learning these skills will not lead to doing these skills. That’s because, I’ll suggest, most of the leadership skills and insights being imparted through these events are, in the words of Ronald Heifetz, “adaptive” challenges rather […]

How to Improve Your ROI on Capability Development

According to the ASTD, US corporations spent over 150 BILLION DOLLARS on employee learning and development in 2011.  This figure translated into just under $1,200 per employee, which doesn’t include the costs of an average of 31 hours’ training time.  Unfortunately, while this money was being spent, US productivity DECLINED during the first half of 2011, with a modest second-half rebound and zero real growth for the year.  If I were a CTO (Chief Talent Officer), I would have a difficult time justifying this expense, with such a poor return.   At Teleos, we spend a lot of our time designing and delivering capability development solutions, and we expect those […]

Ethics Training to Address Senior Military Officers’ Bad Behavior? Not so Fast!

The New York Times reports that Defense Secretary Panetta has ordered a review of ethics training, in light of recent scandals involving CIA Director Petraeus and others. Officers have been investigated or fired for behaviors including “sexual improprieties, sexual violence, malfeasance, or poor judgment.”   What’s wrong with the training solution? The leap to ethics training as a solution reflects a common organizational bias towards training as the solution to all problems. And, as with most situations where this bias exists, training isn’t likely to make much of a dent in the problem.  The training solution is predicted on invalid assumptions: –       that the officers don’t have a clear set […]