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This post is a series of questions to consider during the up-front definition phase of an enterprise initiative for leadership development program.

Definition Phase

  • Have you defined what your organization means by leadership development?
  • Does your organization recognize that developing leaders is a long-term effort?

Organizational Context and Drivers

Organizational Drivers

  • How well have you identified your organizational context?
  • To what degree do you face a leadership talent shortage?
  • What is the impact to you of retiring baby boomers?
  • To what degree are employees lengthening their careers up to retirement?
  • To what degree has increasing competition for intellectual capital impacted you now? Near future?
  • How has the acceleration to geographically distributed work and distributed teams impacted your organization?
  • To what degree is your organization a global business vs United States-centric?
  • How competent is your current workforce?
  • How do decentralized business units impact?
  • To what degree have flatter organizational structures impacted the need for leadership?
  • To what degree have you been impacted by downsizing and mergers?

Organizational Context

  • Have you assessed the degree of leadership opportunities in the organization? What is the trend?
  • How did the organization perform last year? This year?
  • What specific intended outcomes are expected from a leadership development program?
  • How have you defined the link between your leadership development program and other business operational plans and strategic plans?
  • How far will your organization go with its leadership development program (this is a strategic choice)?

Target Audience

  • What are the requirements to qualify for the leadership development program?
  • How will you define “key personnel”?
  • For first-time supervision roles, how will you determine who internally has the desire to lead?
  • How do you define your leadership pool or talent pipeline?

Faculty / Instructors

  • Who is on your initial list of leaders in the organization whom you would like to invite to participate as faculty?
  • How can their skills, personalities, areas of responsibilities, and roles helping to sell the leadership development program?
  • How can you effectively meet with them one-on-one to solicit their input, support, and participation as instructors?
  • To what degree does the senior leadership team support the names on this list?
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KW Lanham


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