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The Business Case for Leadership Development

In recent years, CLOs have faced growing headwinds when it comes to making a business case for leadership development.

An article in McKinsey Quarterly accused U.S. companies of lavishing $14 billion per year on programs to nurture their leaders while seeing little in return. The Wall Street Journal ran an article a few years ago titled “So Much Training, So Little to Show for It.” And the authors of an October 2016 article in Harvard Business Review referred to leadership development programs as the “great training robbery.”

The irony is the need for better leaders continues to grow. Global CEOs identified improved leadership development practices as a top five human capital strategy, according to the “Global Leadership Forecast 2014-15,” conducted by The Conference Board and Development Dimensions International. Yet, the same study found just 40 percent of leaders said the quality of their organization’s leadership is high and only 15 percent said they have a strong leadership bench — a decline of 18 percent from 2011.

The considerable need for leadership development but low expectation of a documented return on it presents a quandary for CLOs who understand how critical developing their organizations’ leaders is. They are in the awkward position of having to make a business case for investing in programs when there seems to be little proof that they deliver impact.

The good news is that a new study from DDI helps CLOs make the business case for leadership development - and prove that it works. Read Bill Byham's complete article in Chief Learning Officer magazine.

Talk to an Expert: The Business Case for Leadership Development
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