Excella Consulting and FMP at LEAD2018: Best Practices in Leadership Development

February 6, 2018 in
By Jessica Waymouth

We are excited that both FMP Consulting and our client, Excella Consulting, are co-winners of the 2018 LEAD Award in the category of Best Use of Simulation! This is the second year in a row Excella has been recognized by HR.com’s LEAD Award for their multi-level Leadership Development Program, designed in partnership with FMP. Our shared goal in creating the Leadership Development Program was to instill advanced leadership skills among participants while offering mechanisms that help the learning last long beyond the training.

To develop a learning program that resonates with your participants and organization, it’s important to:

  1. Have leadership buy-in
  2. Align the program to the organization’s culture and values

After those two critical elements are in place, you can focus on designing and developing a learning opportunity that extends beyond the traditional classroom lecture format. Did you know that:

Graphic describing learning: "Only 10% of learning happens in the class room; 20% comes from learning from your peers; 70% come from learning on-the-job"

Training programs that rely too heavily on lecture lose opportunities for learning and application. In fact, unless learning is reinforced, learners will forget 90% of what they learned within a week of the actual training. To expand your program’s impact, consider:

Making facilitation innovative by offering multiple teaching methods

Design activities involving familiar on-the-job scenarios so that learners can clearly see how they might use the learning (e.g., case studies, storytelling, simulation). These types of activities are especially effective if they are introduced in a compelling and engaging way, beyond just lecture. As an example, introducing simulation into your program helps generate momentum within the team by offering a small opportunity to practice, with coaching and guidance from the facilitator. Our goal with the Excella Leadership Development Program was to test the extent to which learners implemented the best practices identified in the program. By using a simulation, we were able to give each team a unique role, provide constraints (e.g., authorities of the group and tasks), and offer a realistic scenario. We could then observe how learners reacted in different situations, which they would inevitably encounter in their daily work.

Extending learning by providing performance support tools

Because everyone learns differently, it’s important to provide different ways for learners to apply concepts so that the material they are learning becomes meaningful to them. Learning is not just classroom training, but it is also the processes and systems that reinforce, monitor, encourage, and reward performing the desired behaviors on the job. Performance support tools are a critical component to giving learners stand-alone guidance that reinforces what’s covered in the classroom. Consider all of the supporting resources, like toolkits and reference sheets, that could resonate with learners and offer them opportunities to practice what they learned. For Excella’s Leadership Development Program, FMP created a suite of tools that could be implemented at specific times after the program ended, such as accountability toolkits, teach-back materials, and articles and videos that underscored the program content.

Supporting the program’s learning objectives with organization-wide toolkits

After designing your program to offer engaging classroom activities and support tools that extend the learning, take a look at your organization more broadly. While having top leadership buy-in is important to a program’s success, it is also essential to engage all stakeholders in the process, including your supervisors, managers, and employees. By involving all levels of the organization, you can intertwine the program learning objectives into learners’ day-to-day activities. By offering multiple touch points – including email templates for leadership, discussion topics for team meetings, and sample briefing materials for All-Staff meetings – you engage the organization more thoroughly and demonstrate the importance and value of the learning program.

We hope these tips are a useful starting point for thinking about your own leadership development program. Ready for more help? FMP can work with you to strategize your approach or even build your own custom program. Contact us today at BD@fmpconsulting.com to learn more!

Photo of author and FMP employee Jess Waymouth

About the Author: Meet FMPer, Jess! When she’s not building learning and development solutions or launching an onboarding program for our clients, she’s spending time with her family taking silly selfies. She loves to cook, explore DC, and do things outside.