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Optimize the Leadership Development Program

Leadership development is expensive and its value is elusive – make sure you’re getting the most out of it.


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Your Challenge

  • Organizations are spending money to build leadership development programs that are not working.
  • The key problem is not that they have leadership issues. Rather, the problem is that they still have leadership issues after spending a lot of time and money developing a program.
  • As a result, budgets for the leadership development program are often cut, and HR struggles to deliver an effective program with fewer resources.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Leadership development has to be more than sending leaders for training. To be successful, the program must be aligned to organizational strategic imperatives, have measurable results, and be supported by executives.
  • When executed correctly, a leadership development program results in clear benefits, including increased ability to meet strategic objectives and higher levels of engagement across the organization. It also can improve the way HR is valued by the business.

Impact and Result

  • Assess your current leadership development program, identify the main issues that are causing your program to fail, and develop action steps for optimization.
  • Align your program with organizational strategy to succeed in delivering goals and objectives.

Research & Tools

1. Create a plan for leadership development

Draft leadership development goals and consider risks and contingencies for development efforts.

2. Identify program needs

Understand development challenges and develop learning objectives that address current learning activity gaps.

3. Build the program

Map out the program, accountabilities, and timing, including effectiveness and sustainability metrics.

4. Implement and evaluate

Determine guidelines for participants and develop a communication and roll-out strategy.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is an eight call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Create a plan for leadership development.

Call #1 - Confirm levels for leadership development and identify leadership challenges.
Call #2 - Determine organizational leadership development goals, review competencies, and brainstorm risks to leadership development.

Guided Implementation #2 - Identify program needs.

Call #1 - Develop learning objectives based on organizational goals and common challenges.
Call #2 - Analyze existing learning activities to identify what can be leveraged for the program and uncover gaps.

Guided Implementation #3 - Build the program.

Call #1 - Determine the appropriate mix of learning methods to create an effective program.
Call #2 - Map out the leadership development program.

Guided Implementation #4 - Implement and evaluate.

Call #1 - Determine an appropriate program roll-out and communication strategy.
Call #2 - Analyze data to determine program strengths and areas of improvement.

Onsite Workshop

Discuss This Workshop

Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Create a Plan for Leadership Development

The Purpose

  • Address challenges and risks to determine effective program goals.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Use McLean & Company’s methodology for improving leadership development’s impact.
  • Prepare to create a leadership development program.




Set leadership development goals for the organization.

  • Created leadership development goals

Review leadership competencies to define leadership in the organization.

  • Determined if leadership behaviors or competencies are aligned with organizational goals

Identify risks to leadership development.

  • Address program risks

Module 2: Identify Program Needs

The Purpose

Draft learning objectives and begin developing activities.

Key Benefits Achieved

Align learning objectives to competencies.




Use an impact map to create learning objectives.

  • Program learning objectives

Identify themes and prioritize learning objectives.


Identify existing leadership development activities in your organization.

  • Identified existing learning activities that can be leveraged for the program

Module 3: Build and Implement the Leadership Development Program

The Purpose

  • Outline the program.
  • Determine an implementation strategy.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Design the leadership development program.
  • Plan the program launch.




Determine what new learning activities need to be developed for the program.

  • Program learning activities

Map out your leadership development program.

  • Map of the leadership development program

Determine the timing of learning activities.

  • Leadership Development Playbook

Determine your roll-out strategy.


Determine key messages for program communication.

  • Roll-out and communications strategy