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Build Impactful Leadership Development Programs

Abandon one-size-fits-all leadership development and build programs designed with organizational goals in mind.

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  • Jill Birch, CEO, BirchGrove Inc.
  • Susan Drake, Director of Human Resources, Maple Reinders
  • Monica Goodale, Assistant Vice President of National Learning & Development, Zenith Insurance Company
  • Darcy Jacobs, VP of Engagement and Development, Noventis Credit Union
  • Donna Krakovsky, Director of HR and Talent Management, Atlus Group
  • Sara Pena, Talent Development, CalPERS
  • Dr. Jack Phillips, Ph.D., Chairman, ROI Institute, Inc.
  • Dr. Glenn Rowe, Ph.D., Ivey Alumni Association Toronto Chapter Faculty Professor in Business Leadership
  • Karen Van Amerongen, Team Leader of Leadership and Engagement Programs, CalPERS
  • Minna Whitman, Manager of Learning for North America, HRG North America

Your Challenge

  • Although leadership development is consistently identified as a top priority for organizations, challenges in measuring its effectiveness make it difficult to pinpoint what is working and what isn’t. This leads to wasted resources on programs that do not result in behavioral change and an overall frustration with leadership development capability.
  • Organizations pour money into leadership development programs that are too general or do not sufficiently apply to their circumstances, making it difficult for leaders to apply learnings and improve performance.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Abandon the idea that one-size-fits-all leadership development programs will meet your organizational needs.
  • Build a targeted program rooted in organizational goals in order to drive behavioral change and demonstrate business impact.

Impact and Result

  • Create a leadership development program rooted in organizational goals to:
    • Make learning contextual and transferable.
    • Facilitate measurement in order to demonstrate program effectiveness and inform iteration, to drive business impact.

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