DIY Leadership Development

What is DIY Leadership Development?

DIY Leadership Development is used to complement traditional leadership development programs as a way of providing development opportunities to more people with less time and resources.  It is also used to identify “who gets in” to your traditional programs.

In essence, DIY Leadership Development refers to a program where the employee owns their development journey that includes:

–          Initiating the process that may start with the completion of a leadership assessment

–          Prioritizing development priorities

–          Identifying development opportunities

–          Completing their Individual Development Plan (IDP)

The organization provides access to assessments, resources and any additional support needed “if” it is requested by the employee.    The most important role for the organization/HR is communicating what resources are available, selling the value of committing to development, and building in a reward system to encourage participation.

The hardest part of DIY Leadership Development is simply getting out of the way.

The Benefits of DIY Leadership Development

Cast a Large Talent Net

Many experts are questioning the Pipeline approach to Leadership Development.    This approach along with other traditional models for building leadership bench strength focuses too narrowly on a few high potentials for a few key positions.  The approach makes sense when trying to allocate limited budgets.  However, there is a boatload of talent being neglected.

The DIY Leadership Development model allows you to cast a huge talent net for very minimal resource costs and provides development opportunities for all that want them.  I’m not suggesting we abandon the pipeline approach; simply increasing the size of the funnel.

Spend Money on the Right Talent

Have you ever had someone in a development program that clearly doesn’t want to be there?  DIY Leadership Development is an inexpensive way to identify those employees with the best combination of talent and the motivation to put the work in.

I’ve written previously about requiring a ‘cost for entry’ into your leadership development programs in order to enhance the perception of value.  This same ‘cost for entry’ acts as a qualifier to ensure you’re spending your development dollars on the right people by measuring both talent and motivation.


Increased Development Opportunities

Increasing the proportion of ‘in the field’ learning is the quickest way to turbo charge your organizations ability build better leaders.  The challenge lies in charging HR with identifying the quantity and quality of meaningful opportunities on top of all their other responsibilities.

The beauty of a properly designed DIY Leadership Development process is that participants will do all the heavy lifting and bring the opportunities to you that best align with their development goals.  This results in more diversified challenges instead of a one size fits all approach.

Make It Happen

The goal of DIY Leadership Development is to get more employees engaged in developing themselves.  Increasing the number of employees involved in leadership development will increase the size and quality of your talent pool.

A great place to start is to build your DIY Leadership Development process around a leadership self-assessment that helps build self-awareness and provides a framework for setting development goals.  From there, ensure that support is available for those that want it with priority being placed on facilitating the learning opportunities identified.

DIY Leadership Development is a simple and effective complement to your legacy initiatives.  By increasing access to programs, effectively targeting your development budget, and identifying meaningful development opportunities, DIY Leadership Development will super charge your talent pool and re-invigorate your commitment to building better leaders.

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