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02: Defining Success of L&D

June 24, 2023

Part 2 : How to design an award-worthy leadership programme

It's Part Two of designing an award-worthy leadership programme and we're talking stakeholders and Learning Needs Analysis.

We know, it's a super sexy topic. And one that's too often skipped (or tiptoed across!).

We're going to cover objectives, stakeholders, measures of success and of course - learning needs analysis.

Get clear on your programme objectives

Before you get stuck in to the (much sexier) process of designing your leadership programme you need to be clear on what you want it to deliver for you business and where you're starting from. What is the gap that needs to be closed?

"Being better managers" is not an outcome you want to aim for as it's neither specific nor measurable. Instead answer these questions:

  • What are the specific learning or skills gaps that need to be addressed?
  • Where are we now?
  • What will changing this do for our company?
  • Why now?

Stakeholder engagement

We touched on this in Part One but lets go a little deeper on stakeholders. For your programme to be a success, you'll need the buy-in and support from a variety of people such as the executive team, functional leads and those on the programme. These are your stakeholders.

Once you've identified your stakeholders you'll want to ask questions such as:

  • Who has the most influence for the programme?
  • Who will be most impacted?
  • Who has a financial stake or interest?
  • Who could derail the programme if not consulted appropriately?

Some questions to understand what stakeholders actually want

  • What are we trying to accomplish with this leadership programme?
  • What does a good outcome look like?
  • How will we know when we've achieved that outcome? 
  • What will our measures of success be? (Make them SMART)
  • How does this link to our wider strategic plan?
  • How does this leadership programme support the delivery of our other business priorities?
  • What conflicts could arise and how will we avoid them?

Communicate and align expectations

So you've got top level buy-in with the questions above, now you need to start getting specific and document everything that's been agreed so there's no nasty surprises later down the line. Make sure you share a document to ALL stakeholders which includes

  • The programmes purpose and intended outcomes
  • Sponsorship and support from the executive team - including names of who has signed off on the leadership programme
  • Individual committments requried - how many sessions, what times, what dates, expectations around prioritisation and attendance
  • The role of the learner's manager in supporting their ability to attend and prioritise the programme

Learning needs analysis

A common mistake is to spend too little time on the needs analysis phase. This is super important to ensure your programme focuses on the actual learning needs. Your previous stakeholder questions will help you. In addition gather insights on:

  • What competencies and behaviours do we need to develop to achieve our strategic business objectives?
  • How are we currently measuring performance against those competencies and behaviours?

Example of how to use a 360 process in your Learning Needs Analysis

At Coachable we use our Leadership Quotient (LQ) Assessment to understand an individual's performance against the six behaviours of Coachable leaders. Each leader gets a 1-1 coaching session and personalised report packed with brain-based tips to identify gaps and strengths on an individual basis. The aggregated data highlights key strengths and development areas in the leadership team, enabling us to design impactful and targeted programmes.

LQ Assessment Example - The Coachable Leadership Behaviours

We hope this has given you some food for thought. In the next post in this series we'll look at the next part of your programme development: Content Design.

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