Is your leadership development really working – changing behaviour and culture; improving business performance?

For your organisation to perform according to market and stakeholder expectations, in an extremely volatile socio-political and economic environment over the next year and longer, will require exceptional leadership on all levels. You know this, so your organisation may have embarked – or will soon – on a leadership development programme that spans several years, with a budgeted cost stretching into millions. You have to ensure maximum return on investment.

Looking back though, for the past few years you have probably already spent millions on training and coaching your leaders against a set of desired leadership competencies, of course with the help of the best practitioners out there. And the question beckons, did it have the desired outcome of changing behaviour, strengthening culture and ultimately improving business performance?

An awkward yet important question like this can be made redundant with the Global Leadership Platform (GLP) App, which can positively impact the effectiveness of leadership development and leadership fitness inside your organisation. Its one thing to train and develop your leaders, yet another to keep them leadership fit. Your organisation can’t afford for these all important activities to fail or at best result in incremental improvement. The good news is that technology now affords us the opportunity to do things differently – and a lot more effectively.

Extensive interviews of CEOs and HR Executives for various media platforms over the years – including our weekly CliffCentral Leadership Master Class – have revealed, almost without exception, the answer to the above awkward question. Highly experienced people in consulting firms and Business Schools have trained and coached their leaders at great cost to their businesses, yet they report that actual behaviour and culture didn’t / doesn’t improve or strengthen much, certainly not permanently or nearly as fast as needed in today’s highly competitive world. To even suggest it should directly impact organisational performance would be risky.

We can expand on why this is the case. But perhaps that’s for another discussion. When all is said and done, an organisation’s investment in leadership development hardly ever offers the desired return.

If you don’t approach yet another expensive leadership intervention differently, its impact will fade like so many others have.

GLP App as a solution:

The proposed “different way” is the Global Leadership Platform (GLP) App. A 10 step process could be implemented to ensure you succeed not only at training leaders with optimal retention of taught principles, but also at keeping them leadership fit post training, with resultant business performance improvement. In short, to ensure your return on investment:

1. Embed organisational deliverables into the App: We embed the organisations Leadership framework or competencies / values / strategic imperatives into the individualised “company branded” App, via the PLDP – Personal Leadership Development Plan. Ultimately leadership development starts as a personal journey.

2. Ensuring personal actions from training match embedded deliverables: While leaders are trained and/or coached, they schedule behaviour change actions into their PLDP, matching it with the embedded leadership competencies / values / strategic imperatives. They schedule their App to remind them hourly, daily, weekly or monthly to implement those commitments. They remain engaged because they receive push notifications (even via email) reminding them to Do, Act, Implement. They can click on the notification and be drawn back into the App, into the world of Leadership; an ever growing library of Leadership content and views.

3. Involving experts (suppliers of content and training) in the process: The facilitators of your leadership development programs – consultants, business schools, and internal resources – become contributors on the App, with all participants on the App as their followers. Facilitators then share on a regular basis – how often to be decided – supplementary messages / material around the content leaders were trained on in the last module / session. Or they simply send reminders of those principles discussed during training. Participants remain engaged in-between expensive training modules / coaching sessions because they receive notifications from facilitators that draw them back into the App.

4. Involving top leader/s of your organisation for relevance and perspective: The top leader/s in the organisation post messages for participants – via the App’s “Organisational” function – about how to practically lead against the backdrop of company Leadership competencies / values / strategic imperatives; how to lead in such a way that it impacts the organisations actual culture and strategy. All participants receive notifications of such messages and are reminded of their constant need for improvement as they are drawn back into the App. They read it and even schedule ideas into their PLDP. They can comment on the leaders post. Via analytics the leader can know who and how many leaders received the message.

The power of this step is that the GLP App starts contributing towards the strategy implementation of your organisation – linking very directly leadership development with organisational performance. It becomes a valuable leadership communication tool.

5. Ensure a daily flow of leadership input for leadership fitness: All participants receive a constant flow of short, powerful and succinct leadership messages as a supplement, via the following App functions: Daily (Leadership Platform), Global Contributors (Top leaders, authors, experts) and I-LEAD (ordinary users across the world). This keeps their minds Leadership fit. One should never forget that any form of fitness – including leadership – requires consistency, often daily.

Again, they may be prompted to add actions to their PLDP, with reminders. At last, Daily Leadership Input/Development straight to their laptop, phone or tablet! They choose how regularly they engage the leadership content. An interesting feature of the App, is that one can analyse how often it has been engaged and which features have been embraced by each individual using the App.

6. Ensure continual participation and engagement: In all the above, when participants receive messages they are able, and in fact encouraged, to comment and start conversations around the relevant messages. Participants learn from one another.

7. Allow participating leaders to involve their employees under them: All participating leaders share their personal link on the App with their direct reports and community that they lead, who in turn will receive push notifications when their manager posts anything during the above process. This draws the leader’s followers – direct reports and lower – into the development journey. The leaders sense of responsibility and awareness of the impact of his/her actions increases.

8. Introduce and allow participants into a larger leadership development community: Participating managers may share their personal experiences and views on the I-LEAD function and so engage the world on leadership. This connects them with a broader community of developing leaders. Of course it also trains them to clearly formulate their views/philosophy on Leadership before they share. And, what they share is viewed by their direct reports and employees specifically, because they receive the notifications.

Your organisation has a choice to activate or deactivate the I-LEAD function. We recommend that you activate it, so that leadership development and engagement spans a broader world for the participant. It expands the leader’s mind, which is essential in todays interconnected world.

9. Ensure participants are held accountable by their file leader: Participating leaders should sit with their file leaders on a regular basis to discuss their PLDP actions, thus being held accountable for their personal leadership development against company Leadership competencies / values / strategic imperatives. Together they can fill in the gaps.

10. Ensure the training ripples into the rest of the organisation: All managers that are on the App – but are not currently in training – will be drawn into the above activities, becoming part of the conversations, posts, messages. Therefore, training of the select few can ripple outward without necessarily having to formally train all leaders. This could result in a huge cost saving as far as the leadership development budget is concerned.



GLP App is how you can leap-frog current weaknesses in leadership development programmes. You use technology that’s compatible with all devices – laptop, tablet and mobile phone.

GLP App is how you can increase leadership fitness inside your organisation.

GLP App is how you bridge the gap between theory and practice.

GLP App is how you ensure senior leaders take ultimate responsibility for the impact of leadership development on organisational culture, strategy and performance.

GLP App is how you create a culture of personal accountability for one’s own leadership development.

GLP App is how you ensure that leaders take responsibility not only for their own leadership development but also that of leaders under them.

GLP App is how you start a culture of leadership conversation, leadership development and leadership fitness, inextricably linked to strategic imperatives – values and relevant leadership competencies.

And finally, this is how your leadership development will start impacting the bottom-line.

*In addition:

Your organisations Global Contributor (CEO – others TBA) will have the opportunity to post leadership messages to the outside world. The template on which the message appears will by default have on it an organisation logo, slogan and website address. Leadership messages may include leadership tips/thoughts and examples of authentic leadership inside your organisation or its surrounding communities. This provides a great opportunity for your organisation to connect with global and local communities.




Adriaan, as an accomplished author and leadership advisor, has been interviewing and working with top leaders for more than 15 years. He is the Co-Founder and CEO of Leadership Platform. (Twitter: @AdriaanG_LP)

Call: +27 (0)12 653 3022

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Leadership Platform is a specialist leadership development consultancy, focusing on creating measurable impact to the bottom line through the enhancement of leadership understanding and engagement.


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