Business leaders tend to think in terms of the bigger picture when it comes to planning, but capability development is often left out. This means two things: first, that leaders don’t see L&D as essential to the organisation’s success, and second, that they don’t see it as something that needs to be approached strategically.

That’s frustrating if you work in HR, L&D or organisational development because you’ll probably have the opposite view. Instead of seeing capability development as a short-term thing, you’re more likely to view it as vital to the organisation’s growth, and that it needs to be planned and measured to make sure it’s having the maximum impact.

So, how can you help change leaders think more strategically about learning in your organisation?

Be the change you want to see

As with all change initiatives, it’s often wise to start small and hone your technique. Lead by example and make sure there’s a capability development plan in place for your own team members. Explore what they can each contribute to the business and put plans in place to help them build their skills.

Focus capability development plans on the future

The key to a successful strategic approach is to connect it to future business success. That way, it’s linked to growth and forward thinking.

Tie your capability development plans to objective goals and measurements of where leaders want the organisation to be. You’ll then be able to see the impact of your plans and adapt them if they’re not going as expected.

Get leaders on board

The best way to win anyone over – including senior business leaders – is to approach the situation from their point of view. So, when it’s time to address the topic of capability development, start with leaders’ needs in mind and make it clear what the business needs them to do, and why.

Simple questions can often get them thinking, so try something along these lines: what three things do you wish your managers could do better, and what would the impact of those things be?

You can then use their answers in conjunction with the goals you’ve identified to create a plan.

Emerging leaders and capability development

This is a group that leaders often have their eye on, so hone in on their needs too. Graduates and aspiring managers have been hired with leadership in mind so will be clamouring for skills support and development. You can identify their skill gaps through some deep analysis of actual results against expected ones, and by focusing on what needs to change.

Remember; this group is powerful – not just because of their potential but because of their awareness of that potential. If you don’t keep them engaged in their career with you, they could easily go elsewhere. Giving them a clear development pathway will let them hone their skills within your organisation, not your competitor’s.

Capability development for all employees, not just the stars

We can’t all be leaders, but non-leaders still deserve investment in their skills. Include these employees in your capability development plans and encourage people to identify their own skills gaps and come up with ways to fill them. You may well find that these come from within the organisation, via mentoring and coaching, for example.

Some useful capability development resources

Did you know that Docebo LMS is a great learning, coaching and sharing tool?  Take a look here if you’d like to find out more.

Also, check out Docebo’s wealth of useful business cases, case studies and white papers around capability development and L&D.

This photo courtesy of Visual hunt