Leadership Evolution approach to Leadership Development

In the age-old discussion as to whether leaders are born or made, here is some good news. It’s neither and both. Leaders and leadership can and should be developed on an ongoing basis, by using programs that are designed for your particular needs - taking into account existing leadership capability, whether innate or acquired, and the context in which it is to be developed.

In a nutshell, our approach to leadership development is to take the existing wisdom and experience of the participants, add to it wordly wisdom from a broad range of leadership, psychology and management disciplines, allow insight, reflection, and feedback and apply new learnings to the workplace. The focus is relational and experiential - designed to increase the behavioural flexibility and choices of participants.


Program Structure

Leadership Evolution will develop a learning solution for your organisation that is best practice supported by research. Research and experience shows that the most powerful and effective leadership and management development programs include the following elements:

  • A strong program sponsor from the most senior levels of the organisation who sets the context and drivers for the program and answers the question “why are we doing this?” The sponsor should also have a role in keeping participants accountable.
  • Longitudinal learning through a program of several months during which participants learning and skills are continually reinforced and embedded in practice through follow up sessions and coaching (research shows that more than 50% of what was learnt on a course is forgotten in 72 hours if there is no continual and deliberate reinforcement).
  • A blended learning approach using a combination of group workshop sessions and coaching which incorporates peer learning (whilst training alone has been shown to produce a 22% increase in productivity, when training was combined with coaching, productivity increased by 88% - International Personnel Management Association LAAABS Study 2000.)
  • Effective application of adult learning and accelerated learning techniques which means applying the lessons from neuroscience (how our brain works and how it learns and retains information). This includes incorporating elements of learning design such as colour, music, peer learning, experiential learning, ‘gamification’ (teaching and learning through games), reflective journaling, storytelling, and creative thinking techniques. Learning is an active and engaging process.
  • Grounding in the participants reality which means the practical application of any new learning (concept, model, tool, skills) must be immediately discussed, embedded and applied to the participant’s day to day environment. This is done through the course design, participants “on the job” projects and coaching.
  • Strong engagement by the participant’s immediate supervisor to help the participants implement their learnings on the job and get real time feedback (combining on the job performance with learning environment). Linking the learning and development goals in to a performance review process is one method to ensure the supervisor support.
  • Relationships and peer support to help participants try new things, feel safe when making decisions, taking risks and making mistakes.  Peer relationships are often best formed through a residential component of the program and peer group coaching sessions.
  • Linkage and integration with the strategic direction of the business, key priorities, other development programs, initiatives, and any previous courses will ensure that participants have a strong context and scaffolding for the program.
  • Accountability is built in to the process with participants being required to provide a report or presentation on their actions, learnings, and leadership goals to sponsors at the conclusion of the program.

A program that contains the elements above will result in a robust program which is likely to yield the highest return on investment.

Program Facilitation

Our facilitation approach is drawn from accelerated adult learning and NLP techniques and brain base research on how we learn and retain information. Our programs typically include:

  • Reflective journaling used throughout the program to record and embed learnings
  • Extensive use of music and colour drawn from the accelerated learning techniques and NLP
  • Participants own experiences and wisdoms will be utilised through the facilitation techniques in line with adult learning principles
  • Conversational techniques (rather than facilitator led) will be used which aids peer learning, a key learning requirement with more senior groups
  • Participants will be expected to actively engage in experiential learning (that is, learning by doing)

Program Content:

The theories, models and exercises used in Leadership Evolution’s programs are dependent on the context and focus of the program. Typically, they cover:

  • Relational Leadership - a perspective on leadership that focuses on the idea that leadership effectiveness has to do with the ability of the leader to create positive relationships within the organisation. Wheatley (1992) describes the principle as follows: Leadership is always dependent on the context, but the context is established by the relationships we value. That means participants in our programs experience the importance of relationships to leadership.
  • Organisational Leadership – that is taking the organisation in the direction it needs to go – includes topics such as vision, futuring, alignment and stucture, managing organisational change, strategy, building organisational values, community and stakeholder engagement, and building teams. A great program to support organisational leadership is the Nine Conversations in LeadershipTM  as well as our tailored team development programs.
  • Personal Mastery – that is, personal leadership skills including communication, interpersonal skills, building relationships, rapport, public speaking, coaching skills, confidence, self/time-management, and emotional intelligence.  Individually tailored programs and  Executive Coaching are fantastic ways to develop these skills. There are also some highly relevant neuro linguistic tools that support personal mastery.
  • Authenticity – that is, being sublimely in tune with who you are and what you are about, includes internal alignment of goals, values, beliefs and behaviours, deep self-insight, clarity around your life path, generosity, forgiveness, abundance, responsibility and contribution. Being true to all that you can be. Executive coaching is also a great tools to help find authenticity.

Leadership Evolution programs are powerful and effective, as demonstrated by a recent client.

“We have benefited from the services of Alison from Leadership Evolution in the development and implementation of a Leadership Development Program targeted at our senior and General Managers for the last 3 years. Alison worked closely with us to truly understand our strategic business objectives and culture and as a result developed and delivered a program that is not only specific and relevant to the needs of our organisation, but also ensured integration and linkages with previous programs, established performance management tools and corporate artefacts. Without exception the implementation of this program has resulted in demonstrable improvement in our leaders. We would recommend Alison and Leadership Evolution to anyone looking to implement effective training programs that achieve results.”

Sarah Hoolihan
Senior Manager Learning & Development - Auto & General

(ROI data available on request)

Who participates in Leadership Development?
It is a mistake to assume that only senior managers participate in leadership development. Leadership happens at all levels of your organisation – from your new graduates or frontline staff to your Executive team - and depending on your focus, the program can be tailored to target particular development gaps at any level. Even the most experienced of leaders need to move beyond their comfort zones and add to their capabilities and skill sets to stay ready to handle any challenge that the future may hold for them. Leadership development programs that help you build on strengths and resolve any gaps will reinforce the strength and the depth of leadership in your organisation.

What are the benefits?

In developing a tailored program to meet your needs, our approach will deliver the following benefits:

  • Focus on target results for both the short-term (“take-aways” and “quick wins”) and the longer-term embedding of new skills and behaviours (“teaching you how to fish”)
  • Links the strategy of your business to the program, covering concepts of leadership that are fundamental to taking your leadership vision and making it a reality.
  • Programs are meaningful to your participants, delivered in the way that makes the most impact personally through tools such as NLP and profiling tools.
  • Designed to maximise return on investment, using structures and techniques that have been shown to get the best results, and ROI processes to measure results for your organisation.
  • Credible, up-to-date content that is customised to your requirements.
  • Presenters, facilitators and coaches with the right experience and qualifications.
  • Benefits to stakeholders, whether participants’ managers, company investors or the rest of the organisation.

How does Leadership Development contribute to organisational performance?

Here are some of the outstanding benefits achieved in previous programs:

  • Executives build their understanding and fundamental leadership skills to take their business to the next level. They identify possible roadblocks to achieving their specific objectives and gain the skills needed to remove them.
  • Organisational change becomes a leadership pleasure and no longer a management chore.
  • Job satisfaction increases and relationships with colleagues improve.
  • New leadership thinking and actions bring new results and sustainable benefits.
  • At junior levels, people improve their skills and organisational understanding, paving the way for their future growth.
  • Leadership development is a talent and retention strategy – organisations that provide great development opportunities are more likely to attract and retain great people.

Leaders do a lot. Expectations from followers, organisations and key stakeholders are high. So leaders need great support and development through Executive Leadership Coaching and Development from Leadership Evolution. Our approach to development connects directly with leadership potential to help leaders succeed, emphasising relational leadership and experiential learning.

If this is what you are looking for, call us today on 0400 340 171 to discuss how we can work with you to tailor a program for your organisation.