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Solution Saturday: How Organizations Become Great at Developing Great People

Four organizations recently asked me how they might enhance their people-development efforts. In the end, it’s a question about the future.

The people on your team reflect the future of your organization.

Great people accomplish great things.

Wise leaders and successful organizations help people become great.

12 steps to becoming great at developing great people:

  1. Identify champions. People at the top must believe in the priority and power of developing people. Initiatives without champions waste time, money, and resources.
  2. Clarify purpose and goals.
    • Why develop people?
    • What is your vision?
    • Who do we aspire to become? The ultimate question of development is “who,” not, “what.”
    • How will we be better if we succeed? Develop specificities when describing “better.”
  3. Engage participants. If you want buy-in, engage your team in the development of the development program, early and often.
  4. Identify and describe skills and behaviors of successful people within your organization. How might they inform the process?
  5. Choose wide over narrow. Successful development speaks to all of life, not just work. Great people are great at work, in the community, and at home.
  6. Determine if you are going to develop your own program or purchase one out of the box.
  7. Choose methods that best suit the audience and organizational culture. Always consider culture when choosing any path.
  8. Design, develop, and adapt training materials.
  9. Determine the execution path. Launch sooner, rather than later. Consider using pilot programs. Adapt as you go.
  10. Evaluate while go, not just after. Craft evaluation questions before you launch.
  11. Follow the energy. If it feels like you’re pushing a rope, it won’t work.
  12. Explore leveraging outside talent. The people on your team are already busy doing their jobs. Should you find external talent that fully aligns with your values, beliefs, and goals to be part of the process?

How might organizations become great at developing great people?

What works and what doesn’t work when it comes to developing talent?

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