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Key Challenges Organisations Are Facing In 2023

Over the last few years, organisations have navigated unexpected and unplanned situations, including COVID-19, remote working, and hybrid working. As we emerge from the pandemic, challenges organisations are facing include:

  • Recruitment and retention

  • A lack of leadership and management skills

  • A looming recession

Understandably, overcoming these challenges is vital. But how can we do this? Well, we can begin to consider the following:

  • Developing existing colleagues to rise to bridge the management and leadership development gap.

  • Combine development with the 70/20/10 model of learning, which we explain further in this blog post.

  • Make use of this learning and feedback to increase ‘employer of choice’ branding to attract new talent.

In this blog, we explore what are the key challenges organisations are facing and look at how they can consider deploying strategies that effectively resolve them.

Before we go further, it’s important to note that this blog doesn’t address the nuances that should be considered in each organisation before deploying any leadership and development learning solution. With this in mind, we encourage you to consider your own needs as a business, such as root cause analysis, expected outcomes, and immediate and long-term strategic needs.

The Great Resignation

When it comes to recruitment and retention, The Great Resignation has had a huge impact on where we are today. One of the key challenges organisations are facing, research has revealed that in the fourth quarter of 2022, approximately 382,000 resignations took place in the UK alone, compared with 365,000 in the previous quarter.

With employees having greater choice, freedom, and expectations about where they work, quality talent needs to be nurtured and rewarded for their contribution to the businesses within which they work.

Today employees are citing these expectations among their needs:

Information showing challenges organisations are facing

*According to a LinkedIn report:

  • 93% of organisations are concerned about employee retention.

  • An employee who has made an internal move at the two-year mark has a greater chance of staying with the company.

  • 94% of employees would stay at their current employer if they invested in long-term learning.

Finding the right people, with the right skills, at the right time is proving almost impossible as organisations scramble to fill their talent gaps. So, what’s the alternative?

The insight from the LinkedIn report shows that investment in people is where we can make a difference: improving the retention of existing talent by offering practical, engaging leadership and development opportunities and growing your leadership and management development talent from within.

Developing Leaders and Managers

People are excellent and have the potential to do and be whatever they set their minds to. Looking back through history, we see a significant shift from ‘born managers and leaders’ to ‘developed managers and leaders’.

Information showing challenges organisations are facing

So, we know it’s no longer a case of a limited number of people who can do the job. It’s more a case of ‘how do we develop people to be able to perform the role of a manager or a leader competently and confidently’. This is an area in which we confidently guide and support organisations.

Leadership and Management Development Using the 70/20/10 Model

The 70/20/10 model was devised by the Centre for Creative Leadership as a great way to reflect the learning model that fits both how people learn and a lean budget for courses.

Here at The Leadership Coaches, we are huge advocates of this model and frequently build this into our development solutions.

“If it’s not a course, it’s not learning.”

This myth has been a thorn in the side of Learning and Development Professionals for many years. When it comes to learning, many have the perception that it’s formal learning that counts, such as courses, training events, certifications and accreditations, etc.

Of course, these have their place in learning, but let’s take you back to a real-world learning experience – maybe learning to drive, learning a new language, managing your finances, or learning how to parent.

Does the 70/20/10 model resonate with you as you recall any of those learning experiences?

pie chart showing 70/20/10 model

We all deserve formal learning, such as being taught to drive by an expert and learning insights you can only get through that expertise. But some of us will have then got in the car with family/friends and had the experience of learning through doing.

For example, the moment a cat ran in front of the car, and you had to do an emergency stop for real, or you turned the corner too fast and hit the kerb and learned that it was a bit too close. The feedback you received from others, perhaps a patient caregiver who took their time to let you practice reverse parking several times and help you judge the distance from the kerb will have supported your 'on-the-job' learning.

You get the gist. As a learner, we have so many ways to evolve our potential. When it comes to the knowledge, skills, and behaviours of developing into a role in which you’ll lead people, the car driving analogy can be a great way to help people grasp that much of the learning happens day-to-day.

When we develop solutions for clients, we look at several factors and design a bespoke solution aimed to ensure they don’t waste budget on activities that can be learned and embedded on the job.

Below is an example of how this looks in a bespoke programme.

Example 70/20/10 programme roadmap

What Does Each Area of the 70/20/10 Development Model Include?

Now we have an idea of what the 70/20/10 model looks like, we can identify what goes into each area when considering leadership and management development and what are the key challenges organisations are facing.

This is not an exhaustive list. Often the best way to help people is to ask them how they’d like to learn and develop new knowledge, skills, and behaviours. A focus group can also be a great way to build your internal list.

70% - On-the-Job Learning Ideas:

  • Shadowing a leader or manager and being given delegated responsibility for tasks.

  • Take on a secondment, work in a different area of the business, or research competitors.

  • Find a problem in the business and work on a solution with interested peers.

  • Increase exposure to SLT, by presenting an idea or paper.

  • Deputise for a leader in SLT meetings.

  • Kick-start a lessons learned on a programme or project and build into the next programme or project.

  • Volunteer for tasks that are a stretch of your comfort zone, knowledge or skills.

  • Hold think tanks or learning forums and engage people in finding solutions together.

  • Exposure to all levels of the business – the whole concept of learn from the whole business, rather than just those at the top will pay dividends in leadership.

  • Coach and mentor others.

  • Journal and talk about your challenges and successes.

20% - With and Through Others Learning Ideas:

  • Participate in Action Learning Sets.

  • Get a mentor or two – a mentor could be a specialist in leadership and management or a specialist in a niche area you wish to develop e.g., Emotional Intelligence.

  • Get a coach – a coach is your place to evolve your own solutions to the challenges and opportunities that come your way.

  • Open yourself to feedback – 360 or informal feedback all help build one of the most important parts of a leader – self-awareness.

  • Find a buddy – another leader who has been or is going through the same experience.

  • Network and learn – participate in online chats, peer-to-peer learning forums, or LinkedIn groups (due diligence to company confidentialities), and grow your network.

  • Lift as you rise – helping others through your own learning, consider writing a blog or producing a vlog for new recruits on your journey to management and leadership.

  • Lead the way and participate in CPD events – be a guest speaker or lead a seminar at an away day.

  • See and hear – watching YouTube, TED talks, Vimeos, or something similar. Listen to Podcasts and Audiobooks to further your learning, and evolve this by speaking with others about your learning.

10% - Formal Learning Ideas:

  • Attending a blended learning programme made up of 10% courses or workshops.

  • Study a subject at college or university.

  • Participate in webinars and live workshops.

  • Participate in eLearning courses.

  • Bringing it all together.

Communication Is Key to Leadership and Development Success

Communication, as always, is the key to success, especially when it comes to leadership and development. To help you get started, here are a few key takeaway points.

  • Start with an open and honest conversation. Conversing with colleagues and sharing that the organisation’s strategy is to invest in its people and create a strong team of leaders and managers ‘like me’ in the business is vital. This presents a great opportunity to ask about organisation blind spots, e.g., in order to make the programme accessible and equitable, what do we need to consider before we get started? What other advice would you like to share with us as we want you to lead the way with our support?

  • Brief your learning and development provider. As you brief your provider, offer them access to your people. Doing so can support you in gathering the information required for the needs analysis.

  • Test your provider. Will their solution encompass the 70/20/10 model? Do they have the right people to facilitate, coach, mentor and help your internal leadership and development team to support the longevity of learning?

  • Immerse your provider. Once you’ve awarded the contract to your provider, have them fully immersed in the business. When working alongside the people they will be providing their services to, they can build knowledge of the real world as well as relationships and trust to ensure the services meet their needs.

  • Enable your provider to run a pilot. Your supplier should run a pilot of the programme to ‘road test’. As with all great learning cultures, a pilot of the programme will give your provider space to learn from the first run and tweak and change anything before the wider programme rollout.

  • Agree on milestones. Having run a test pilot, meet with your provider and agree on milestones to reflect progress against objectives. Ensure mechanisms are in place to monitor progress and use this to reinforce elements that are successful and guide tweaks and changes required to ensure the programme meets success criteria.

To Conclude

At The Leadership Coaches, we appreciate that there’s a lot of information in this blog. So should you wish to chat through what are the key challenges organisations are facing or anything noted above and how it relates to how you want to evolve your leadership and management talent, please feel free to book a call or complimentary consultation with Zoé here.

Alternatively, we welcome you to find out more about our services, such as one-to-one leadership coaching, team coaching, mentoring programmes, and our newly launched coaching programmes via our website.

Written by Director of Coaching, Zoé Lewis.


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