In the United States, nonprofit leadership training is often seen as a necessary evil. Many organizations invest in leadership training programs, but they often fail to see any real results. Why is this the case? In this blog post, we will explore some of the main reasons why leadership training fails and offer some solutions.
Regardless of how much American businesses spend on leadership development programs, a study by the Harvard Business Review found that 82% of respondents said their companies were not effective at developing leaders. This number is especially troubling when you consider that leadership development is a $14 billion industry in the United States. So, what’s going wrong?
There are a few key reasons why leadership training often fails in the United States. First, many programs focus too much on theory and not enough on practical application. While the things that people learn in the classroom are useful, they often don’t translate into real-world success.
Second, they neglect to take into account the different learning styles of participants. Unfortunately, the “one size fits all” approach to leadership training simply doesn’t work. While some people learn best by listening to lectures, others need to be more actively engaged to learn. Otherwise, the information simply goes in one ear and out the other.
Next, leadership training programs often don’t have a clear goal or objectives. Without a clear destination, it’s hard to know if you’re making progress. Finally, there is evidence that leaders simply slip back into their old habits soon after completing a leadership training program. This suggests that the programs are not effective in changing behavior long-term.
So, what can be done to improve nonprofit leadership training programs? Whether you’re a professional fundraising consultant or another professional in the nonprofit field, here are some things to keep in mind.
First, make sure that the training is interactive and engaging. Boring lectures will not hold people’s attention and will not lead to behavioral change. As we’ve seen, people will simply slip back into their old habits and no development will take place at all. In the world of nonprofit leadership training, “death by PowerPoint” is a real danger.
Second, make sure that the training is tailored to the specific needs of the organization. One-size-fits-all leadership development programs simply don’t work because different organizations have different cultures, values, and goals. It’s important to assess the needs of the organization before designing a training program. Thankfully, specific nonprofit leadership training now exists to meet the needs of different types of organizations.
Finally, it’s essential to have buy-in from senior leadership. If the leaders of an organization don’t see the value in leadership development, the training will likely fail. It’s important to get leaders on board before launching a training program. Often, there’s a disconnect between leadership, managers, and those below both levels.
Leadership development is an important part of any organization, but it’s not always easy to get right. By understanding the common causes of failure and taking steps to avoid them, you can set your organization up for success.