Leadership: Leaders need CPD too!
Leaders can become better and more innovative if they deliver and undertake CPD to create a strong business culture and inclusive work environment. Here’s what the CPDSO think.
The UK government this month will require companies in the private and public sectors with over 250 staff to publish their gender pay gap which will force organisations to act more transparently. But with transparency, comes public scrutiny and leaders must act with a conscience and understand how their decision making will impact their organisation.
CPD in leadership skills is highly regarded in the CPD arena as leaders of the present are looking for their successors to continue their vision. Consequently, businesses are constantly talent scouting for future leaders and those who remain dedicated to developing their leadership skills will be more successful in their work.
Learn how to build a stronger culture
Shirlaws Group, a leadership coaching organisation and CPDSO accredited provider (no. 21023) carried out research on how a company’s culture must be consciously integrated into a business model to accelerate growth.
It’s Cultural Integration System, is a leadership coaching model that Shirlaws deliver to help organisations build ‘culture as a strategic asset’. In this model, Shirlaws believe culture is driven and shaped by three elements: leadership choices, human dynamics and tracking the internal and external expressions of a company’s brand.
In terms of CPD delivery, developing the leadership choices element involves developing management teams to think more strategically and find collaborative ways of working. Shirlaws Coaching train management teams to discern between good judgements, deliberate information and decide processes in an increasingly volatile market.
For example, a CEO must stay aware of the constantly dynamic business environment to safeguard the reputation of the company brand. In a challenging situation such as negative press, change in policy legislation or security scare, a CEO will decide upon what to do next. Shirlaws work with leaders to reflect on past and present decision making situations so that they can stay conscious of how their future decision making will impact their organisation commercially internally, externally and behaviourally.
Creating inclusive work environments
There are several societal challenges leaders must manage in the modern workplace including how to manage a multigenerational workforce ranging from generation Z, millennials to the baby boomers, language and cross-cultural barriers, male dominated leadership teams and providing accessible workplaces for the those with a physical or fucntional impairment.
Here at the CPDSO we believe that the modern challenge of leadership is attempting to remove unconscious bias. There are tendencies, especially at busy times, to make snap judgements and assessments of people which quickly lead to decisions – often without even realising we are doing so! The influences are numerous, stemming from personal background, culture, experience and even personality. A manifestation of this bias could be the lack of women in higher positions, could a societal unconscious bias lead to a belief that men are more suitable for leadership positions?
There is undoubtedly a lack of diversity among leaders in today’s workplace. Deloitte reported in a 2016 survey out of 7000 CEOs and HR Leaders found that 59% of respondents reported little to no investment in diverse leaders, with similar findings for Millennials (59%) and women (49%) (Deloitte Research 2016).
Another survey by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) found that ‘mothers with young children are 30% less likely to be in work than fathers’. The TUC surveyed 60,000 professionals and also found 47% of men have been promoted in a management position after 5-year service with the same employer compared to 39% of women.
Supressing unconscious biases may give business leaders opportunities they are missing out on by employing a more diverse range of employees. Therefore, leaders who undertake CPD to recognise their unconscious bias will have the opportunity to create equal, diverse and inclusive workplaces which will deliver competitive advantages.
The Change Management Institute (CMI, 2015) lists the topics that fall under ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’. Under ‘inclusion’ falls ‘leadership behaviours’ including self- awareness, curious of others, having good judgement and empathy (CMI, 2015). Leaders who invest in CPD for themselves and for employees will create a more collaborative and cohesive workplace in which staff will feel comfortable and better able to perform to a higher standard.
What’s the take home message here? CPD is not only for employees – it is important for leaders of companies to constantly be learning too! It can help leaders recognise where improvements need to be made in business and may highlight a problems that were unknown in the past.
If you were a CEO or MD what kind of training do you think would be the most beneficial to you?
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