June 2021
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TD Magazine

Go Virtual to Develop Leaders

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Use instructional design principles and guide learners remotely.

It is critical today that leaders at all levels are able to lead dispersed teams. To do that, they must have the technological and soft skills to communicate and manage employees. Help individuals learn those skills via a virtual leadership development program. Lindsay Fletcher and Gerhard Redelinghuys detail how in "Grow Leaders With a Virtual Development Program."


To begin, conduct a business analysis to determine the greatest organizational need and then create a program accordingly. For example, does your company need a more robust succession plan? What are the missing skills or knowledge areas? Who needs those skills the most?

Fletcher and Redelinghuys recommend using the 70-20-10 model to create a blend of experience, interaction, and education to develop necessary capabilities.

For experience, as the largest part of the program, you could task participants with writing a reflective essay based on their reactions to program modules and what the experience has meant for their leadership journey. The interaction elements could include coaching or receiving coaching, identifying goals or helping others develop their own, and following up with action plans. And for the 10 percent focused on education, consider using virtual classes or a self-directed learning program on project management essentials.


Fletcher and Redelinghuys relay their experiences developing a program and also discuss ways to track learning via a learning management system.

These tips were adapted from the June 2021 issue of TD at Work. Learn more at td.org/TDatWork.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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