March 2014
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TD Magazine

Just What Leaders Need

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Companies seek alternative resources to develop and engage the modern leader.

Organizations are responding to the expectations of the modern leader, shifting from the reactive "just in time" approach to learning to an approach that involves continual development. A recent Aberdeen Analyst Insight report found that 57 percent of best-in-class organizations provide development experiences at all stages of an employee's career.

Although formal learning methods still rate as the most effective among the more than 200 study respondents, the report also found that training and development programs are evolving to provide leaders with greater control over their own development. This includes enabling informal learning and creating mentoring and coaching programs that grow with leaders.

Other essential development methods for leaders include heightened collaboration with subject matter experts for knowledge sharing and insight, and extending learning outside the enterprise to include interaction with key stakeholders, alumni, and customers. Aberdeen reports that best-in-class companies also are more than twice as likely to invest in mobile and social learning, so that their leaders can consume performance support content when they need it.


More than one-half (56 percent) of the best-in-class organizations surveyed also provide leaders with data regarding the development progress of team members and direct reports.

"By providing leaders with relevant data, they feel prepared to make decisions about current and future workforce needs," the Aberdeen report asserts. In other words, leaders are indeed getting "just what they need."

About the Author

Christine V. Edmond is the former senior specialist for ATD Communities of Practice and also serves as the communications director for the Alliance for Women in Media - National Capital Area Chapter. Christine enjoys and has experience working in multimedia production (audio, video, and print), marketing, client relations, outreach, development, creative services, and strategic communications. She received a BA in broadcast journalism from the American University. Visit for more information.

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