The Impact of a Leadership Development Certification

Unleashing Your Organizations Potential, The Impact of a Leadership Development Certification

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Effective leadership is the cornerstone of organizational success. In the fast-paced and competitive business landscape of today, investing in leadership development has become imperative for organizations aiming to thrive and adapt to constant change.

A leadership development certification from the Institute of Organization Development offers a structured and strategic approach to nurturing leadership capabilities within your organization.

This article will explore the significant benefits that this certification can bring to your organization, ranging from improved performance and employee engagement to enhanced innovation and organizational resilience.

What is Leadership Development?

Leadership development is the process of enhancing and nurturing the skills, qualities, and competencies required for effective leadership. It involves systematically identifying, cultivating, and refining individuals’ abilities to lead teams and organizations toward desired goals and outcomes.
Leadership development encompasses activities such as training, coaching, mentoring, experiential learning, and self-reflection.  These are all designed to empower individuals to inspire, influence, and guide others in achieving shared objectives.

Leadership development aims to create a pipeline of capable and adaptable leaders who can navigate complex challenges, foster innovation, build high-performing teams, and drive positive change.

What is Leadership Development?

Leadership development is the process of enhancing and nurturing the skills, qualities, and competencies required for effective leadership. It involves systematically identifying, cultivating, and refining individuals’ abilities to lead teams and organizations toward desired goals and outcomes.
Leadership development encompasses activities such as training, coaching, mentoring, experiential learning, and self-reflection.  These are all designed to empower individuals to inspire, influence, and guide others in achieving shared objectives.

Leadership development aims to create a pipeline of capable and adaptable leaders who can navigate complex challenges, foster innovation, build high-performing teams, and drive positive change.

Benefits of a Certification in Leadership Development from the Institute of Organization Development

Having a certified Leadership Development Professional in your organization can offer multiple benefits. Here are some key advantages of a certification in Leadership Development from the Institute of Organization Development:

  • Expertise and Knowledge: Formal training equips participants with specialized knowledge and expertise in leadership theory, best practices, and strategies. This expertise enables them to navigate challenges, and drive organizational success effectively.
  • Credibility and Trust: Our Certification adds credibility to a leader’s credentials, signaling to colleagues, employees, and stakeholders that they have met recognized standards of proficiency in leadership. This fosters trust and confidence in their leadership abilities, enhancing their credibility as influential leaders within the organization.
  • Professional Development: Pursuing our certification demonstrates a commitment to ongoing professional development and continuous improvement. We are continually updating our material to the latest trends, research, and innovations in leadership theory and practice, which can have a huge benefit to your organization by introducing new ideas and strategies.
  • Performance Improvement: Participants are better equipped with a toolkit of leadership skills and techniques that can enhance their performance as leaders. They are better prepared to motivate teams, foster collaboration, resolve conflicts, and drive performance improvements.
  • Succession Planning: Our program focuses on identifying key positions within the organization to support succession planning efforts. This includes identifying high performers, calibration meetings, coaching, and mentoring, which help groom the next generation of leadership talent and ensure continuity in leadership effectiveness.
  • Risk Mitigation: Effective leadership is crucial for managing risks and navigating challenges in today’s complex business environment. Participants are better prepared to anticipate and address potential risks, make informed decisions, and lead the organization through periods of uncertainty or change.
  • Employee Engagement and Retention: Strong leadership is closely linked to employee engagement and satisfaction. Our certification equips, inspires, motivates, and engages OD Professionals to lead their teams to higher levels of employee morale, productivity, and retention.
  • Innovation and Creativity: Certified leadership development professionals are encouraged to think creatively and innovatively in their roles. By fostering a culture of innovation and creativity, they can drive organizational growth and competitive advantage in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace.
  • Organizational Culture and Values: Leadership plays a significant role in shaping organizational culture and reinforcing core values. We lead by example, embodying the organization’s values and fostering a positive and inclusive workplace culture.
  • External Recognition and Benchmarking: Having a Certified Leadership Professional in your Organization will provide external recognition and validation for your commitment to leadership excellence. Our certification serves as a benchmark for comparing leadership capabilities against industry standards and best practices.

Think Strategically When Developing Your Leaders

Start thinking strategically when you look at your leadership development initiatives. Every function within an organization makes things happen according to the strategic plan. This includes recruiting, talent management, onboarding, skill building, succession planning, and developing high potentials. Anything that gives you a competitive advantage is linked to developing your leaders. With this list to start with, you can see that leadership development does impact the bottom line.

Why Leadership Development Needs to Change

Organizations are experiencing a new normal, with more employees working from home. With today’s complexity, all leaders must keep expanding and growing if they want to keep moving forward. It is imperative that they develop knowledge and skills to challenge their mindset.

The leader of today needs to be prepared to work in a volatile, uncertain, changing, and ambiguous environment. What was once called change management is now leadership. This means being able to work with all age groups, all levels of diversity and inclusion, be comfortable with technology, and work across boundaries.   

We need to build a better future for our leaders. This includes preparing them to deal with critical leadership moments they face each day. This will require a plan in place for building the long-term careers and capabilities of our leaders to ensure a steady pipeline of leaders for the future.

We need to invest in the next generation of leaders. One-and-done events that are not measured or sustainable, a limited leadership pipeline, compressing learning to save time, and leaving the individual to select their own learning options are not the solutions.

So, what are you doing to prepare your leaders to engage their teams and stakeholders to meet the challenges ahead?  There is an increasing demand for leaders’ soft skills to provide effective coaching, inclusion, diversity, employee wellbeing, motivation, and communication skills that deliver business results.  Yes, we still need leaders to be technically proficient, but they also need managerial skills.  The solution is a strategic approach to leadership development. 

 A Strategic Approach to Leadership Development

So, what is a strategic approach to leadership development?  It starts assessing and identifying leadership needs that lead to the success of the organization, not just excellent programs.  Leadership development programs need to be sustainable, not just attended and done.

Before you develop any leadership development program, reach out to the eyes and ears of the people who will determine the success of your program and assess what they need, the driver, and build your objectives and deliverables around that need.  This includes Human Resources, Leaders, Customers, and Stakeholders. 

Ask yourself the question, what do the 360 assessments, exit interviews and HRS Data tell you about the need?  Start a communication process where your stakeholders are aware that you are developing a leadership initiative/program, and keep them informed through each stage of development; this will help you develop a more sustainable program.   

However it must be a program designed around meaningful leadership experiences using a variety of learning methods tied to performance.  Leadership development programs need to address self-development, advancement to a new role, and preparing leaders for specific business challenges.  A big mistake and a disservice to a leader happens when they are promoted to leadership positions without preparing them with leadership skills. This happens too often when we promote based on technical skills.

Leadership development programs need to prepare leaders to respect all age groups and levels of diversity and inclusion, be comfortable with technology, and work across boundaries. A strategic approach to leadership development starts with determining the business needs and developing a strategy with objectives that meet or exceed those needs.

Two Types of Leadership Development, Horizontal and Vertical

Horizontal Leadership Development Defined

There are two types of leadership development, horizontal and vertical.

Horizontal leadership development refers to adding more knowledge, skills, and competencies.  We expand our toolkit, gain more skills, expand our knowledge, and become more competent.  Such training could include, but is not limited to, communications training, dealing with conflict, strategic planning, and others.  Horizontal development is usually measured through 360-degree leadership assessments.  This approach has been used for over 40 years.  Horizontal leadership development is still significant to develop in the current role, but development is needed to grow leaders and survive in this ever-changing environment. To move forward and be more effective, both Vertical Leadership Development with Horizontal Leadership Development processes are needed.

Vertical Leadership Development Defined

Vertical Development is about expanding the mindset – advancing the way a person thinks and behaves.  Vertical development looks at professional maturity, emotional intelligence, and cognitive framework. It focuses on building the ability to think in a more complex, systematic, strategic, and interdependent way.  The mindset refers to the mental models we engage when thinking, as our sense of identity.  Vertical development isn’t about training a leader in skills and increasing their knowledge; it’s about transforming the ways a leader thinks, which will impact what they do and how they behave.  Vertical development challenges a leader to make changes in the way they are and then raises their self-awareness to engage in a higher level of personalized change.  Vertical development is about becoming more adaptable, more self-aware, more collaborative, and able to span boundaries and networks to significantly impact the organization and its effectiveness. 

Vertical development does not replace horizontal development. Both are equally important. In the past, however, too much attention has been paid to adding skills and methodologies and not enough to changing high-potential leaders’ mindsets and perspectives. By focusing on horizontal and vertical development, companies can develop leaders who have the wisdom to choose the right strategies and the skills and experience to implement them.  

What sets the Institute of Organization Development, Leadership Development Certified Professional (LDCP) program apart from the others?

See through the eyes of participants of the program by reviewing their testimonials. 

Testimonials from Participants

  1. What insights did you gain from attending the program?

The program lays out a process by which I can tailor design a leadership development strategy to best enable an organization to accomplish a bolder vision. By following the steps to this process, and choosing the appropriate options given, I am able to design a “leadership pipeline” that fits our company’s priorities.

  1. How did you apply what you’ve learned?

I am applying the processes of this training on two fronts. First, our goal is to take our company’s leadership pipeline model to a new level of effectiveness. Our Training Department initiated our pipeline strategy two years ago and had even won international awards by placing #7 (2019) and #6 (2020) in the Training Magazine’sTop 125 World Wide Training Program Rankings”—much due to the progress we had made in our leadership development strategies. In our desire to continue growing and improving, I am getting the LDCP to heighten the impact of our leadership development processes.

Second, I am using this process to help design a leadership development process as a community service for a non-profit organization. It is recognized as being among the top 3 largest organizations of its kind in the U.S.A. So to continue its rapid growth, I am partnering with some of their leaders to prototype a leadership pipeline that maps their levels of growth as leaders, along with character and competencies needed to succeed at each level.

  1. How did your LDCP certification benefit you in your career?

Once I completed the LDCP certification, I foresee greater opportunities to expand my consulting work to other organizations desiring to build out their leadership development processes. I will have filled up my consulting “toolbox” with a more robust and diverse set of tools that will improve the effectiveness of my service for others. Instead of relying on a pre-packaged, “one-size-fits-all” model, I can tailor-fit a leadership development model for an organization’s unique blend of culture, context, and vision.

  1. What specifically was the most valuable experience during your certification?

One of the most meaningful experiences of my LDCP certification has been my conversations with Gene Wheeler—our professor. He has taken the initiative to connect with me outside of our webinar training, listened carefully to my current priorities, demonstrated concern for my challenges, and coached me through my next steps. His commitment to see me succeed was clearly demonstrated as he went above and beyond his call of duty by giving me the resources I needed at particular stages of my projects. His personal investment in my success is taking our succession planning strategy for our managers to a new level of impact.

Thank you!  Dr. Sam Day

In summary:

A leadership development program must be strategically designed to be successful and sustainable. It must also prepare today’s leaders to meet the challenges and changes necessary to be effective in this new work environment. This includes horizontal development with increased knowledge and skills, coupled with vertical development to advance the leaders’ thinking, exam behaviors, challenge mindset, and emotional intelligence. 

Leadership development is more than throwing some PowerPoint slides together and doing a presentation.  But that is the impression for some companies, and that is why the leadership development and organizational development departments don’t have a seat at the table, and are not viewed as impacting the bottom line. 

However the leadership development programs of ten years ago are not adequate to prepare the leader of today to meet the challenges and changes necessary to be effective in this new work environment. 

Completing a Certification in Leadership Development from the Institute of Organization Development produces skilled leadership development specialists who will have a lasting impact on your organization by:

  • Playing a crucial role in identifying and nurturing talent
  • Building a strong leadership pipeline
  • Enhancing employee engagement and retention
  • Driving organizational performance
  • Fostering innovation and adaptability
  • Supporting succession planning
  • Promoting diversity and inclusion
  • Aligning leadership development with business strategy

This investment provides you with a skilled leadership development professional that can cultivate a culture of leadership excellence and position your organization for long-term success and sustainability.

If you are interested in becoming a Certified Leadership Development Professional to advance your career and build your reputation in leadership development, consider the Institute of OD’s Leadership Development Certification.   

You will also earn Continuing Education Credits – 24 HRCI and SHRM Recertification Credits.

For more information about creating a strategic approach to Leadership Development and developmental guidelines to develop  leaders for the challenges they will face in the new world of business, sign up for our 24-hour Leadership Development Certification Program (LDCP), www.instituteod.com.

About the Author

Gene Wheeler is a Consultant, Educator, Public Speaker, Executive Coach, and Facilitator for Executive Coaching for the Institute of Organization Development.  He has been an adult educator and Human Resource Consultant for over 30 years, helping individuals, teams and organizations grow and strengthen human capital through recruiting, 360° and psychometric assessments, competency-based leadership development training programs, talent management, and executive coaching. He was also the director of the Air Force Leadership School, an on-campus, college accredited program for high potentials.

Click here to check out other Articles by Gene Wheeler

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Organizational development (OD) consulting services focus on helping leaders lead change initiatives to improving organizational effectiveness and results. Consultants work closely with leaders to assess the organization's current state, identify areas for improvement, create action plans and design interventions, and implement changes to enhance employee engagement, teamwork, leadership development, and organizational culture. They facilitate strategic planning, conduct organizational assessments, and implement initiatives such as talent management, succession planning, performance management, and employee training and development programs. OD consultants aim to align people, processes, and systems to drive sustainable organizational growth and change.

Mentoring Program

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Performance Management

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Executive Coaching, Competency Development, 360° Feedback

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Culture Strategies

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Talent Management Strategies

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Employee Engagement Strategies

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Succession Planning

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