HR Management & Compliance

Still Doing 20th Century Training? 21st Century Training Tips

In yesterday’s Advisor, Consultant Roselinde Torres outlined the four characteristics required for leadership success in the 21st century; today, Torres shares key training tips for developing leaders who will possess these qualities.

Torres is senior partner of The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and leadership expert in its People & Organization practice.

Leadership Training Should Reflect Modern World

It is one thing to understand conceptually what it takes to be a 21st century leader; it is another to identify and nurture the next generation of leaders within an organization. To do so, training programs should aim to place future leaders outside their comfort zones and force them to confront the complexities of the modern world.


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Torres says that some of the most important aspects of 21st-century leadership training include:

  • Expanding horizons. This could include sending someone to work in a new business unit, in an external entity like an industry group or government panel, or a new country or continent. “When future leaders are exposed to new and different environments, they are forced to learn how to connect with, understand, and mobilize people toward a single goal,” says Torres.
  • Creating fast tracks. Some companies are deciding to connect leadership assignments to key strategic needs and requirements and to narrow the responsibilities of older leaders. “Both of these tactics allow younger leaders to take on more responsibilities faster,” adds Torres.
  • Accelerating skills development. Companies frequently have less time to cultivate leaders—instead of 15 or 20 years, the time frame today is closer to 10 or 12 years. “Quarterly talent reviews, timely feedback evaluations, and leadership-sharing partnerships can all help to ensure that the next generation of leaders has the right skills for the job,” says Torres.

Generic Leadership Training Is Outdated

“Generic leadership development programs are outdated and ineffective,” she stresses. “Instead of imposing leadership models from above, companies should build them from the outside in, through careful and orchestrated exposure to a range of new experiences rather than classical leadership training.”

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015
2:00 p.m. (Eastern)
1:00 p.m. (Central)
12:00 p.m. (Mountain)
11:00 a.m. (Pacific)

Join us on February 24, 2015, for the free, in-depth The Candidate Experience: 10 Tips on How to Leave ’Em Hungry for More of What You’re Offering! webcast.

Find out more