Development initiatives, learning opportunities, coaching … if it’s for mid-level managers most of the time I hear them say, “upper management needs to be here! Why aren’t they doing this, too?”  And you know what? They’re right!

Why?

Because leaders go first. Because what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Because change comes from the top. Because culture radiates from above. Here’s what I mean …

  • Are you instituting 360 evaluations? Start at the top.
  • Are you bringing coaching into the organization? Great! Start at the top.
  • Are you training employees to improve their communication skills? Start at the top.

What are the benefits to starting at the top? Here are a few:

1. Buy in at all levels.
When departments that support the top tier see that their leaders don’t have time or interest in a program it almost guarantees the initiative will have a fly-by-night feel to it. This is the kiss of death! When top tier leaders go through the program first they will more fully and credibly support the initiative. There’s far more buy-in when they’ve personally invested time and effort in going first where others will follow.

2. A more cohesive culture.
Development interventions that reach all levels of the organization provide a shared frame of reference, consistent vocabulary, and complementary new skills. When only a subset of the organization gets the experience, the desired change evaporates quickly. This is because vertical levels and horizontal departments don’t share the vision, the vocabulary, or the new skills that the “island of excellence” now has. Those on the “island of excellence” revert back to the default norms because the broader culture hasn’t changed along with them. What a shame! Short term gains that evaporate are not really gains.

3. A more efficient investment.
When you’re planning a development initiative of any kind, you want the learning to stick. You want the change to be impactful for the long haul. Initiatives don’t have lasting impact when different groups in the organization are sampling different flavors, and when the top tier is not shaped by the experience. But if you cascade it from the top down you are making a wiser, more strategic investment in culture change.

I know… executives are extremely busy. And sometimes they think they already know the content that’s being offered. But you can tailor the experience to suite their schedules and meet their needs where they are. Isn’t it worth the effort for a more cohesive, lasting, and efficient investment?

Would your organization benefit from improving communication? Building teamwork? Coaching? Contact us and we’ll work with you to create exactly what you can implement for the most beneficial impact. We offer DiSC workshops, manager development, leadership coaching, team building, and assessments for talent selection and development.

Let us help you develop the people who power your business!

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