According to the American Society of Training and Development, U.S. businesses spend more than $170 Billion dollars on leadership-based curriculum, with the majority of those dollars being spent on “Leadership Training.” Colleges and universities offer hundreds of degree courses on leadership, and the cost of customized leadership-development offerings from a top business school can reach $150,000 a person.
Moreover, when upward of 500 executives were asked to rank their top three human-capital priorities, leadership development was included as both a current and a future priority. Almost two-thirds of the respondents identified leadership development as their number-one concern.1 Only 7 percent of senior managers polled by a UK business school think that their companies develop global leaders effectively,2 and around 30 percent of US companies admit that they have failed to exploit their international business opportunities fully because they lack enough leaders with the right capabilities.3
At Acquate we believe that training is indeed the #1 reason leadership development fails. While training is often accepted as productive, it rarely is. The terms training and development have somehow become synonymous when they are clearly not. We believe in developing leadership skills and qualities not training leaders. This is more than an argument based on semantics – it’s painfully real.
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1 The State of Human Capital 2012—False Summit: Why the Human Capital Function Still Has Far to Go,a joint report from The Conference Board and McKinsey, October 2012.
2 Matthew Gitsham et al.,Developing the Global Leader of Tomorrow, Ashridge Business School, July 2009, ashridge.org.uk.
3 Pankaj Ghemawat, Developing global leaders, McKinsey Quarterly, June 2012