Is your organization looking to boost its leadership pipeline and retention? Then don’t overlook the value of open-enrollment programs. They remain a strong, high-value part of the learning and development mix. Here’s why.
Open enrollment is flexible. A proven program may be routinely used as part of employee development — for example, all leaders of functions or departments may be sent to a program like our Leading for Organizational Impact program, aimed specifically at the challenges faced by leaders at that level.
Or, employees and managers may choose from a menu of programs to address specific issues, investing in development as needs arise. Learning to lead is an intensely personal experience — and one that shifts over time. Your organization might send a handful of employees one year, and dozens the next. A key value of open-enrollment programs is that they provide executive education while accommodating the ever-changing needs of the company.
Open enrollment is complementary. Various open-enrollment programs can fit together into a larger development puzzle. Maybe your company kicks off a multi-year initiative to develop its first-time managers using Maximizing Your Leadership Potential, while offering its more senior leaders a chance to attend Leadership at the Peak or Leading Strategically, since their individual development ties directly to the organization’s future direction and success.
Sometimes open-enrollment programs are an integrated part of a large-scale training and retention initiative. Plus, open-enrollment can be part of a “blended learning” strategy that includes online learning, coaching, action learning, and more.
Open enrollment is budget-friendly. Yes, the cost of travel and being away from work is a factor, but there are several reasons why you should travel for training. The economies of scale for custom or technology-based training are real. But we’ve found many companies just aren’t dedicating resources to major development initiatives. Or they are doing in-depth custom work for just a select group.
The value of open-enrollment programs is that they enable companies to offer leadership development when they don’t have large budgets or in-house training resources, or need to fill gaps in their existing development initiatives. Our Leadership Fundamentals program is a good example. The 2-day program for individual contributors who work on project teams and informally lead or influence others is an affordable way to invest in a key population.
The best open-enrollment leadership development programs include even more. At CCL, we’re proud that our programs also offer:
- Broad scope, clear focus — We understand how leadership skills need to evolve and expand to meet changing conditions and to prepare for future challenges. At the same time, we’ve identified the skills critical for success at each level, so individuals — and organizations — can see faster results. See our Leader Development Roadmap to match up the right learning at the right time for each leader.
- Relevance, proven, cutting-edge — We update and create programs in response to changes in the workplace and as new research findings and new best practices emerge. For example, our flagship Leadership Development Program (LDP)® is consistently ranked as one of the best leadership development programs in the world, reflecting a balance of consistent quality and ongoing relevance. An evaluation of the program found that LDP is clearly moving the needle in the key competencies that our research shows are most critical for leadership success in the “middle zone” of organizations.
- A space to learn — New behaviors and techniques can be tried and tested in a safe and confidential learning environment. Participants are free from distractions of the workplace and have a chance to network and learn from other leaders. Many client organizations tell us that this “protected” space is seen as essential for personal reflection and transformation.
- World view, global reach, client focus — Our open-enrollment programs are offered often and globally, providing many choices and locations to meet busy schedules and a range of client needs. Programs are typically in English, but often assessments and coaching are offered in additional languages. All are facilitated by highly educated faculty and coaches from business, academia, and the nonprofit world.
Finally, in all our work, we provide a highly personalized experience, grounded in research-based frameworks and methods. That’s why our clients say the value of our open-enrollment programs is clear — and why attending them is a powerful learning experience that participants often describe as life-changing, career-making events.