Scaling Leadership Development for Maximum Impact

Scaling Leadership Development for Maximum Impact

Follow These 3 Principles for Success

The current marketplace requires organizations to work differently than they have in the past. Superstar talent that performs well in an isolated silo is critical, but not sufficient in our world of continuous change.

We’ve never seen such a need for diverse teams to come together, work cohesively, then dissipate to work with other teams to achieve business goals in a condensed period of time. Such an environment calls for collaboration, connection, and coordination that are rooted in common leadership language, vision, and behaviors.

The ideal way to achieve this is by scaling leadership development.

Organizations that are most effective at creating new leadership capabilities across different functions are intentional, strategic, and focused on effectively linking that development to business results. Employees throughout the organization expect each other to engage, change, innovate, and move forward. Traditional leadership development fails to support this kind of agile workplace.

Scaling leadership development efficiently and effectively enhances the ability of an organization to quickly execute its strategy and achieve its goals. It can help with accelerating leadership development, increasing market agility, and generation of revenue. Doing this well will optimize the return on a leadership development investment. It’s larger than just another Human Resources or Learning & Development initiative, and it requires the involvement of business leaders throughout the organization.

The key to scaling leadership development is devising a strategy at the outset. And once that’s in place, it’s imperative to have the processes and the talent at the ready to support the initiative.

3 Key Principles for Scaling Leadership Development

When scaling leadership development, it’s essential to focus on these 3 principles:

  • Plan: Strategy First. Organizations don’t go to market without a sales or operations strategy. Likewise, there should be hesitancy about going to market without a leadership strategy.
  • Build: The Right Learning for the Right Level. The organization must have clarity about the varying needs and investments at different levels. Solely implementing training programs is not sufficient. Create the right architecture — a set of leadership solutions — to support your learning and development objectives.
  • Leverage: The Right Talent — Inside and Outside. You might need an external partner to help you along the way. After you choose one, it’s time to engage your internal team. They need to champion the initiative, which can involve developing thousands of leaders in a short timeframe.

Scaling leadership development is the best way to create new capabilities across an entire organization in a short amount of time. If you want to be a part of a transforming initiative, make sure you fully appreciate the effort it takes to make that happen.

This requires shifts in the way you might traditionally approach development efforts. Yes, it’s complex, but thinking through these key principles will help you to more quickly achieve the concrete business results you’re trying to deliver.

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June 26, 2020
About the Author(s)
Jeff Howard
Jeff currently serves as Vice President of Global Portfolio & Leadership Solutions. Over his 25-year career at CCL, he has brought his passion and experience to building new business lines, marketing, and product development and management. From 2016-2020, Jeff led the explosive growth of our global licensing, international affiliate, and digital learning businesses as Director of Global Learning Products. This team’s innovations make CCL research, experience, and expertise accessible and scalable through licensing, digital learning, workshops, assessments, toolsets, and publications. In 2020, Jeff co-led efforts to adapt our portfolio of leadership solutions to meet the unprecedented needs of our clients during the global pandemic — helping to continue our mission of advancing leadership for the benefit of society worldwide.
Mike Smith
Mike is a Director and Strategic Business Partner at CCL, where he leads teams to develop leadership solutions for clients that advance business strategies and drive organizational performance. He holds an MA in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, as well as executive certificates from the University of Chicago, the University of Virginia, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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As you look to support and develop your leadership pipeline for the future world of work, the strategies and experiences that you’ve used before cannot simply be reinstated or revived. Instead, your development opportunities should be reimagined in order to reach more leaders where they are, and prepare them to succeed in the changing world we find ourselves in.


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