It’s gratifying to see companies initiate changes in their organizations by inviting their leadership to gather for a day or two to do a deep dive into their way of relating to one another. Usually, these events help build awareness, open dialogue and urge people to see things from a different perspective. The participants stop their work to examine how they are working together. However, the shelf-life of this often expensive effort is very short and the results that are produced are short term at best.
Think of this in terms of any dramatic change you want in your life: whether you’re thinking of changing careers, gaining or losing weight, building physical strength, fortifying relationships, enhancing your spirituality, or learning a new language, real change, permanent change, takes time. Real change requires a long term commitment to a process with repetition, multidimensional training and coaching, accountability calls, checkups, and demonstrations as support.
Now think of your talent development plan…long term. Instead of thinking about a two day “getaway,” think about a one to two year investment, one that helps change behavior, habits, limiting beliefs, and culture over the long hall. One that builds on a series of content that brings a compound affect to the investment. And budgeting? How much is this going to cost – is often asked. Although there is no wrong answer, I do encourage people to think of % of improvement. If you could improve how the team operates by 10%, what would that look like? What would be happening more of/less of with this investment? And then build the program around that outcome. Then, think about taking at least 10% of a person’s salary, and setting that amount aside to invest in them over that 1-2 years. Trust me, if you are not making this minimal investment in them, you are losing the money in other ways – including low energy, malaise, gossiping/complaining, struggling with conflict or stress, and a myriad of other “leaks” in your system.
The talent wars are real. You want better people? Build them internally – invest in them while they are still on your team. Just like you wouldn’t use cheap steel to build a bridge because it will fail down the road, don’t skimp here – the costs of a low investment can be life threatening to your bottom line.