Over the years, leadership development has taken on a broad meaning. In fact, Wikipedia defines it as “any activity that enhances the quality of leadership within an organization.” Because of this almost unbounded characterization, we have decided to narrow in on a specific style of leadership development for the purposes of this discussion. We will focus on the programmatic, structured, cohort-based learning experience.
This is not in any way meant to de-emphasize the importance of other approaches such as job rotations, stretch assignments, exposure plans, coaching, degree programs, or international assignments. In fact, a combination of approaches can often make for the most powerful developmental strategy and we use an intentional blend of many of them to customize an appropriate developmental experience. But for purposes of focus, and because cohort-based programs are where we uncover the greatest contrast in approach, it makes sense to limit our scope.