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4 Ways to Approach Growth and Development

According to Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning’s 2018 “State of Leadership Development” report, only one-third of managers said they became “much more effective” after participating in leadership development programs. 

Additionally, 80 percent of respondents said organizations need more innovative learning techniques in leadership growth and development programs.

So, what’s all that mean? Well, one way to answer that question is to say: Leadership growth and development is old, boring, stale, outdated, eye-roll-inducing-no-duh-drivel that has no real relevance to today’s marketplace and demand for true, multiplying leadership. 

Too much? Well, it’s not all bad and we’re not actually that cynical… but a lot of people are!

Growth and Development Is A Good Thing

Leadership growth and development can get a bad rap, and we’re here to help change the conversation and bring attention to some of the positive, innovative approaches to leader development.

The most effective way to stay competitive is to make innovation a habit throughout the company. Innovation should be an initiative that all departments share, and it needs to be driven by leaders in order to create staying power. Innovation is for everyone in the company. It’s not just for product development, and it’s not just for the creative department. Let’s take a look:

Immersive, practice-based learning is key to effective leadership growth and development. Some companies take courses that are taught by theater-trained actors. In practice-based learning, participants learn their way to an effective outcome by trying different approaches in a safe environment. That’s cool, right? At Wildsparq, we accomplish much the same outcomes through the video training and using movie clips to help leaders learn. 

Consistent study and knowledge-based initiatives naturally lead to broadening perspectives and the stimulation of critical thought. The most significant evidence of intellectual growth is the kind of questions you begin to ask and the application of your new knowledge in different ways. Perhaps you could consider a reward system for trying new things, for coming up with ideas, and for innovative thinking.

Learning spurs curiosity and deeper understanding, so encourage your leaders to read books and articles; invite them to share with other team members and lead one another to continuous learning. The Wildsparq platform includes a point-system metric that allows users to earn rewards but also shares thoughts within the platform to help others learn. 

Innovative Leaders Use Growth and Development

Innovative leaders must be able to make good decisions quickly in order to stay alive and applicable in today’s market. One of the concepts Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, uses within his organization is to “disagree and commit.” It means that, rather than trying to get 100% consensus on all decisions, team members need to be able to communicate their disagreement with a specific decision, but then commit themselves to the decision fully. 

This is a critical concept for team members as well as innovative leaders to make decisions that will quickly move initiatives and the organization forward. Bezos says that this is a much better decision-making process for innovative teams than the “you’ve worn me down” approach that most organizations adhere to. Wildsparq includes team-based discussions and exercises as a part of each individual’s leadership lesson that spurs conversation and allows users to trust the decisions others are making. 

Maintaining a strategic business perspective is crucial to effective leadership. Leaders need to demonstrate a keen understanding of industry trends and their implications for their specific organization, right? They need to thoroughly understand the business, the marketplace, and the customer base and must be adept at identifying strategic opportunities or threats for the business. That sounds like a lot, but it’s a lot more doable when you ask for help.

What do you suppose would happen if you asked for input from future leaders as opposed to simply dictating decisions and laying out plans? How do you think others would react to becoming a part of the solution as opposed to cogs in the wheel? Wildsparq offers countless suggestions and exercises that help create meaningful conversations and team-based activities, all geared toward developing leadership and maintaining a strong culture. 


Brought to you by the team at @Wildsparq.

Want to learn more, or experience a live demo? Send a note to Josh Etress at or schedule an introductory call.