Many organizations now use some form of a leaders-as-teachers approach as part of their training and learning initiatives. Whether deployed on a small or large scale, this approach helps organizations to
- drive business results
- stimulate the learning and development of leaders and associates
- improve the leadership skills of those who teach
- strengthen the organizational culture and communications
- promote positive business and organizational change
- reduce costs by leveraging top talent.
The leaders-as-teachers process can be effective, efficient, and economically sound. Programs and knowledge sharing can be made available for pennies on the dollar when compared with many other approaches. There are five categories and more than 50 ways to involve leaders as teachers, coaches, and mentors. Implemented well, these five categories are cost effective and powerful in practice:
Identifying learning needs and learning solution design. Involving leader-teachers as subject matter, business, and organizational experts can reduce costs without sacrificing the quality of programming and learning services. Complement your organization's internal content and instructional leaders' expertise with carefully selected external resources.
Teaching live. Whether teaching alone, in pairs, or in teams, or working with an external partner, high-octane teaching and learning can take place while realizing significant cost savings.
Teaching through the use of media and technology. Podcasts, Web 2.0-enabled social learning, or communities of practice can increase the cost-effectiveness of importing and exporting ideas, expertise, best practices, course materials, and faculty across organizational boundaries.
Teaching and coaching pre- and postprogram to increase the impact of learning. Teaching and coaching roles for business and functional leaders in highly effective teaching-learning organizations can dramatically increase the application of personal and organizational learning.
Recruiting, training, coaching, and mentoring leader-teachers. These core talent management practices are fundamental for the successful implementation of an organization's leaders-as-teachers process.
The selection of your first leader-teacher is important. His success and influence with others will likely stimulate interest in teaching from those who are naturally inclined to do so. Choose this leader wisely. Give him the tools.