To Capstone, or Not to Capstone

Posted by Paradigm Learning on August 25, 2016

It is an age-old leadership development program (LDP) dilemma. After sharing some background on an existing LDP, my client stated his objective to be either “to cover another leadership competency or tie already-covered topics together.”

Population, content, cadence and delivery vary greatly among our clients’ LDP’s. Common populations include high-potentials, first-time leaders and managers of managers. Content generally includes some mix of soft skills (trust, communication, team work, coaching, delegating, etc.), strategy, performance management, talent development, culture, change management and business acumen. Often, LDP’s have multiple touches throughout 6, 12 or 18 months. Learners have been engaged in a multitude of ways: from reading books, watching movies, running simulations, to attending workshops, listening to speakers, completing projects and role playing.

For the example with this particular client, we were talking about a 4-touch program throughout 12 months. The first three session topics were: (in order) soft skills, finance and strategy execution. The initial plan for the final session was to bring an internal speaker to talk about managing talent. Regrettably, the speaker broke a limb and thus wouldn’t be able to conduct the session. This lead to our contact having to make a decision in a very short period of time.

Together, we decided that rather than tackle change management, talent management or another competency, we would tie already-covered topics together using a business game. In this way we could reinforce the learning and end on a high-engagement note.

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