Leadership development programs are a significant investment for organizations to make for their talent. There are several steps companies should take before making the decision to invest the time, money and resources into building a leadership development program:

Executive Summary

Insurers that make the decision to invest time, money and resources into leadership development need to focus on aligning the programs with their business strategies and developing the competencies that matter to their businesses—not every possible one, writes Lorraine Stomski as she sets forth eight tips for program design.

1. Secure executive support and buy-in. Unless you have the highest levels in the organization fully supportive of the initiative, it likely will fail. Why? The support at the top of the organization demonstrates a visible commitment to the development of leaders.

Ask for an executive to sponsor the program and have them participate as a teacher, coach or sponsor of one of the elements of the program.

2. Align it to the business strategy. Our global study, “Top Companies for Leaders,” found that the organizations that build the best leaders begin by aligning the business strategy to the leadership needs. First, think about the business strategy and the critical leadership capabilities needed to successfully execute it. Are your leaders strong in these areas? Where are the gaps?

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