I see so many organisations spending months, if not years, negotiating best practice models on talent management, leadership and performance reviews.

Time is often wasted negotiating semantics and organisational values, and extrapolating possible business results to customised outcomes. However, the market, organisation culture and skill-set of leaders have created a new level of challenges demanding different solutions.

This blog was inspired by a conversation I recently had recently with a colleague whom I was sharing detail of our recent research on Workplace Productivity*.  She talked of a way forward where companies begin to build a ‘research lab type approach to development programs, with a focus on running a handful of live ‘experiments’ with a clear process of assessing what works and what doesn’t.

The outcome: a clear understanding of what will deliver the desired outcomes and an evidence-based approach of your unique ‘best practice ‘ approach.

Why can this type of ‘experiment’ approach to an organisation’s development can be beneficial?

The world has changed and there is no one-size-fits-all approach!

What works for your competitor or the industry will not necessarily work for you. Each organisation has a unique DNA that will mean leadership development needs a tailored and dynamic approach. Take core principles and build a program focused on core behavioural outcomes.  The program will evolve with the organisation in line with its strategy, culture and leaders.

You will get feedback quickly

As long as you put in appropriate feedback mechanisms such as clear goals, surveys, interviews and a process to ensure outcomes can be tangibly measured, you will know pretty quickly if the development initiative is leading you in the right direction. Be thorough in your investigation and integrate suggestions and feedback as soon as possible.

Evidence-based decision making provides certainty for decision makers

People, and by definition organisations, are inherently risk averse. No one wants to risk their reputation or the allocated ‘budget’ to the possibility of being questioned over the lack of benefits that a particular training provided. Most people are playing to win and would rather take an average solution with a sure-thing outcome, than an outstanding solution with some risks of returns. The ability to experiment provides the freedom to ‘not get it perfect’ the first time and the expectation that the solution will continue to be ‘upgraded’ as more feedback is received.

The outcome: less chance of getting it wrong and more certainty for decision makers with better quality of information.

At Employerbility we believe that measurement is one of the critical elements of building sustainable behaviour change in individuals and organisations. If you would like to talk to someone in the team team about how we can help incorporate a ‘lab like’ approach to training and development in your organisation contact us today.

*Download a copy of the 2013 Productivity in the Workplace Report, or listen to the Webinar based on key findings here