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HR Leaders: Raise your hand if you have a roster of first-time managers who were promoted because the company needed managers and they were good at their (non-manager) jobs. 

Raise two hands if they were promoted without support and development and frankly don’t know how to be managers, much less leaders.

(If you’ve never had this situation in your workplace, count yourself lucky.

And raise your hand if you’re getting asked to provide new manager and/or leader training, but you have a small and overworked staff in a rapidly growing organization. Your team doesn’t have the skill and/or capacity to build a manager development program, and the managers don’t have the time to be pulled away from their work.

Here’s a solution for a scalable manager development approach that works with capacity and schedule challenges: 

  • License a catalog of content. Don’t build your own when there is great content out there. I always recommend¬†LinkedIn Learning. (I really should get a spiff fee for how often I recommend it.)
  • Survey your managers for their top skills development needs.
  • Curate content from your licensed catalog and build out a cohort-based curriculum that requires a minimal time commitment per week for a period of a few months.
  • THIS IS CRITICAL: Build in application with guided manager discussion templates and scheduled, facilitated cohort accountability meetings.
  • Celebrate when you see impact and improvement in your manager’s capabilities. Prepare to build out a next level program focused on higher-level leadership skills–because you’ll be asked for it.

Only HR capacity required is the curation, program management, and accountability facilitation.

How do I know this approach works? Because I’ve built it and facilitated it and witnessed the results.

Why does it work?
  • > Spaced and paced approach
  • > Immediate application
  • > Accountability expectations
  • > Manager support and involvement
  • > Opportunities to learn from peers

(Side note: Don’t license the content catalog for the whole company. That’s a waste of money. License is for the managers you’ll put through the program, build awareness and buy-in, and THEN thoughtfully market and extend it.)

Scalable, successful manager development.

What do you like about this approach? Let’s chat.


I love working with high-growth companies to build scalable leader development solutions. I’m the strategic fractional talent leader you bring in when you need the expertise but not the FTE. Reach out to talk about how I can help your organization build leaders and a culture that top talent wants to work with and for.

#managerdevelopment #leadershipdevelopment #hrcantdoitallalone

Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash

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