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Designing IT Leadership Development Training for Success

by Gary Bamberger on October 21, 2013

A few months back when I was first formulating my IT Leadership Development Training, I read an article entitled “CIOs Say Mentoring Works, Classes Don’t” in CIO magazine. The article provided an overview of the results from a survey of 200 CIOs on effective methods of developing IT leaders in their organizations. The survey showed that the CIOs rated MBA-esque classes and “boot camps” as the least effective of the 10 options listed. The top rated technique was mentoring or coaching.

My personal experience with leadership development mirrors some of the findings of this article. Having been through a few leadership development training boot camps, I repeatedly found myself on an emotional high at the end of the session. My emotional high was created from experiencing several epiphanies and personal breakthroughs during the training that would expand my comfort zone. And, I would make commitments and action plans during the training.

The challenge that I had after the training was with what one of my instructors called “homeostasis.” By this, I am referring to my comfort zone beginning to shrink back towards its original size after the training. For me, maintaining my personal breakthroughs and moving forward with my commitments was a challenge. And this is part of the reason that the CIO survey cites training is less effective. Let’s face it; the “people” part of leadership is hard work for managers!

When I was designing my own IT Leadership Development Training, I thought about different ways to address this issue. What I came up with were the following the techniques:

Bean & Checklist

  • Each participants writes reports over the course of my training course to capture their epiphanies, personal breakthroughs and action plans. The reports are returned to the organization after training is completed to serve as a tool to increase accountability and support of participants. I consider these reports to be a topographical map that shows the journey a participant.
  • Beans Climbing MtnWe establish “Accountability Partners” during the training. The overall objective is for participants to support each other and hold each other accountable after the training is complete. After all, holding people accountable is one key role of leaders. The Accountability Partners share their epiphanies, breakthroughs and commitments during the training.

Beans High 5

  • I also offer an option to include individual coaching to participants to support them in focusing on their epiphanies, maintaining their breakthroughs and advancing on their commitments.

If you’re interested in customized experiential leadership development training specifically geared towards people in IT, please contact us at We would welcome an opportunity to discuss your specific IT leadership development training needs!


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