Leadership Development via subtraction

Doing more with less.

Doing more by doing less.

No these aren’t faux business article headlines, but they might as well be. In an increasingly fast-paced, hectic work environment, learning professionals are working to create learning opportunities that are relevant, applicable, and personal.

But one of the best pieces of advice I’ve received on creating leadership development experiences in particular adds one more piece to the puzzle:

Many leadership development experiences identify what a leader should be doing more of. What if instead we helped them focus on what they should stop doing? 

Learning experiences can sometimes leave us feeling bogged down by new behaviors we should be incorporating, or knowledge we should be applying. It can become so additive that its hard to focus or feel that we can apply it all. 

To help ease the transition from learning to application we can work to remove some of the barriers that are keeping others from doing great work. We can do this by shrinking the change, helping others identify what they should be doing less of (or stop), and getting really clear on what is getting in the way of the change we seek.

Chances are your learners will breathe a huge sigh of relief when behavior change efforts become crystal clear, tinier, more specific, and hopefully more manageable.

In these busy times our focus for programs that stick can be on removing whatever it is that is getting in the way, and what we could stop doing, instead of piling on more.

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