Individuals with excellent leadership skills have always been in demand in all types of organizations in the private and public sectors for obvious reasons. However, good leaders are not born despite popular opinion on the matter. Like all other human skills, becoming a good leader can be learned and one of the best ways is through a leadership skills training program.
For organizations involved in training their present and future crop of leaders including supervisors, manager and executives, the choice between in-house training and outsourced training programs is a crucial decision. Both have their pros and cons that must be carefully considered.
Let’s first discuss in-house leadership skills training programs. The benefits derived from in-house training development include:
• Build, maintain and strengthen knowledge and skills in leadership within the organization, which means that such an intangible asset becomes its sole property.
• Maintenance costs are usually lower in the long-term period because the people involved in the development, implementation and evaluation of the leadership skills training program are already salaried employees. Third-party consultants usually charge higher fees aside from the travel and incidental expenses involved.
However, in-house programs also have their share of demerits including:
• Development time can be longer especially when the employees involved have little experience in the matter. Other factors affecting completion include unavailability of staff dedicated to the project, inexistence of previous deliverables for leverage purposes and underestimation of the project’s complexity.
• Learning curves can be lengthy, too. Keep in mind that leadership skills training programs are not the core business of most organizations.
Outsourcing Training Programs
Let’s then take a look at the pros and cons of outsourcing leadership skills training programs. On one hand, the organization has an excellent degree of assurance that the training program will be developed, implemented and evaluated until successful completion by a team of high-caliber experts. Clients are provided with opportunities to work closely with these experts to develop the best training program for their companies
On the other hand, the risks for the knowledge acquired by the third-party consultants can leave with them while the organization may be left holding nothing more than the bill for services rendered. And speaking of bills, the total costs may be higher, too.
So, which of these two leadership skills training programs is most suitable for your organization? There is no iron-clad guarantee, no fool-proof answer, and no one-size-fits all training program. The present circumstances will make the ball roll more in one direction than in another so it is always best to perform an in-depth analysis before choosing one over the other.
For example, your organization may require leadership training in coping with the global workplace, which will require third-party intervention. But when the demand calls for leadership training related to your industry, in-house managers are the better option.
Best of Both Worlds
Better yet, you can combine the benefits of both approaches. You can hire a team of third-party consultants to work with an in-house team in the development of specific leadership training programs. In the end, the latter will own the system, so to speak, and their inputs are invaluable in its development.
Your organization has plenty of leadership skills training programs to choose from. To mention a few, there are the leader development programs by the Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness; the Corporate Learning Institute; and the popular Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.